World Cup Group F preview: Key stats, info and odds
Cian Carroll | 11 June 2018
Holders Germany should have little issue qualifying…
The summer showpiece is nearly here as Russia gears up to host the latest edition of the World Cup.
32 teams and eight groups are on the radar and Group F analysis is next up. The Coral News Team takes a closer look at the four teams in this pool…
Manager: Joachim Low has been head coach of the national team since 2006 and led the side to glory in Brazil in 2014. Previously he was assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann.
Best World Cup result: Winners (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
How they play: Die Mannschaft generally play a ‘Bayern Munich’ style of football. They control the ball, and the tempo of the game, dominating their opponents in and out of possession.
One to watch: Timo Werner. The RB Leipzig youngster could start as the main striker with Thomas Muller shunted out wide. The 22-year-old managed 21 club goals last season and could be on the move this summer.
Things to consider: Low doesn’t have too much to worry about right now. Manuel Neuer hasn’t played much football this season. But the Bayern stopper has made the squad. Leaving out Leroy Sane has caused a bit of a kerfuffle. However, Marco Reus and Julian Brandt are hardly of poor quality.
Manager: Interestingly, Juan Carlos Osorio was a former conditioning coach under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. However, the 57-year-old has won four titles in Colombia and managed Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Best World Cup result: Quarter-finals (1970, 1986)
How they play: Osorio relies on tactical fluidity to get the best out of this Mexico squad. But they generally play with a withdrawn striker to make them difficult to break down and maintain possession more easily.
One to watch: Hirving Lozano. The 22-year-old PSV Eindhoven winger has had a tremendous season in the Eredivisie scoring 16 goals from the left-wing. He’s tipped to make a big impression in Russia.
Things to consider: Mexico have had their pre-tournament issues before and this year is no different. A number of the squad were reportedly joined by around 30 women at a late night party after their weekend win over Scotland. The Mexican media have been scrutinising the events closely.
Manager: Before taking the national team job, Janne Anderson led IFK Norrkoping to the 2015 Allsvenskan title ahead of Swedish giants Malmo.
Best World Cup result: Finalists in 1958.
How they play: After Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s retirement, Andersson went back to basics. He got the side to go back to hard-working, in-your-face football. They’re all about tactical solidity and playing on the break.
One to watch: Emil Forsberg. The RB Leipzig ace has been a Bundesliga revelation and has been strongly linked with Arsenal. Most of Sweden’s attacking midfield play will go through the 26-year-old.
Things to consider: Ola Toivonen is Sweden’s main man up top but a big worry has been his lack of game-time for club side Toulouse. The 31-year-old likes to drop deep and link up play but his sharpness could be in question.
Manager: Shin Tae-yong took over from the sacked Uli Stielike near the end of a mediocre qualification campaign and guided the Taeguk Warriors to Russia. The 49-year-old has risen through the South Korea ranks having managed the U-23 side.
Best World Cup result: Semi-finals in 2002.
How they play: Quick transitions and fast counter-attacking is a staple of South Korean football. Expect waves of attacks that you’d see in a Bundesliga game.
One to watch: Son Heung-min. It’s an obvious one, but the hopes of the nation will rest upon the Tottenham Hotspur forward’s shoulders.
Things to consider: Defensively, South Korea can tend to be a bit of a shambles at times. A simple ball over the top can often cause carnage. Another issue is where to play Son. His best performances for the national team have come up top in a front-two. But he may be employed on the left of a flat-midfield four to shoehorn more attacking quality into the side.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing