World Cup Preview: Mexico v Sweden

Mexico and Sweden are set to face off in a match that could very well decide who goes home in Group F. A win or draw from Mexico send them through as Group F leaders. However, a win by Sweden and, a win from Germany in their game against South Korea could have Mexico packing their bags and heading home. Group F is there for the taking!

Mexico v Sweden

Sweden Capsizes as Mexico Capitalizes

Mexico followed up their shock win against Germany with a somewhat convincing victory against a very physical South Korea side. Ricardo Osorio’s side went up by two before Heung-min Son pulled one back in stoppage time. Meanwhile, in Group F’s following match, Germany shocked the world with a thrilling comeback against Sweden. Germany, down by one, leveled the match soon after half-time and took the lead with less than a minute to play in order to take all three points. Germany’s winning goal came off a stunning set-piece play courtesy of Marco Reus and Toni Kroos.

Mexico

Germany’s win took away Mexico’s assured passage to the round-of-sixteen. With that in mind, Mexico will now have to draw or win to qualify. Which is both good and bad. This is good because it forces Mexico to continue playing well and to keep their momentum going forward. It is simultaneously bad because now Mexico can’t afford to rest key players against Sweden.

Mexico’s game plan will be somewhat similar to the one they utilized against Germany. Only needing a draw to qualify, Osorio might set up his side to absorb Sweden’s pressure and punish them on the counter-attack. For Mexico to succeed they have to start the game well, be clinical in front of goal, and keep it clean and tidy at the back. Hector Moreno and Hector Herrera will have to be careful to avoid another booking, which would make them ineligible for their fourth game, should they advance in the tournament. Mexico’s key man will be Hirving Lozano, as his trickery and pace will keep the Swedes on their toes when he takes control of the ball.

Sweden

After their devastating loss against Germany in their second match, Sweden will be looking to get a positive result against Mexico to keep their World Cup hopes alive. This will be no easy task, as Mexico have become a force to be reckoned with this World Cup. Sweden’s game plan could differ from their game against Germany. Janne Andersson’s side, in need of a win, must take the initiative against Mexico. This could prove to be dangerous as Mexico have already proven to be lethal against the run of play. Seb Larsson and Emil Forsberg will be crucial in Sweden’s hunt for three points. With the former Arsenal man, being deadly from set-pieces and the latter having an innate ability to create goal-scoring opportunities from the wing.

Game Details

The match kicks off at 15:00 GMT at Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg.

Predicted Line-ups

Mexico: Ochoa, Salcedo, Ayala, Moreno, Gallardo, Herrera, Guardado, Layun, Vela, Lozano, Hernandez

Sweden: Olsen, Granqvist, Lustig, Jansson, Augustinsson, Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg, Claesson, Berg, Toivonen

Prediction:

Mexico 2-1 Sweden, with Mexico topping group F and going into the round of 16 with bags of confidence.

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