Defending champions Germany will start the defence of their World Cup title as favourites to progress from Group E, despite facing three teams with plenty of World Cup experience.
Mexico will be looking to keep up their record of successfully getting out of the group stages – they have managed it in each of the last six World Cups – while Sweden, conquerors of Italy in qualifying, and South Korea are the other teams in Group F.
Read on for the fixtures, group odds and forecasts in Group F....
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Nivgorod
Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Kazan Arena, Kazan
Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg
Despite the experience of the other teams in the group, Germany will expect to top Group F with little dramas – particularly given their form in qualifying.
The Germans are 1/3 to top the group with Bet365, while Mexico are 5/1, Sweden are 13/2 and South Korea are 16/1.
There is even less value in backing Germany to get through from Group F, with Bet365 pricing their qualification for the last-16 at 1/12.
There is good value for the other three teams, however, depending on how you see it playing out. Mexico are 11/10 to qualify for the second round – a very generous price.
Mexico’s relatively high price is perhaps reflective of the fact Sweden have already had to qualify directly at the expense of the Netherlands and Italy. The Swedes are 5/4 to reach the second round, while South Korea are outsiders at 5/2.
Despite Sweden’s form and successful qualifying campaign, however, Mexico have reached the last 16 on the last six occasions. It would be a big surprise back home for the Mexican fans if they do not progress with Germany.
With Germany such big favourites to qualify, you can get more favourable odds if you pick a group forecast.
Germany finishing first, and Mexico continuing their recent tradition of reaching the second round behind the defending champions is 15/8 with Bet365. A Swedish upset, and second place behind Germany ahead of Mexico, would return 9/4.
Mexico’s World Cup record should not be sniffed at, however – they know they have the pedigree, experience and quality to finish second despite Sweden’s results against the Netherlands and Italy in qualifying.
They might have previous when it comes to the World Cup, but South Korea are very much the outsiders in Group F. As a result, you could probably argue that the price of 5/6 on South Korea to finish bottom of the group is a little higher than you would expect.
Nevertheless, with Germany expected to top the group, Mexico boasting a good history when it comes to advancing to the second round, and Sweden the Mexicans most likely rivals for second spot, it is still set to be a winning pick if things run as expected.
Mexico have reached the last-16 in each of the last six World Cups. They have a vastly experienced squad, and have already got to grips with Russia at the Confederations Cup. Despite Sweden’s scalps in qualifying, it would be a surprise if Mexico did not qualify from Group F and yet they are as high as 11/10 to do that with Bet365.
Germany (15/8 to finish 1st with Mexico 2nd with Bet365)
Mexico (11/10 to qualify with Bet365)
Sweden (8/13 to fail to qualify with Bet365)
South Korea (5/6 to finish bottom of Group F with Bet365)
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