2018 World Cup Group F Preview
Current World Champions Germany sure will win Group F, with manager Joachim Löw boasting an extremely talented, experienced and deep squad. Not much differences between Mexico and Sweden in the battle for second place with little expectation from South Korea.
Germany are aiming to become the first nation since Brazil in 1962 to retain the World Cup 2018
trophy. Boasting a rich history in the tournament, the Germans have won four World Cups and will equal Brazil with five if they can retain it in Russia. Joachim Löw has been in charge since 2006 and enjoyed tremendous success, having never failed to reach the semi-finals of every international tournament contested.
Germany breezed through qualification, the only team to win every game by scoring 43 goals with just four conceded. The goals were scored by 21 different players which highlights the difficulty Löw has in selecting his attacking department. Big names like Phillip Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose and Per Mertesacker have all retired but the players in current squad have enough quality to compensate.
Joshua Kimmich, Antonio Rüdiger, Niklas Süle, Emre Can, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sané and Timo Werner are just some of the players emerging for Germany who have developed a production line of top class talent for many years to come.
With experienced campaigners in Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller, the Germans have only one aim and that is winning the World Cup.
Mexico will be participating in their 7th consecutive tournament in Russia. The Mexicans never managed to go further than the round of 16 of all World Cup. The Mexicans qualified for the World Cup top of their group.
Colombian manager Juan Carlos Osorio has been at the helm since 2015 and should have enough talent at his disposal to reach the round of 16. Led by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and captain Andrés Guardado, they have numbers of top quality attackers including Carlos Vela, Jesús Corona, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez and 22-year-old sensation Hirving Lozano.
Chicharito has struggled since his move to West Ham this season, but Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer needs just two goals to become Mexico’s greatest ever goal scorer at the World Cup. The big query surrounding their midfield, with little depth beyond Héctor Herrera and Guardado. Mexico are one of the most unpredictable teams at the World Cup.
South Korea qualified for their ninth consecutive World Cup, finishing nine points behind Iran, the Taegeuk Warriors qualified in second position by scoring 11 goals and conceding 10 with a record of four wins, three draws and three defeats.
Manager Tae-Yong Shin has been in charge since July 2017. Shin will be relying heavily on Heung-Min Son who is clearly South Korean most influential player. The 2017 Asian player of the year has excelled for Tottenham this season and will need to be at his best for Korea to reach the round of 16.
Swansea’s Sung-Yong Ki and Augsburg’s Ja-Cheol Koo are likely to be important players alongside Son while Red Bull Salzburg’s 22-year-old striker Hee-Chan Hwang is quietly making a name for himself and will have a chance to impress in Russia. The Koreans surprised many by finishing fourth on home soil in 2002 but will struggle to get out of Group F in Russia.
Sweden boast a proud history in the World Cup having finished 3rd in 1994 after an agonising semi-final defeat to champions Brazil
. The Blue-Yellow haven’t appeared on football’s biggest stage since 2006 when they were knocked out in the round of 16 against Germany. Sweden’s road to Russia was particularly difficult.
Manager Janne Andersson has been in charge since 2016 and deserves much of the credit for guiding his nation to Russia. Emil Forsberg has emerged as the most influential player for Sweden while much will be expected from Victor Lindelöf. Striker Marcus Berg scored eight goals in qualification but the question about Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s selection is likely until Andersson finalises his squad.
Germany should comfortably lead the group with Mexico and Sweden battling for second place. Mexico have the pedigree to qualify and the Swedish proved they are a tough and resilient side.
Finish bottom of Group F: Korea Republic at 1.88