After getting stunned by Mexico in the first round of the World Cup, defending champion Germany is in a must-win situation heading into its second round Group F match against Sweden on Saturday. Conversely, 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.
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Germany vs. Sweden 2018 World Cup Betting Lines & Game Analysis
— Thomas Müller (@esmuellert_) 21 de junio de 2018
- When: 23 Jun 2018 – 21:00 Local time
- Where: Fisht Stadium Sochi
- TV/Live Stream: Fox Sports / Fox Sports Go
- 2018 World Cup Betting Lines: Germany -227 / Sweden +632 / Draw +365 (Total at 2.5 goals)
Teams Profile (Germany/Sweden)
- Confederation: UEFA / UEFA
- Head Coach: Joachim Low / Janne Andersson
- Captain: Manuel Neuer / Andreas Granqvist
- FIFA Ranking: 1 / 24
- World Cup Appearances: 18 / 12
A Little Bit of History
Germany coach Joachim Low is, in a sense, the only remaining member from either team from the previous meeting between the two sides when they squared off in the 2006 FIFA World Cup when Germany met Sweden in the Round of 16. Low was assistant to then-German coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
While Germany won that last meeting, let it be known that the last time a defending World Cup champion lost an opening match 1-0, they failed to get out of the group stage. The only such winner was France, in 2002, who went down 1-0 to newcomers Senegal at Korea/Japan 2002.
Germany and Sweden have met four times in the world’s biggest and most beloved soccer tournament with the Germans emerging victorious on three occasions. Sweden managed to beat Germany in 1958 in the World Cup that was held on its own soil. The Swedes won 3-1 in Gothenburg that day, sending them through to the final against Brazil and the legendary Pele.
Back to the Present
“We are the world champions, so everyone wants to beat us,” midfielder Sami Khedira stated to the media this morning. “There were gaps of 30, 40 meters in our team. There is no way to defend these gaps.”
After losing their opening match to Mexico the Germans have a ton of pressure on them to get the win and stay alive in this match.
Sweden’s Emil Forsberg is not expecting that to have any effect on the outcome of their match against Germany.
“I’ve talked to some journalists so I know what’s happening. Of course, there is a lot of criticism. They came here as big favorites and have an incredible team. And if you don’t win you get critics. But they are mentally very strong and I’m counting on us having to work really hard on Saturday.
The Champions Plan
Germany is planning on controlling their pitch a lot more than they did against Mexico in the first game of Group F.
“We have to avoid giving the ball away easily, especially in the build-up”, Marco Reus said following the Mexico game. “The fewer balls we are giving away, the better we are looking as a team.”
Superstar striker Thomas Muller downplayed any notion that there wasn’t team unity.
“I think we took things a bit too lightly after the warm-up games,” Muller said. “Internally we made no bones about it, we were self-critical and said we need to do this, that and the other.
- 1-M. Neuer
- 17-J. Boateng
- 5-M. Hummels
- 2-M. Plattenhardt
- 18-J. Kimmich
- 10-M. Özil
- 6-S. Khedira
- 8-T. Kroos
- 7-J. Draxler
- 13-T. Müller
- 9-T. Werner
- 1-R. Olsen
- 4-A. Granqvist
- 2-M. Lustig
- 18-P. Jansson
- 6-L. Augustinsson
- 7-S. Larsson
- 8-A. Ekdal
- 10-E. Forsberg
- 17-V. Claesson
- 9-M. Berg
- 20-O. Toivonen
Expert Final Analysis & Score Prediction
I’ve got to believe that Germany is going to somehow manage to find a way to win this match. The Germans are unbeaten in their last 11 games against Sweden (winning six, drawing five). Thomas Muller has scored 10 goals from just 14 shots on target at the World Cup. However, he was also the only player for Germany to not register a single shot in their opening match defeat. I don’t see that happening again and I’m expecting Germany to advance.
Sweden’s goal against South Korea was their first in 402 minutes of international football since Ola Toivonen scored against Chile back in March.
Score: Germany 2 – Sweden 0
More 2018 World Cup Odds & Previews
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