World Cup 2018 | Germany v Sweden Tips | 23rd June 2018
GROUP F of the 2018 World Cup continues on Saturday as defending champions Germany take on Sweden in Sochi. Mark O’Haire shares his thoughts on the best betting angle.
Defending champions Germany made a disastrous start to their bid to win back-to-back World Cups with a shock defeat by Mexico. Hirving Lozano’s first-half goal was the difference between the two sides in an enthralling encounter, but the surprising result was not the only concern for Germany coach Joachim Low.
His disjointed side looked extraordinarily vulnerable on the break even before they were punished with the only goal of the game. Die Mannschaft had come into the tournament on the back of some unconvincing displays and results in their recent friendlies, but there had been no sign of panic in their camp.
Things were very different in Moscow, with Germany showing little of the composure or class we associate with them. Even before they went behind, they were often over-run in midfield, with Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira unable to offer their defence any protection from Mexico’s rapid counter-attacks.
Meanwhile, Sweden made the perfect start to their World Cup campaign with victory over South Korea. Centre-half and skipper Andreas Granqvist notched from the penalty spot in a tame contest in which the Blue-Yellow never really looked in danger of losing.
Few goals fancied
Germany have now won just once in seven – against Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen – losing three of their last four and Low is rumoured to be shuffling his midfield and forward pack as they hunt down a vital victory in Sochi.
Die Mannschaft have leaked first in four of their past six outings but another defat would a major surprise and as the old adage goes, never write off the Germans. However, Sweden can make life difficult for the 2014 champions.
The obdurate Scandinavians frustrated France, Netherlands and Italy en-route to Russia and with seven of their last eight games paying out for Under 2.5 Goals backers – with of those meetings featuring no more than a solitary strike – it makes sense to oppose goals here.