Knudsen is heading to the World Cup... and Bialkowski is expected to join him
PUBLISHED: 11:24 04 June 2018
Jonas Knudsen has been named in Denmark’s squad for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
And goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski is expected to be named in the Poland squad when it is announced at 2pm.
Bialkowski has been with the Poland squad since last Tuesday and is one of four goalkeepers in Adam Nawalka’s squad, with Juventus keeper Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski of Swansea certain to make the squad.
That leaves Bialkowski battling with Lukasz Skorupski, who has played very little football for Roma this season, for the final place on the plane. The final Poland squad is announced.
The Roma goalkeeper is understood to have picked up a hip injury since joining up with the squad last week and that, combined with his lack of football during last season, is likely to see Bialkowski take his place on the plane.
Knudsen was an unused substitute in Denmark’s 0-0 draw with Sweden on Saturday night, with Udinese’s Jens Stryger Larsen starting on the left side of defence despite primarily being a right-sided player. Knudsen, who has three Denmark caps, remained the only out-and-out left back in Age Hareide’s 27-man squad and has survived the cut down to 23, meaning he will be on the plane to Russia.
Denmark are at home to Mexico next Saturday in their final warm-up game before playing Peru, Australia and France in the group stages of the finals in Russia.
Speaking in April, Knudsen said: “It would mean everything to me to get to a World Cup. When you are a little kid it is something you dream about, playing for your national team in the World Cup
“The manager called me a couple of days before the last game of the season and told me I would be in the first squad,” Bialkowski said prior to last week’s training camp.
“When I got my first call-up it was a dream come true. It made me want to be involved more and the next step for me was to be named in the provisional squad. Now that’s the case and hopefully I can be named in the final squad in a couple of weeks.
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“We have some good goalkeepers and Fabianski and Szczesny are the main two.
“I think they’ll be fighting for that number one spot but if I’m going to be in that final squad of three keepers then obviously I will do everything I can to impress the manager and coaches and push them harder.”
Poland will play friendlies with Chile and Lithuania prior to flying to Russia, where they will take on Senegal, Colombia and Japan in Group H.
Denmark: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), Frederik Rønnow (Brøndby IF), Jonas Lössl (Huddersfield Town), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Simon Kjær (Sevilla), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Mathias Jørgensen (Huddersfield Town), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Andreas Christensen, Chelsea, Jonas Knudsen, Ipswich Town, William Kvist (FC København), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo), Lasse Schöne (Ajax), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Nicolai Jørgensen (Feyenoord), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Viktor Fischer (FC København), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux).