World Cup Group F: Germany to retain their crown?
World Cup Group F: Germany to defend their crown?
Another four years has passed, which means another World Cup finals are here.
All eyes will be on Russia this summer as 32 nations face off to be crowned World champions.
We’re keeping you in the know as we delve into each of the groups and the teams to keep an eye on.
Today we take a look at Group F, as defending champions Germany hope to repeat their triumph in Brazil.
They make up a group with Mexico, South Korea and Sweden in what appears a vastly-competitive quartet.
Here’s the key info…
FIFA Ranking: 1
Manager: Joachim Low
Qualification: Eased through in their group winning 10 out of 10. Eleven points ahead of second-placed Northern Ireland.
Star player: Mesut Ozil
How far will they go? Anything less than the semi-finals would be a big disappointment. If they get on a run, Die Mannschaft will feel the defence of their title will well and truly be on.
Odds to win World Cup: 9/2
Fun fact: Mario Gotze – scorer of Germany’s World Cup winner in 2014 has not made the squad this time round.
FIFA Ranking: 15
Manager: Juan Carlos Osorio
Qualification: Mexico came through the qualification finishing top CONCACAF standings.
Star player: Javier Hernandez
How far will they go? A fierce battle for second spot will surely ensue here. But Mexico will have designs of at least matching their last-16 appearance four years ago.
Odds to win World Cup: 80/1
Fun fact: Rafael Marquez will be making his fourth consecutive World Cup appearance. His first was in Japan and South Korea in 2002. He would jump to second most of all time behind Lothar Matthaus and compatriot Antonio Carbajal with five.
FIFA Ranking: 57
Manager: Shin Tae-Yong
Qualification: Korea went through in second place behind Iran in the Asian qualifiers. A draw in their last game against Uzbekistan was enough to see them through to the World Cup finals.
Star player: Son Heung-Min
How far will they go? A repeat of their 2002 exploits looks nigh-on-impossible. But it did 16 years ago too! If they can muscle their way out of this group it will be a great achievement by this squad.
Odds to win World Cup: 250/1
Fun fact: Before their run to the last-four in 2002 South Korea had never won a game in a World Cup finals.
FIFA Ranking: 24
Manager: Janne Andersson
Qualification: A 1-0 aggregate win over Italy in the play-off round sent the Swedes to Russia.
Star player: Emil Forsberg
How far will they go? They will certainly fancy their chances of getting out the group. If, as expected Germany walk it, then it looks a straight fight between Sweden and Mexico.
The pair’s meeting on match day three in Group F may prove vital.
Odds to win World Cup: 80/1
Fun fact: Sweden’s best finish was third in USA ’94. Midfielder Tomas Brolin was the only Swede to make the team of the tournament.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication