Just three FIFA World Cup groups still left to preview before the tournament kicks off on Thursday night! You can check out all of our prior group previews by heading to our BYB Soccer Tips page or read on as we take a look at Group F below.
Group F features the reigning World Cup champions in Germany along with Sweden, South Korea and Mexico and promises to be an exciting group.
Germany won the 2014 World Cup in stunning fashion and will be looking to become the first team since Brazil back in the 60s to successfully defend their title. They have arguably the deepest roster of players of any nation in the world, with the majority of their players being plucked from the biggest clubs in the world.
They enter the tournament as one of the favourites to win and with good reason. They finished in first place in their World Cup qualifying group with a perfect 10-0-0 record and had a ridiculous 43 goals for and just 4 against throughout the 10 games.
Excluding friendlies, the Germans are undefeated as a nation since their 2016 loss to France in the European Championship semi finals, however, recent losses in friendlies to both Brazil and Austria are a little concerning.
Players to watch: The thing that makes Germany such a dominant force in world football is not their standout players but their depth and consistency across the park. In saying that, they do boast an absurd amount of world class players. Toni Kroos is arguably the most complete midfielder in the world while Marco Reus will be making his long awaited World Cup debut for Germany in this tournament.
Mexico will be suiting up for a 12th World Cup campaign this June after rolling through the Central and North American qualifiers with relative ease. In a group with Honduras, Canada and El Salvador, Mexico won five and drew one of their six qualifying group games to finish on top of the table before also finishing on top of the subsequent fifth round table with six wins in their 10 games.
They come into the tournament with by far the best World Cup pedigree of any Central and North American nation, having qualified for the tournament on 12 occassions and making it out of the group stage in all of their last six. After making it all the way to the quarter final in 1986, Mexico have been eliminated in the Round of 16 in all of their last six tournaments, and will be desperate to progress further this year.
Sweden showed some sparks in their qualifying campaign, but it’s hard to look past Mexico as the second best nation in this group. They have a deeper squad and are in some decent form.
Players to watch: Javier Hernandez remains Mexico’s most recognisable star, however, they boast some exciting young players in the likes of Hirving Lozano and Jesus Manuel Corona who both represent world class clubs.
Sweden were one of the most interesting stories to come out of the European World Cup qualifiers. After finishing second in their group containing France, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Balarus, the Swedes set up a one tie play in fixture against Italy to qualify for the World Cup.
After winning the first home leg 1-0, Sweden held on for a 0-0 draw in the second leg to shock the world and send Italy packing, qualifying for their 12th World Cup and their first since the 2006 tournament in Germany.
The absence of mega footballing star Zlatan Ibrohimovich will be a major talking point heading into the tournament, with the Swedish stalwart having retired from international football in 2016 but hoped to make a comeback for the World Cup, however, was not selected in the Swedish squad.
Players to watch: At just 26 years of age, RB Leipzig midifielder Emil Forsberg could stamp himself as one of the premier midfielders in the world at this tournament, while vice captain Sebastian Larsson will be looking to make a deep run in what should be his last tournament.
South Korea will be participating in their ninth World Cup in a row in 2018. It’s a testament to their dominance over the Asian region, however, in those nine attempts, they have only managed to get past the group stage on two occasions.
A fourth place finish in their home tournament in 2002 is a feat that they’ll be hoping to recreate, however, with a tough pool to navigate, I feel like it could be another group stage exit for the Koreans here, who weren’t fantastic in their qualifying campaign.
South Korea had a 4-3-3 record through their 10 qualifying group stage games. While they were undefeated at home, they dropped games to Iran, China and Qatar on the road, which makes me question their ability to perform in Russia.
Players to watch: No surprises here as Tottenham star striker Son Heung-Min is South Korea’s most important player. The Spurs forward has genuine match winning ability and could cause major upsets if given enough chances.
TIP: No bet
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