Harry Maguire had a fairly easy night on Sunday as England cantered to a 2-0 win over Albania.
This Wednesday promised to be a sterner test, with England taking on Poland.
This should have been a chance for Maguire to go head to head with Poland striker Robert Lewandowski.
Lewandowski has scored a phenomenal 35 goals in 25 games for Bayern Munich this season, and is widely considered to have been robbed of the chance to win the 2020 Ballon d’Or after the award was cancelled.
Sky Sports report Lewandowski will now miss this week’s World Cup qualifier with England due to a knee injury.
Lewandowski test avoided
This would have been a great opportunity for Maguire to challenge himself up against arguably the world’s best centre-forward.
It would have been great experience for the Manchester United defender to take on the Polish striker.
In some ways, it benefits United to not have Maguire be over-exerted or demoralised by a tough test against Lewandowski this week, ahead of the Premier League return.
But it could have worked the other way. If Maguire succeeded in shutting Lewandowski out to keep a clean sheet, it would have been a huge boost to his confidence, and his reputation.
What else lies ahead for United’s internationals?
Maguire and Luke Shaw are almost certain to start for England against Poland. Jesse Lingard could also be involved.
Bruno Fernandes has returned to Manchester after a suspension ruled him out of Portugal’s match with Luxembourg.
Dan James will take on the Czech Republic with Wales tonight, while Donny van de Beek could feature for Netherlands against Gibraltar.
Paul Pogba will likely start for France against Bosnia and Herzegovina tomorrow, although Anthony Martial’s status is unclear after picking up a knock against Kazakhstan.
Scott McTominay will feature for Scotland against the Faroe Islands, while David de Gea will hope to get his first start for Spain of the break, against Kosovo.
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