For England, it is all about World Cup qualification. For Poland, it is now quite simply about national pride.
Defeat on Friday against Ukraine ended their distant hopes of being in Brazil next summer yet it is still doubtful whether there will be another team playing in Europe tonight who, having already been eliminated, still have more reason to be motivated. Most obviously and importantly, there is the prospect of playing at Wembley in front of so many of their own fans.
The Football Association has sold 18,000 tickets to Polish supporters but their captain, Jakub Blaszczykowski, is still pre-dicting that the majority of Wembley's 90,000 capacity will actually be away fans.
"We played in Ireland not long ago [in March] when most of the fans were Poles," Blaszczykowski said. "We expect the same.
The have the ability to lift our spirits and make us play well so we hope we will be able to let them go home smiling. I was expecting it.
Regardless of how the FA decided to sell the tickets I would have expected our fans to come in numbers any way. We want to entertain them.
We have a good team and a good chance to get a result." Should his team-mates be sufficiently focused, that is undoubtedly true.
With Robert Lewandowski and Lukasz Piszczek, Blaszczykowski is one of a trio of Polish players who comprise the core of the Borussia Dortmund team that were last at Wembley in May for their Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Piszczek will be missing tonight through injury but it has been one of the mysteries of this qualifying campaign that a team with such potent club forwards as Lewandowski and Blaszczykowski have scored so few goals.
Poland, in theory, might have presented the greatest threat to Roy Hodgson in Group H but the 1-0 defeat in Kharkiv on Friday - as well as the 1-1 draw with England in Warsaw - was typical of a campaign that has contained far better performances than results.
The worry for England is that, freed from the pressure of needing points, Poland could finally put together both a performance and a result at Wembley tonight.
"We are all very unhappy and very bitter about our results in the group but that is how it is," Blaszczykowski said.
"We lack goals despite creating many chances and should have scored more goals. We have drawn too many matches - most after single mistakes."
Winning at Wembley would also be extremely significant personally for the Poland manager Waldemar -Fornalik, whose own position will be reviewed at the end of the year.
Fornalik succeeded Franciszek Smuda after Euro 2012 and, although this qualifying campaign must ultimately be judged a failure, beating England would provide some tangible evidence of progress. In front of so many Poland fans, there would also be a wider symbolic importance.
The team of 1973 followed up their famous 1-1 draw at Wembley by reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup but it is the heroics of Jan Tomaszewski that have gone down in national folklore.
Fornalik was 10 at the time but can still vividly remember that match. "Like everyone else in Poland, I was excited and impressed by the performance," the manager said.
"Tomaszewski is always remembered but there was a lot of luck. This game has a lot of significance in Polish football history."
Even Blaszczykowski, who was born 12 years later, in 1985, knows all about that night at Wembley 40 years ago. "It has a lot of importance in history," he said.
"We still talk about it and that shows how important it was. It would be good and exciting for the fans and for us to make history again.
We want to show we can reach our potential, to play against the best teams and at the same level." Fornalik is also adamant that his players have something to prove to themselves in their final group game at Wembley tonight.
"We need to be disciplined, ambitious and we need to be at our best," he said. "Just because we are not going to the World Cup, it does not mean we do not have anything to play for.
There are no games for nothing. There will be so many Poles in the stadium and that will give extra -motivation ahead of the game.
"We expect massive support and this will be significant. Polish fans have a track record of lifting the team in good times and bad.
"We want to give a good impression and finish qualification in style. You can expect a fighting spirit from us. The motivation is playing England at Wembley in the final game of the qualifiers. That is all we need."