In every World Cup, there are always one or two groups that are going to be tougher for teams to navigate than the others. It is more than fair to suggest that Group F may fall into that category when play begins in Russia next Thursday. Germany, the defending world champions are in as the favorites in the group, but they have not been dealt what anyone would call an easy hand. For the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Mexico and Sweden are going to really push the champions in this group, while South Korea has the ability to spring a surprise and truly upset the apple cart.
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The Germans are the champions until someone can knock them off their perch, and the chances of that happening in this group seem pretty slim. The reality here is that when compared to the other squads that the other 3 teams are bringing to Russia, the Germans are leaps and bounds ahead. Coach Low always puts together a sound tactical plan, which is also part of what makes this team so effective. It certainly helps that he has the players to fit any style of play he chooses to adopt. I think the Germans will top the group, and they may even do so with maximum points.
The real battle in Group F appears to be for the second qualification spot, and the Mexicans are certainly in the hunt. Their build-up to the World Cup has not been particularly impressive, but they did have several players battling injuries that were potentially going to keep them out of the squad. Mexico is solid in midfield, and have a legitimate goal scorer in Javier Hernandez. He will be called upon to finish the chances that a very good midfield will supply to him. If Chicharito can find his form, Mexico could move on.
Sweden is a bit of a surprise entry into this tournament, but when you look at how they got here, you see that they are a team that cannot be written off. The Swedes finished second in their qualifying group, which meant they had to go into a playoff game against Italy, a team that is essentially an ever-present at the World Cup. Sweden stunned the Italians over the two-leg playoff, failing to give up a goal in the process. The other teams in this group need only look at those games to see just how tough this lot is going to be to break down.
The Koreans had a relatively safe passage to Russia in qualifying, but they also benefitted from what was a very weak qualifying group. One major issue for this team is that they failed to register a win on the road during the qualification phase, and at times looked very poor. A new coach appears to have made some changes for the better and has put together a team that can kill opponents with a blistering counterattack. Son Heung-Min had a great season with Tottenham, proving that he can score goals at the highest level. This is a team that has the ability to be very dangerous, so be on the lookout for a potential upset.
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