The team to watch in Group F of the soccer World Cup finals is Germany. The reigning champions have one of the strongest squads in Russia, and many believe they are once again the team to beat.
Of course, the Germans must first go through the group stage, and their task seems harder than you would expect. Mexico, Sweden, and South Korea are teams with their own ambitions.
All of them have a good history in the World Cup and at least a couple of good players. On the surface, this is one of the tighter groups in the competition. However, I believe this won’t be the case here, as you will see in my analysis.
Let’s take a look at the teams and the betting opportunities Group F of the World Cup provides.
The German squad is stacked with talent in pretty much all departments. The only country that can compete in terms of both quality and depth is probably France.
Let’s start with the goalkeeper. There were some doubts over the fitness of the number 1 choice Manuel Neuer, but he will be in Russia. As German legend Sepp Maier says, he’s still the best around.
The mere fact that a guy like Barcelona’s Ter Stegen most probably won’t be starting is a testimony to the strength in depth that Germany has. It’s a similar situation all around the pitch.
Germany has one of the strongest defensive units, an excellent midfield that has both steel and flair, and some of the finest attacking talent. The likes of Kroos, Ozil, Marco Reus, Sami Khedira, and others are more than capable of destroying any team out there.
In fact, I believe Germany is actually stronger compared to 2014 because of the emergence of Timo Werner. The youngster is the typical striker the country has been lacking since Miroslav Klose got too old and then retired.
Even the coach, Joachim Low, has been around for ages and is one of the best in international football. If you add the typical team spirit and hard work, I firmly believe Germany will have no issues in the group stages and is one of the best teams in the World Cup.
Still, the odds of them going through are a bit low, so I have something else in mind, as you will see in the conclusion of this article.
Mexico is one of the most consistent teams in the soccer World Cup. The country has qualified for the final stage of the tournament more than 15 times. Furthermore, it has reached the knockout stages almost every time.
The funny thing is that Mexico has crashed in the last 16 in the past 6 World Cups. The team is always competitive enough to get out of the group but lacks that cutting edge to achieve something really great.
I believe the current Mexican squad is not the best you’ll see, but it’s certainly not the worst, either. The team is typically resilient and will be tough to beat because of the work ethic of every single player.
At the same time, there is enough quality on the pitch. For a start, Javier Hernandez is the all-time leading scorer of the Mexican national side and has proven to be a lethal finisher.
Then there’s skipper Andres Guardado, who will be participating in his 4th World Cup and bringing a lot of experience in the midfield of the team.
My expectations are that Mexico will entertain us a lot. The country will have a hard time reaching the later stages of the tournament, but they should be able to play in the last 16 again.
Although I don’t think they can top Germany to win the group, the price of 1.91 of them to progress is decent. But I believe there’s an even better bet in this group.
For years, Sweden relied heavily on Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The big guy was the main man, and in typical fashion, he recently said the World Cup would miss him.
The question is how Sweden will cope. To be honest, the country hardly rocked the world with Zlatan in its ranks. Sure, they reached the final stages in a couple of tournaments, but they failed to impress there.
I believe that the presence of Zlatan was probably hindering the potential of some of the other players, as the whole team was set up to accommodate the striker. With him gone now, others will have the opportunity to shine.
Ibrahimovic is capable of scoring all sorts of goals and is a natural-born leader. That’s a hard loss for any team to bear.
It’s hard to predict what will happen exactly, but I feel the Swedes won’t have enough to challenge Mexico, and finishing above Germany is out of the question.
They will rely on a solid defense led by Martin Olsson and Victor Lindelof and hope to keep the opposition from creating many chances.
Up front, Sweden doesn’t have a finisher like Zlatan anymore, but there are a couple of players who can certainly provide a lot of opportunities. The likes of Emil Forsberg and Seb Larsson are more than capable in this regard, so Sweden will be dangerous.
The big problem is that the country simply doesn’t have enough quality and strength in depth to compete with the favorites in the group.
At the end of the day, this is a transitional period, and reaching the finals of the World Cup seems like a good achievement already. Anything more would be a bonus, and I don’t see it happening.
A quick look at the odds shows you that the bookies don’t expect much from South Korea, and I will have to agree with them.
The country is good at reaching the finals, as this is the 9th consecutive time South Korea will participate in this stage of the World Cup. However, reaching the knockout round doesn’t happen too often.
The Asian country was among the hosts in 2002 when it finished 4th after a lot of controversy and also managed to reach the last 16 in 2010.
I don’t think South Korea has the potential to do so in Russia, mostly because the group is too strong. The team will rely on two main factors: hard work and some magic from Son Heung-min.
The Tottenham forward is the one player that stands out, and he is the one the whole country is looking at. However, I believe that Ki Sung-yueng will be equally important. The Swansea midfielder will have to help the defense and be creative at the same time.
If those two have a solid tournament, South Korea might do well. However, I still don’t believe the country has any chance of getting out of the group stage. This is why the odds seem right, and there are no valuable bets that I can recognize.
The Key Match in Group F
I believe Germany will win the group with 7 or 9 points, especially since the reigning champions face Mexico in the first game, and there’s no chance to underestimate the opponent.
This is why I believe the key match in Group F will be related to the second place. Mexico is my favorite to snatch it, and Sweden is the biggest threat.
The logical choice for the most important game is the clash between them in the third round. I expect Mexico to be ahead but Sweden to still have a chance if they win.
Final Prediction and Picks
The odds for Germany to win the group or qualify are way too short for my taste despite the fact that I believe both will be true at the end of the day. Also, Mexico at 1.91 is decent, but I think there’s a better option.
Germany and Mexico to qualify from the group as first and second is priced 2.25 with Bovada. This is where the best value lies, in my opinion.
The other bet I like is also available at Bovada and is related to South Korea. I don’t expect much from the Asians, so under 2.5 points in the group stage at 1.91 seems like an excellent choice.
More Group F Related Betting
On top of that, they are my top favorite to beat all the other European teams as the best team from this continent. You could also check the other betting opportunities I found when it comes to this particular betting market.
All in all, there are some fairly “safe” bets to be had involving Group F. The unexpected is always possible, though, so I won’t be counting my winnings just yet.
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