World Cup Group F Preview - The 'group of death'

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 0 7,644

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Group F looks one of the stronger groups at the tournament. EFE

World Cup Group F Preview - The 'group of death'

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 0 7,644

We take an in-depth look at Group F ahead of this summer's World Cup.

Who is in the group?

Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea.

Who are the favourites?

Reining world champions, currently ranked number one in the world and with a 100% record in qualifying, look no further than Germany as favourites to top the group.

The teams:

Germany:

'Die Mannschaft' sent out an ominous message to all-comers when what was effectively their 'B' side won the Confederations Cup last summer and go into this one as favourites in many people's eyes. Joachim Low's team went unbeaten in 2017 as well as winning all 10 of their games in qualifying and scoring 43 goals in the process. Such is the wealth of options available to Low that Mario Gotze, who scored the winner in Brazil, and Leroy Sane, the Premier League's Young Player of the Year, were not deemed worthy of a place in the squad. The Germans' have finished third or higher in each of their last four World Cups and are expected to be there or thereabouts again this summer, particularly given their ranking as the best team in the world in the eyes of FIFA. With their penchant for progressing late into tournaments, no team has played more World Cup matches than the 'Nationalelf' (106).

Mexico:

Always the bridemaids, never the bride. Mexico have been knocked out int he round of 16 in their last six World Cups in a row, something they will be looking to fix this time around. A place int he quarter-finals would be seen as a success, but with a second-place finish likely to give them a tie with Brazil, they may be cut down in familiar territory once again. After qualifying with three games to spare, the talent in this side is obious. Hirving Lozano, Jesus Corona, Javier Hernandez and the Dos Santos brothers all bring huge amounts of talent to the party, which when tallied with the combativity of Hector Herrera and the evergreen Raphael Marquez hints at a strong side on paper.

Sweden:

Sweden return to the tournament following a 12-year absence this summer, though the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic still hangs over the national team. Ibrahimovic will not feature in Russia, having retired from international duty following Euro 2016. The play-off victory over Italy demonstrates that this Sweden side is one that relishes a big occasion, but with few star names, not many will be expecting them to hang around too long this summer.

South Korea:

The 'Taeguk Lions' only secured a place at the tournament with a goalless draw with Uzbekistan in their final qualifying fixture, leading many to write off their chances this summer. Manager Shin Tae-yong will be hoping that stars Son Heung-min and Ki Sung-yeung play to their full potential as they look to summon the spirit of 2002, when they reached the semi-finals on home soil. This summer's tournament will be South Korea's ninth in a row, a run only bettered by Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain. Having picked up just one point in Brazil in 2014, the 'Red Devils' will be keen to display a tangible improvement in Russia.

Team guides:

Germany

Mexico

Sweden

South Korea

Matt Morley

Matt Morley

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