Germany vs Sweden
This is not the picture many of Germany’s die-hard supporters thought they would see when Germany started the defence of their 2014 title.
However, that’s just not the way the football gods roll. They throw you whatever dice they feel like throwing, and it is up to you on how you will deal with the odds that are thrown your way. And depending on how you look at Sweden, Germany are in for a great time or a tough challenge.
The Blaguit currently share top spots with giant-killers Mexico after taking care of business against Korea Republic in their first Group F game. They will try to make the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup 2018 by dooming their strong opponents to a group stage exit.
Of course, we can expect more organised football from Joachim Low’s lads as they fight to stay in the World Cup. However, will the Blagult even let the out-of-shape Germans get in scoring form and harm their chances of making it past this dangerous group stage?
It’s extremely difficult to talk about Germany and not discuss the drubbing they endured at the hands of Mexico. They were heavily outplayed by El Tri with pinpoint passes and lightning pace that made the most out of Germany’s slow start during their run-up to Moscow. Sweden will definitely look at the Mexico game for pointers as to how to defeat the seemingly tough German football machine.
However, it’s not as if the Germans are suddenly the underdogs just because of a single game. They still have quality players across the board that can make big plays and affect the FIFA World Cup 2018 results at the drop of the hat. They are the top-ranked team in the rankings for a reason, and they shouldn’t have any problems reorganizing ahead of this important fixture.
However, those players need to step up now. Team captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer shared that the team has been pensive of their performance in the opener. He shared that the team is talking it out amongst themselves in order to sort out the issues that bogged down their football.
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer speaks during a press conference at the World Cup 2018
“No one is shying away from responsibility,” said Neuer of what the team has been doing ever since losing to Mexico. We talked about the game on the bus, and we talk at every meal. We say our opinion.”
Meanwhile, Sweden are reaping the benefits of playing strong football against Korea Republic and now sit atop a competitive Group F alongside Mexico. While the win was rife with controversy, it’s hard to deny that the Swedes did their homework well and played some fantastic football against their Asian opponents.
They could probably not use the same spying tactic they used against the Taegeuk Warriors, but they do have Emil Forsberg ready to take the lead for the Blagult.
The RB Leipzig star is more than familiar with more than half of the players in the German roster and should know how to somewhat contain them. He also knows that he only needs to play his usual football if he wants Sweden to make it out of the group stages.
“I live with high pressure every day, but the highest pressure comes from myself. I set my bar very, very high because I know what I can do,” he said.
“I just need to be Emil Forsberg, to believe in it, receive the ball and get my feet moving. It’s been lacking recently, but it’s coming.”
These two countries have met to play football 36 times, the first of which was held in 1911. The two have split the spoils, with Germany winning 15 games and Sweden 13. If we look at their history from 1992, however, it would be pretty obvious that Germany outplayed the Swedes more often than not.
Recent forms tell of a different story from their head-to-heads. Germany did not win four of their last five matches, and one of the opponents they played during that stretch was a country that wasn’t even making an appearance at the World Cup.
Sweden have also somewhat struggled during the same stretch of games, but their last three were more favourable than Germany’s. Their draws against Denmark and Peru definitely helped them secure a nice 1-0 win over the South Koreans.
What are the odds?
Emil Forsberg attempts to score against two defenders during Sweden’s match against South Korea
There are plenty of interesting FIFA World Cup 2018 odds available at us, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to make the winning bet.
In the Asian Handicap market, Germany -1.25 @ 2.05 does seem intriguing, but a 1-0 finish seems more promising. A +1.25 boost for Sweden will reward punters with 1.88 odds. They’re not as good as their German counterparts, but it’s the more logical decision.
I don’t think either side will be able to score in the first half, so Under 1.00 Goals for 2.00 is a worthwhile punt to consider. A correct score of 1-0 Germany is also a tempting proposition of 5.40. However, a 1-0 giant-killing by Sweden is at 18.00.
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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