Group F sees current holders Germany have Sweden, South Korea and Mexico.
Different to the other groups, this seems as if it’s going to be the group based on defensive performances.
Starting off the talk about defensive performances we come to Sweden who had a brilliant qualification stage conceding less than a goal a game and then came into the final for the extra qualifcation space and failed to concede over two legs against European titans, Italy.
The young Manchester United centre back Victor Lindelof will be looking to prove critics wrong with some huge defensive performances afer what would be said was a very poor first season in the premier league, hopefully during this tournament we will see the potential that United saw in him last season. Coming into the more advanced positions there’s Emil Forsberg who has been vital to Leipzig’s progress in the Bundesliga with a bunch of goals and assists which he will be hoping to further onto Al Ain [UAE] striker Marcus Berg.
The 31 year old striker finished his season in the UAE with 14 goals in his final 5 games and his instinctive prowess infront of goal means he would be more than capable of scoring any chances given to him.
The Swede’s chances rely heavily on their top quality defensive record and will be hoping to keep that going into this tournament.
Predicted group finish: 2nd
Tip in the betting markets: Sweden are currently 5/4 to qualify from the group stage with bet365.
South Korea just about came through their qualifcation group with 15 points, lead through by their main talisman Heung Min Son. The Tottenham striker had a breakthrough season this year with his unbelievable workrate and desire to get the ball into a good position for his side.
It goes without saying that the chances of this Korean side are going to be quite reliant on the goalscoring of Son, and if he is contained by a defender then it will fall onto the shoulders of the midfield pairing of Ki Seung Yeung of Swansea and Koo Ja Cheol of Augsburg.
The duo have got a great range of passing and Koo is a dead ball specialist, the strength of these two could be pivotal to prevent the quick and strong midfield outfits in this group. The chances of Korea are quite slim and Son is definitely going to have to perform out of his skin.
Predicted group finish: 4th
Ze Germans are coming into this tournament as holders and the team they’re bringing are definitely capable of holding onto the trophy. Manuel Neuer is regarded as one of the worlds best goalkeepers and has Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels holding the line infront of him. This trio of Germans is a big enough problem for even the world’s best so this group should be no hassle defensively.
The midfield defensive pairing consists of Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos who will look to provide extra support for the defence along with giving the service for the 3 attacking midfielders and striker. This tournament seems to be full of quick, young, promising forwards and the German striker Timo Werner is no exception. The talented 22 year old had a part in 20+ goals in the Bundesliga this season and has been to go to choice to start up top for Germany.
Sitting just behind in the attacking midfield role will most likely be Thomas Muller who will be looking to get closer to compatriot Miroslav Klose’s goalscoring record of 16 goals, he’s currently sitting at 10 goals and with a few this tournament could definitely have a solid chance at beating his record. The Germans definitely have the squad to be progressing to the next stage of the tournament and it’d be a colossal shock if they were not to do so.
Predicted group finish: 1st
Mexico are a side that arguably should have won their group in a more comfortable fashion but nonetheless have a pacey, skillful side that have the potential to break down defences with ease. The Porto duo of Jesus Corona and Hector Herrera have the regular playing chemistry and with Herreras vision and Corona’s dribbling ability, it may prove to be an issue the attacking full backs of Germany and Korea.
Guillermo Ochoa will be looking to have a similar World Cup to what he did in 2014, where he was highlighted by many people for some outstanding saves and carried Mexico in his hands throughout their stay in that tournament.
Andres Guadardo’s box to box style helped Real Betis finish an unlikely 6th in the La Liga this season with him playing a part in over 10 goals, his work rate and passion to get the ball back and transfer that into an attacking situation will be vital in a side where they haven’t got a real powerhouse in their midfield with all 3 of them standing below 5ft 7. Mexico’s chances will rely on how well they can feed Corona and Giovanni Dos Santos down the wings, if they can’t get enough service for the two of them, they may struggle.
Predicted group finish: 3rd
Example group standings:
1st: Germany :9 Points
2nd: Sweden :4 Points
3rd: Mexico :2 Points
4th: South Korea :1 Point