Sweden and South Korea are the outsiders in Group F, but a win for either could give either side them the momentum to build a solid run within the tournament.
Sweden to win @ 11/10 – BET NOW
Sweden are unsurprisingly the favourites in this match up as they made it through a difficult qualification campaign to book their ticket to Russia. A shock win in the play-offs against four-time World Cup champions Italy saw the Scandinavian side qualify for the first time since Germany 2006.
The Swede’s reliance on former PSG, Barcelona and Manchester United forward, Zlatan Ibrahimovi? has allowed the country’s national side to return to their hardworking, grafting style of play. RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg is the only ‘star’ player Sweden have in their arsenal as this unit look more determined without the ego of Zlatan holding them back.
South Korea are no where near the quality of the 2002 semi-finalist side that shocked the world during their stint as co-hosts with Japan. Tottenham’s Son Heung-min is the South Korean side’s biggest attacking threat and his strong form when needed to step into an injured Harry Kane’s boots will feed his manager with confidence, but with many of the side playing their trade in Asia or in the lower echelons of top-level European football, the quality within the team is too top-heavy.
Mexico might be an experienced World Cup side, but their inconsistency on the pitch opens up the possibility that either of these side will feel like they have a chance of qualifying for the last 16 with Group favourites and current reigning champions, Germany.
Sweden to Win to Nil @ 21/10 – BET NOW
Sweden have kept a clean sheet in four out of their last six matches including two clean sheets against Italy in the World Cup play-offs. Their experienced captain, Granqvist has formed a strong partnership in central defence with Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof which has given the Swedish side a bit of steel.
While results have been inconsistent with a string of 0-0 draws against Denmark and Peru and losses to Chile and Romania in March, in the tournament setting Sweden should have far too much creativity in players like Forsberg and the pacey winger of Claessen from Russian side Krasnodar suppling the in-form Marcus Berg up top who scored 8 goals in qualification.
South Korea have faulted against sides at a similar level leading up to the tournament and their last game was a 2-0 loss against Senegal which was proceeded with a draw at home to Bolivia and a home loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Neither side will have any pressure to qualify and neither side enter the tournament with a strong run of form, but It is hard to see past a well-drilled Swedish side that reached the tournament ahead of the usual suspects in Italy and the Netherlands along their journey to Russia.
Below is the result for the last six games played by Sweden and South Korea. The winners for each game are highlighted in bold.
Sweden 0 – 0 Peru (09/06/2018)
Sweden 0 – 0 Denmark (02/06/2018)
Romania 1 – 0 Sweden (27/03/2018)
Sweden 1 – 2 Chile (24/03/2018)
Italy 0 – 0 Sweden (13/11/2017)
Sweden 1 – 0 Italy (10/11/2017)
Senegal 2 – 0 South Korea (11/06/2018)
South Korea 0 – 0 Bolivia (07/06/2018)
South Korea 1 – 3 Bosnia & Herzegovina (01/06/2018)
South Korea 2 – 0 Honduras (28/05/2018)
Poland 3 – 2 South Korea (27/03/2018)
Northern Ireland 2 – 1 South Korea (24/03/2018)
Sweden predicted line up: Robin Olsen, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Ludwig Augustinsson, Viktor Claessen, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Ola Toivonen, Marcus Berg
South Korea predicted line up: Kim Seung-gyu, Lee Yong, Kim Young-Gwon, Jang Hyun-Soo, Kim Min-Woo, Park Joo-Ho, Moon Seon-Min, Ki Sung-Yeung, Koo Ja-Cheol, Lee Seung-Woo, Son Heung-Min
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