Sports Mole brings you live coverage of today's World Cup qualification Group H clash between Poland and England in Warsaw.
By Matt Law, European Football Editor Filed: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 15:00 UK
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 18:38 UK
Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of today's World Cup qualification Group H clash between Poland and England in Warsaw.
Roy Hodgson's men currently sit top of Group H with seven points from their first three matches, while Poland are third with four points from two games.
Poland have not beaten today's opponents since 1973 when Sir Alf Ramsey was in charge of the Three Lions, and England have lost just once in their history against the Poles.
The home side failed to make it out of their group at Euro 2012, leading to Waldemar Fornalik taking charge of the national side.
He has been given the task of gaining the Poles qualification for a major tournament for the first time since 1986.
Please note that kickoff is at 4pm.
5.52pmThe result moves England a point clear at the top of Group H. Meanwhile, Poland remain third. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us for the Premier League and La Liga football at the weekend. Until then!
5.50pmWayne Rooney had sent England into a first-half lead just past the 30-minute mark, but Kamil Gilk levelled things up with a header 20 minutes from time.
5.48pmSo there we have it. England secure a welcome point in a 1-1 draw against Poland in Warsaw. There is no doubt that the home side pushed England back for large periods, but the match ended with a share of the spoils.
70 minChance! Oh my word! Wonderful chance for England as Welbeck finds Rooney on the edge of the box, but he fires it over the crossbar. It was a good break from England.
68 minJust as I say that? Yep. Defoe is replaced by Danny Welbeck. Me and Hodgson have the same mind! Hopefully the Manchester United striker can gain hold of possession.
68 minIt just keeps coming back from Poland as England clear the danger. Surely they need to think about making a change? Defoe is not going to fancy it against two big defenders in the air.
66 minEngland have a free kick on the edge of the penalty area as Gilk is penalised for handball. Gerrard finds Defoe in the box, but his strike is wide of the post.
64 minHere we go then. First chance of the match for Poland as Wszolek is replaced by left-winger Adrian Mierzejewski. Can he inspire his team?
62 minBig penalty claim for England as Johnson goes down in the box under the challenge of Wszolek, but the referee waves play on. That one could have gone either way.
61 minAgain it's brilliant work from the home side as Lewandowski finds Piszczek in the box, but his effort is just wide of the target. How good has he been today?!
59 minChance! So nearly for Poland as Obraniak strikes from outside the box, but Jagielka blocks the danger. England are so so deep.
59 minIt's just all Poland at the moment. England are clearing the danger long towards Defoe, but it keeps coming back with interest. Backs against wall if you have ever seen it.
57 minAgain the home side flood forward as Piszczek and Obraniak combine down the left, but Jagielka stabs the ball clear. The threat from Poland is in the wide positions as we approach the 60-minute mark.
55 minAnother sighter for the home side as Wszolek attempts to loop the ball over Hart from just inside the box, but the Manchester City goalkeeper collects the danger. Can England weather the storm?
53 minSuddenly England break forward as Rooney searches out Defoe in the box, but again the danger is cleared. The match is just flowing at the moment.
51 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Obraniak strikes it from outside the box, but Hart helps it on its way over the crossbar. It's all Poland at the moment.
50 minJust a reminder that if the score stays the same then England will move three points clear of Montenegro at the top of Group H. That is a big if. You can just sense that there are goals here.
48 minHalf-chance for England as they break in numbers. Rooney finds Defoe just outside the box, but Gilk is on hand to make the challenge. End-to-end football at the moment.
47 minChance! Wonderful chance for the home side as Wszolek meets a low cross in the box, but Johnson just blocks the danger. That was close.
46 minPoland get us underway in the second period. Both sets of supporters are in good voice.
5pmRight, here we go then. What will the second 45 minutes bring? Can England hold on for a vital three points or will the home side respond?
4.57pmMeanwhile, our report of the opening 45 minutes can be found here. Take a look for a round-up of the action.
4.54pmThe much-coveted Lewandowski has been a bright spark for Poland thus far, but Jagielka has shackled the threat of the Dortmund man. All in all, so far so good for Hodgson's men.
4.51pmIt is always said that the mark of a good side is being able to win when not playing well. We will find out a great deal about England in this second period. But you have to expect that Poland will continue to create chances.
4.48pmLet's take a look at some statistics from the opening half of football. England have dominated possession with 63% of the ball, but they have had three shots to Poland's four. Meanwhile, the home side have created the better openings.
4.45pmSo there we have it. A Wayne Rooney header after 31 minutes has handed England a 1-0 lead over Poland at the break. How they are ahead is another point entirely!
44 minHalf-chance for the away side as Johnson cuts inside before striking towards goal, but his effort was always moving wide of the target. Little over one minute of normal time remaining as Grosicki fires wide on the run.
