Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has suffered disappointment in his bid to be fit for Poland's closing Euro 2016 Group C tie against neighbouring Ukraine at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Tuesday (21 June). The 26-year-old started for his country during their opening 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland last weekend, yet was ruled out of the subsequent goalless draw with Germany due to a thigh injury sustained during an innocuous collision with Kyle Lafferty.
Manager Adam Nawalka originally said that there was "no chance" Szczesny would be ready for that surprisingly tame clash between two old rivals in Paris, but expressed hope that he would return to face a Ukrainian side who have already been eliminated from the competition after suffering two consecutive defeats.
However, it appears that the player, who spent last season on loan with Roma and has been linked with another return to Serie A, has lost his fitness battle and will once again watch from the sidelines as Swansea's Lukasz Fabianski retains his place between the posts.
"Wojciech Szczesny is not ready for the game," Nawalka was quoted as saying at a press conference, as reported by Reuters and the Daily Mail. "All the other players are fit."
Second-place Poland require only a point against Mykhaylo Fomenko's underwhelming side to secure their place in the knockout stages of the European Championship for the first time at the third attempt. A team managed by Dutch veteran Leo Beenhakker finished bottom of their group at Euro 2008 and successor Franciszek Smuda was unable to capitalise on their status as co-hosts four years later as they bowed out early once again without winning a single match.
If plucky Northern Ireland are beaten by world champions Germany at the Parc des Princes, then Poland will advance regardless of their own result.