Wojciech Szczesny in action for Poland
Arsène Wenger says Poland must cope with the pressure of playing in front of their own fans if they are to progress beyond the group stages at Euro 2012.
The co-hosts have been drawn in Group A against the Czech Republic, Russia and Greece and will have the advantage of drawing on home support during the tournament.
But Wenger says they must try to ensure that the level of expectation within the country does not weigh down too heavily on them.
“It is a massive occasion for Poland, and a massive pressure,” he told Arsenal Player. “It is always difficult at home until you have reached your basic target, which means to get out of the group.
“It is a massive pressure and sometimes it is a little bit of a handicap. It is a great opportunity for them to show that Polish football is doing extremely well.
“For them it is a tough group – it is not the toughest, but it is still tough for them.”
Wenger believes it is essential for Poland – who have Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski in their squad – to get off to a winning start in the opening game of Euro 2012, against Greece on June 8.
“It is not the most romantic fixture, but it is a good opportunity for Poland to make a good start,” he said. “They have some [good] players, like Robert Lewandowski up front who is doing extremely well.
“For them, that may be the biggest pressure game as it is an opportunity for them. They know that with Russia and Czech behind, it is a game they cannot miss.
“You don’t expect the most spectacular game, but if Poland manage to win even 1-0 they have a good chance to go through.”