42 minEngland have just settled in the past few moments with the break approaching. They just need to keep it tight. But Poland are such a threat on the counter.
40 minIt's poor from Carrick once more as he hands possession straight to Poland in midfield. They force a corner, but Jagielka - who has been the pick of the England players thus far - heads clear.
38 minStill Poland threaten as Lewandowski gathers possession in the box, but he just cannot find a shot. The home side will be wondering how on earth they are behind. It has been that kind of match.
36 minThe answer is no as Wawrzyniak jumps highest to head clear before Cleverley fires wide of the post. Little under 10 minutes until the break.
36 minFree kick to England on the edge of the box as Cole is felled by Polanski. Can they take advantage of another crossing situation?
34 minHalf-chance for the Poles as Obraniak dances into the England box, but Hart just gathers possession at the vital moment. Real end-to-end football at the moment.
32 minIt hasn't been Rooney's best 30 minutes of football in an England shirt, but he comes up with the goods. And now suddenly the away side have a bit of a swagger.
31 minIt's first blood to England as Rooney meets a Gerrard corner and heads straight past Tyton. That's a big moment for the away side.
31 minAgain it's really poor passing from England as Johnson plays it straight out of play. There have been too many moments like that in this opening 30 minutes of football.
29 minChance! It's wonderful play from Lewandowski as he bursts past Lescott before firing across goal, but it just misses the post. Powerful play from the Dortmund man.
27 minHalf-chance for England as Milner whips a low cross into the box, but Wasilewski just beats Defoe to the ball. That's better.
27 minEverything is going wide for Poland at the moment, while England are attempting to attack through the middle. It's a contrast in styles, but there are signs that Hodgson's side are raising the tempo.
25 minSlightly better from the away side as Gerrard finds Rooney on the edge of the box, but Wasilewski is on hand to clear the danger. Meanwhile, another attack breaks down on the edge of the box moments later.
23 minI could be wrong, but I am almost certain that Defoe has not touched the ball thus far. That tells you everything you need to know about the opening 23 minutes of this match.
21 minThe match has just settled in the past few moments with Poland enjoying possession in their own half. Still no real clear chances for either side.
19 minIt just isn't quite happening for England in the final third. Carrick, Cleverley and Rooney are all enjoying touches of the ball, but there is no way through. Poland are the bigger threat that is for certain.
17 minGood grief Pawel Wszolek has got some serious pace. The Polish winger drives past Johnson like he isn't there before whipping in a low cross, but once more it's good defending from England.
15 minAnother sighter for Poland as Krychowiak strikes an effort from outside the box, but it was never really troubling the England goalkeeper. Meanwhile, England cannot get their sharp passing on the go at the moment.
14 minSloppy play from both sides at the moment as they exchange possession in midfield. It's another half-chance for Poland as Piszczek latches onto a long pass, but Joe Hart just clears the danger.
12 minStunning play from Rooney as he runs all of 40 yards to challenge Eugen Polanski on the break. That is wonderful commitment from the Manchester United man. England need to get Carrick on the ball.
10 minIt's all Poland at the moment as they flood forward with Lewandowski, the striker finds Obraniak, but Johnson blocks the danger. England need to settle here.
9 minChance! First real chance of the match comes to the home side as Kamil Gilk finds Grosicki in the box, but he just cannot make proper connection from close range.
9 minIt's bright play from the home side as Lewandowski feeds Grosicki down the right, but Lescott is on hand to clear the danger. Best spell of the match for Poland at the moment.
7 minThere is a real ploddy bounce on the pitch at the moment. Gerrard hits a long ball in search of Johnson, but it holds up before just drifting out of play. You have to play to the conditions.
6 minFirst real spell of possession for the home side as Lewandowski collects the ball from Kamil Grosicki. However, Lescott is on hand to clear the danger. End-to-end stuff at the moment.
4 minEngland are certainly the team controlling the tempo in the early stages of this one. But it must be said that the pitch looks ever so heavy. It's a half-chance for the away side as Milner finds Cleverley in the box, but his effort is blocked.
2 minDecent early spell of possession for England as Johnson finds Carrick in midfield. However, Cleverley's ball is cut out by Obraniak.
1 minHere we go then. England get us underway as Michael Carrick enjoys an early touch of the ball in midfield.
3.59pmHandshakes? Check. Flags exchanged? Check. Let's get this match underway before the rain falls and the roof caves in. Poland versus England in Group H.
3.57pmWarm applause from the home fans there. Meanwhile, it is now their turn. This is certainly a jolly tune! They are a very proud nation.
3.56pmNational anthem time. England first. I am pleased to report that every member of the team are in full voice. Even Rooney! Now that is a turn up for the books.
3.55pmHere we go then. Both sets of players are emerging from the tunnel. Finally we can bring you the action. Let's hope the match is worth the wait!
3.54pmRight, we are just about five minutes from the start of play. Regular followers will know what time it is now. Yep, prediction time. I'm going for a 1-1 draw in Warsaw. I just do not see Poland losing this game.
3.51pmMore from the BBC: "all 2,500 England fans who bought tickets and travelled to Poland will also be invited to a special England training session." Next they will get a home visit from Wayne Rooney!
3.51pmBREAKING: It is understood that the FA will compensate the supporters who have stayed on in Poland to attend the match. That's fantastic to hear.
3.48pmMeanwhile, England have lost just one of their last five games - a Euro 2012 penalty defeat to Italy. However, they did overcome the finalists in a friendly in September. Meanwhile, the recent win against San Marino followed victory over Moldova and a draw against Ukraine.
3.45pmLet's get back to some recent statistics. Poland have lost two of their last five games. They were beaten by Czech Republic in Euro 2012, while they also suffered defeat to Estonia in a friendly in March. However, a draw with Montenegro was followed by wins over Moldova and South Africa.
3.42pmEngland boss Roy Hodgson has told ITV that the pitch is "better". However, he has also revealed that there is still water below the surface. It is far from ideal.
3.42pmThere is no Rio Ferdinand or John Terry in the international picture anymore. Meanwhile, Frank Lampard could also find his chances limited. Steven Gerrard will undoubtedly remain a senior figure for his country, but there is no question that the national team is in transition.
3.39pmFollowing England's victory over San Marino on Friday, there have been suggestions of a new era in English football. Kyle Walker, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck were among those that impressed. Meanwhile, with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones set to return in the New Year - there is a feeling that England could finally make a noise in an international tournament.
3.36pmITV have just confirmed that the pitch is playable. Just a reminder that the roof is on the stadium in Warsaw. Meanwhile, we also have some lovely sunny weather. Let's get that roof off!
3.33pmLukasz Piszczek is also on the books of Dortmund and will be given the task of shackling the wide threat from England. However, there have been suggestions of unrest in the camp with French-born Ludovic Obraniak reportedly unpopular with his teammates. Whether or not that will affect their performance remains to be seen.
3.30pmPoland's chances today will undoubtedly fall on the shoulders of Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. The 24-year-old is regarded as one of the best strikers in European football and scored 30 goals for Dortmund last season. Meanwhile, he has 15 goals in 47 games for his country.
3.27pmThe Three Lions have also not been defeated in a qualifying match since losing to Ukraine in October 2009 and Hodgson is yet to taste defeat in his 10 matches as boss. Isn't this all sounding very nice? Let's ignore our recent record in major tournaments!
3.24pmDespite England's fine run against today's opponents, four of the last six clashes between the two sides in Poland have ended in a draw. Meanwhile, excluding Euro 2012, Poland have won their last five home matches and have kept seven consecutive clean sheets. Not bad ay?!
3.21pmMeanwhile, here's a word from Manchester United and (former?!) England defender Rio Ferdinand last night on Twitter: "What score are you thinking tonight people? I'm going for England to win 0-2 in Poland!" Rio is certainly optimistic.
3.18pmAs mentioned above, England have lost just once to Poland in their history and are unbeaten in 39 years. And with seven points from their first three games, victory this evening would put them in control of the group.
3.15pmMeanwhile, Poland have been weakened by the news that skipper Jakub Blaszczydowski will miss the match with an ankle injury. Meanwhile, just eight of their squad currently play their football in Poland - compared to every member of the England squad playing in the Premier League.
3.15pmSky Sports News have just reported that "a good number" of England fans will attend the match this afternoon. Bare a thought for those that had to go home either last night or this morning. It just never should have come to that.
3.12pmPoland currently sit 49 places below England (fifth) in the FIFA Rankings, but they are unbeaten in the qualification process thus far. They opened their campaign with a 2-2 draw at Montenegro before beating Moldova 2-0 at home.
3.09pmIf England's 5-0 win over San Marino on Friday was a bit of comedy match, today is anything but. Make no mistake about it, this is a proper football game and one that both sides will feel they have a chance to win.
3.06pmSo there we have it. Glen Johnson, Joleon Lescott, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, James Milner and Jermain Defoe come into the side. However, Danny Welbeck must make do with a place on the bench.
3.03pmTEAM NEWS: There are no overnight changes for either side. Poland will begin the afternoon with Robert Lewandowski as their lone centre-forward. Meanwhile, Jermain Defoe and Ashley Cole both start for England.
3pmGood afternoon all! Let's try again shall we? What happened last night can only be described as shambolic. The sight of the referee throwing the ball around the pitch will live long in the memory. Two questions remain - why on earth was the roof not closed? And why did it take an hour for the match to be called off? Anyway, let's leave that in the past!