Why Jakub Moder did not start for Poland - and will Paulo Sousa select him for Spain?
Poland midfielder Jakub Moder looks set to be the first Brighton player to start a match at this summer’s European Championship against Spain in Seville on Saturday.
Moder, 22, was left out of Poland’s starting XI for their 2-1 loss to Solvakia in St Petersburg on Monday.
The Albion man was introduced as a late second half substitute in the 85th minute for Leeds midfielder, Mateusz Klich, after experienced campaigner Grzegorz Krychowiak was sent off in 62nd minute for two bookable offences.
It was a rough start to the competition for Paulo Sousa’s team who were favourites to win their Group E opener against the Solvakians, who are ranked a lowly 36th in the world.
Moder was a surprise omission from the starting line-up as the athletic midfielder had featured prominently for Poland in the warm-up matches, including a goal against England at Wembley in a World Cup qualifier back in March.
Sousa opted for experience on Monday but the move backfired on the Portuguese coach, who could now turn to Moder for Saturday’s vital match against a Spain team, who drew their opening match 0-0 against a resilient Sweden outfit on Monday night.
Moder impressed during his brief time on the pitch. In the 88th minute it was his corner, which just eluded Poland star striker Robert Lewandowski and then somehow missed Kamil Glik, who was sliding in unmarked at the back post.
Moder also drove forward with purpose with a couple of late runs in Slovak territory.
His impressive cameo display, coupled with the dismissal of Krychowiak, should be enough for Moder to claim his starting spot against Luis Enrique’s Spain.
Albion goalkeeper Robert Sanchez will likely be on the bench once more for the Spaniards as Enrique selected Athletic Bilbao stopper Unai Simon ahead of Manchester United’s David de Gea and Sanchez for their frustrating draw against the Swedes.