Group F: Mexico vs Sweden - soccer world cup Preview

Two players compete for ball


Mexico and Sweden will square off in what promises to be an entertaining contest on Wednesday the 27th of June 2018. 

Mexico head into their third soccer world cup match against Sweden as favourites after winning both of their games, including the famous victory against defending champions, Germany. Sweden were denied a point in stoppage time against the Germans, leaving them with all to do in this tie.

Mexico vs Sweden | Group F | Wednesday 27 June | Ekaterinburg Arena | 16:00

To Win (90 Mins)
Mexico 5/4
Draw 9/4
Sweden 43/20

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Mexico
Mexico will be brimming with confidence after their impressive displays in their first two games against the defending champions, Germany, and South Korea. The Mexicans need a point to confirm qualification to the Last 16, but a win would ensure top spot in Group F.

Topping the Group F comes with its own benefits such as avoiding Group E winners, which could be the five-time world champions Brazil. Yes, there are no easy games in the knockout stages but it’s better to face teams like Brazil in the later stages of the competition.

Hirving Lozano, who scored the solitary goal in their first game, was again excellent in the build-up to the penalty which Carlos Vela converted and assisted Javier Hernandez to score his 50th international goal in the match against South Korea.

Sweden are more of a defensive team, but this time I’m afraid they have to do all the attacking as they have to win this game and that will open doors for a counter-attack, which is one of Mexico’s strengths. Mexico are a bigger attacking threat than Sweden, the likes of Lozano, Hernandez and Vela will be knocking on the Swedish door.


Sweden
Sweden were left disappointed after being denied a point in the last minute of stoppage time against 10-man Germany. Ola Toivonen gave the Swedes the lead in the 33rd minute, while Marco Reus levelled matters early in the second half, and Toni Kroos completed the comeback.

This leaves the Scandinavians with a mountain to climb with their round three opponents, Mexico, already on six points. Germany are expected to win their match against South Korea so all three teams could end up with equal points. Meaning a win may still not be enough for Sweden, so they will have to score two or more to be safe.

Sweden’s main striker Marcus Berg has been very disappointing, missing one-on-one chances in both matches played. Sweden can’t afford to miss any clear-cut chances as it may come down to goal difference.

The Swedes, however, do have a better head-to-head record against Mexico after these sides locked horns on four occasions. With one win for the Mexicans, a draw and two wins for Sweden – their only finals clash happened back in 1958, when the Scandinavians took a comprehensive 3-0 victory on home soil.

Verdict: Mexico 5/4
Sweden will have no choice but to attack from the first whistle as anything but a win will mean they are out of the competition. Attacking could open doors for the Mexicans to counter and they are very quick on transition, that’s one of their strong points. That said, back Mexico to finish top of Group F with nine points.

Written by Banele Pikwa
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