Germany vs Sweden World Cup Preview

As the defending champions, Germany has one of the best World Cup 2018 odds and they are expected to top Group F at this year’s tournament. However, Germany lost their first game to Mexico and will not be scrambling to notch a win which makes this game even more important for them.

The Germans and Swedes have played each other on the international stage 22 times, with Germany winning 10 of the meetings and Sweden winning eight. The remaining four games ended in draws. Germany has the upper hand in the most recent meetings, winning five of the last seven meetings, the most recent being a 2013 World Cup qualification match.

Germany AnalysisThe Germans had no problems during qualification, winning all 10 of their matches and finishing 11 points ahead of Northern Ireland in Group C. The German squad was a well-oiled machine, scoring 43 goals during qualification.

But, Mexico rocked the Germans and sent a shockwave through the soccer world, and apparently Mexico, when they defeated them for the first time ever in their opening game 1-0.

This puts Germany in peril and will complicate their game against Sweden as they’re now forced to win in order to not find themselves leaving early for home.

Germany must earn at least four points from the last two group matches to avoid being eliminated in the first round, something which hasn’t happened since 1938. Four years ago, Germany did not lose any games defeating France, Brazil, and Argentina on their route to claim the world title.

Offensively, they are led by Thomas Muller, who scored eight goals in the Bundesliga last season and five goals during World Cup qualifications. He will be joined up front by Mario Gomez, who also scored eight goals in the Bundesliga this season and two goals during World Cup qualifications.

Germany’s midfield is stacked with players like Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, and Sebastian Rudy, who are expected to help the team control the tempo and create offensive opportunities for the forwards.

The German defense is also very stout but was disappointing in their friendlies leading up to the start of the World Cup. They are anchored by Jerome Boateng, who was a big part of their World Cup win in 2014, and his Bayern Munich teammates Mats Hummels and Joshua Kimmich. Their defense will be tested early by the Swedes, but they should be able to hold up and avoid giving up an early goal.

Germany switched between a back four and a back three throughout qualifying games and in recent friendlies. However, though they’re very strong when using a back four they have to sacrifice a man in midfield which might make them vulnerable against Sweden who can take advantage of the wide spaces left when Germany goes on the attack.

Sweden Analysis

The Swedes are making their return to the World Cup for the first time since 2006 and were unfortunate to be put in the same group as Germany and Mexico.

Offensively, Sweden will be hoping that Emil Forsberg returns to form to give them a much-needed boost. The 26-year-old winger missed nearly two months of action this season while recovering from a muscle injury. Forsberg, who plays for RB Leipzig, scored 50 goals in less than 200 games in six seasons in the Swedish league before moving to Germany.

Marcus Berg is thriving under manager Janne Andersson’s stratagem and has done a great job in filling Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s boots by scoring eight goals in nine qualifiers, including four against Luxembourg in an 8-0 win. Viktor Claesson is also expected to provide some offense for the Swedes after scoring 12 goals for Russian club Krasnodar this season.

Defensively, Sweden has a very solid unit, which gave up only nine goals in 12 qualification games. They will be led by captain Andreas Granqvist and Victor Lindelof, who plays for Manchester United. The Swedes will be hoping their defense holds up against Germany’s potent offense.

Sweden finds itself in the driver’s seat now that they’ve defeated South Korea in their opener which gives them the valuable three points. The Swedes now have a solid shot at winning the group and they have Germany backed up against a wall.

Pick and Predictions The Germans are heavily favored to win this match, but Sweden will give them a run for their money, thanks to their defense. Expect the Germans to win a close game.

 
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