GKS Bełchatów are the surprise early pacesetters in Poland winning all four of their first league games under 63-year-old coach Orest Lenczyk.
Bełchatów’’s winning run came to an end with a 2-1 defeat against Zagłębie Lubin at the weekend, but their flying start – which included a shock 2-1 away win against champions Legia Warszawa and a 5-1 thrashing of MKS Odra Wodzisław Śląski – has made stars of midfielder Łukasz Garguła and striker Radosław Matusiak, both of whom made it into Leo Beenhakker’s Poland squad.
Defeat against Bełchatów was indicative of Legia’s miserable start to the season. Knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by FC Shakhtar Donetsk, they have picked up just seven points from their first five games. The 2-1 defeat against Bełchatów was only mildly less humiliating than a defeat by the same margin against newly-promoted ŁKS Łódź.
Łódź’s return to the top division ensured an exciting derby match to return to the Ekstraklasa as they met neighbours Widzew Łódź on 11 August. The home side won 2-1 at the Widzew stadium but the season looks to be a promising one for both clubs as they have both taken up positions in the top five and may be in the running for European places.
Last season’s runners-up Wisła Kraków are second in the table and are unbeaten in the league this season. Up until the weekend’s 3-3 draw against KKS Lech Poznań, they had yet to concede an Ekstraklasa goal. The club have also progressed to the first round of the UEFA Cup despite the absence of Polish internationals defender Marcin Baszczyński and forward Paweł Brożek.
Lech, the club founded with the merger of Lech Poznań and KS Amica Wronki in the summer, are yet to sparkle in their new incarnation, while Korona Kielce and Groclin Dyskobolia Grodzisk Wielkopolski have also failed to live up to expectations. Meanwhile, Dariusz Kubicki became the first coaching casualty of the season after being replaced by Krzysztof Chrobak at GKS Górnik Łęczna on 19 August.
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