World Cup Preview – Group F | South Korea v Mexico – Germany v Sweden

World champions Germany could be the third champions in-a-row to bow out in the Group stages on Saturday.

Germany lost first time out to Mexico, which means defeat to Sweden in Sochi will likely end their hopes of defending the title.

German boss Joachim Low is under increasing pressure, and he admits they need to get back to winning ways.

“It is disappointing to have lost the first match, it’s a situation we are not used to at all, in the many tournaments before we always won the first match but we have to accept this situation.

“Everyone is very unhappy but tomorrow we have to look forward. Our team has experience of dealing with losses, the next match will be decisive and we have to win it.”

Although Low admitted that his side need to improve, he also insisted that his tactics will remain the same for Germany’s remaining matches.

“We will not change our match plan because if we are able to play out our ideas then we have players who can deliver.”

Swedish boss Janne Andersson realises that Germany are under huge pressure going into the game.

“Germany are the ones faced with a dilemma,” he said.

“We are going to prepare in the best way possible and then we’ll see. We need to dare to do even more.”

Mexico take on South Korea, and three points for Juan Carlos Osorio’s side will likely see them through, and mean Korea’s hope are just about gone.

Osorio comes into the game with Sweden admitting that he may need to make changes due to the different style offered

“I think that when we really analyze it, a team that normally has seven, eight or nine [regular] players shows consistency in its starting XI. However, there is always the possibility of two or three tactical alternatives, without any doubt,” said Osorio.

“With [Sweden’s] well-defined 4-4-2, they will leave very little space behind the defensive line,.”

Korea’s star man Son Heung-min admits that their camp is not too happy after defeat to Sweden in their opener.

“We had prepared for the Sweden game for a long time. It was such an important match for us because it was our group opener, but the result was not exactly what we wanted,” Son said.

“I’d have to admit that the atmosphere in the camp is not so good at the moment. Nevertheless, we’ve still got two games to play and we should prepare well with a positive attitude.”

See below for a preview on the games, including predictions from former England and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and bet365’s Steve Freeth.

South Korea 16:00 Mexico
Rostov Arena, Rostov
Live on ITV

South Korea:
Jo Hyeonwoo; Lee Yong, Kim Younggwon, Jang Hyunsoo, Kim Minwoo; Ki Sungyueng, Jung Wooyoung, Lee Jaesung; Hwang Heechan, Son Heungmin, Lee Seungwoo

Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa; Carlos Salcedo, Hugo Ayala, Hector Moreno, Jesus Gallardo; Miguel Layun, Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado; Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano

KEY FACT: Mexico have not lost their second match at a FIFA World Cup since Argentina 1978
Match odds from bet365: KOREA 19/4 DRAW 11/4 MEXICO 7/10
bet365 Pick: Mexico win and over 2.5 goals @15/8
ANDY SAYS: Tough call this one and I can see it ending in a draw, I think Korea will get something…1-1
GRAEME SAYS: I don’t Mexico not winning this one, they looked good in first game…0-2
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Hirving Lozano – one of the star performers in Russia so far, worth investing in

Germany 19:00 Sweden
Fisht Stadium, Sochi
Live on ITV

Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Jonas Hector; Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos; Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus; Mario Gomez

Sweden: Robin Olsen; Mikael Lustig, Viktor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Ludwig Augustinsson; Viktor Claesson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg; Marcus Berg, Ola Toivonen

KEY FACT: If Sweden can win against the defending champions in Sochi, it will be the first time they have won consecutive matches at the FIFA World Cup since they hosted the event in 1958.
Match odds from bet365: GERMANY 8/15 DRAW 17/5 SWEDEN 6/1
bet365 Pick: Sweden +1 @2/1
ANDY SAYS: Have to go with Germany to bounce back to form and claim the win they need…3-0
GRAEME SAYS: Tough game for Germany but I don’t see them being denied their three points…2-0
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Emil Forsberg – the Swede impressed first time out and is one to watch, well worth picking up

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