World Cup Round-Up: 27/06/18

World Cup Round-Up: 27/06/18

South Korea v Germany (Group F) – 15:00

South Korea will be bowing out of the World Cup following a disappointing campaign in Group F. Shin Tae-yong’s men have lost both of their previous group games to Sweden and Mexico, so head into their final clash with Germany extremely low on confidence. They’ll be playing for nothing but pride in this encounter at the Kazan Arena and will view it as the perfect time to face a Germany side who themselves have struggled with results in Russia. Tottenham’s Son Heung-min is the only player to have looked like harming the opposition in South Korea’s previous two games – he got on the scoresheet late on against Mexico on Saturday, netting a screamer in the 90th minute. It was a case of too little too late however as Mexico saw out the match and came away with all three points at the Rostov Arena, ensuring South Korea remain bottom of the pile ahead of this Wednesday’s game with Germany.

Germany have been far from convincing at this years World Cup. Tipped by many to go the distance and lift the trophy in Russia, Joachim Low’s men have so far disappointed, losing their opening game 1-0 to Mexico and then leaving it late to beat Sweden 2-1 on Saturday evening. The 2014 winners now head into this Wednesday’s final group game with South Korea knowing that a defeat here could see them eliminated from the World Cup before the knockout stages for the first time in 80 years. If they lose this match and Sweden either win or draw their final group match against Mexico, this will be the end of the road for the current holders. Even a win here wouldn’t guarantee Germany a space in the Round of 16 as they’re on the exact same points total and goal difference as Sweden, so plenty of goals are required from them here to bolster their chances of qualification as it’s likely that even if Sweden do beat Mexico, it won’t be by a large margin considering how strong Andrés Guardado’s men have been throughout the tournament.

Recommended Bets:

Timo Werner to score first (3/1 with Betfred) – BET HERE

Correct score: 2-0 Germany (13/2 with Bet365) – BET HERE

Mexico v Sweden (Group F) – 15:00

Mexico have been the surprise package at this years World Cup. The Central American outfit shocked everyone by beating Germany 1-0 in their opening group game 10 days ago, and once again put in a strong performance against South Korea on Saturday to make it two wins from two in Group F. Goals from Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez secured a 2-1 win for ‘El Tri’ at the Rostov Arena, a victory that has seen them top the group ahead of both Germany & Sweden. A draw here would be enough to see Mexico through to the knockout stages next week, however a defeat by a three goal margin, partnered with a win for Germany in their game against South Korea would see them eliminated from the competition on goal difference. It’s hugely unlikely that this will happen considering the form Mexico have displayed in their two recent group games, but they won’t want to take any chances here. With this in mind, we’re expecting Mexico to line up with a full-strength team in this one, making them strong favourites for a third straight win.

Sweden were hugely unlucky not to get anything from their game against Germany on Saturday evening, losing 2-1 in the last minute thanks to a stunning free kick from Toni Kroos. After initially taking the lead in the first half through Toulouse front man Ola Toivonen, the Swede’s were pegged back just three minutes after half-time through Marco Reus’ scrappy finish. Just as the game looked to be dead and buried, Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos clinched a last gasp winner for 10 man Germany to ensure the group will go down to the wire in Wednesday’s final round of fixtures. Presuming Germany beat South Korea, the only way that Sweden can qualify for the knockout stages is if they win by a three goal margin. Although this is extremely unlikely, it’s still a possibility should they attack Mexico from the outset, so we’re expecting an entertaining game here. Backing over 2.5 goals could be a good shout – that’s priced at 6/5 with SkyBet.

Recommended Bets:

Over 2.5 goals (6/5 with SkyBet) – BET HERE

Winning margin: 1 goal (5/4 with Betway) – BET HERE

Serbia v Brazil (Group E) – 19:00

Serbia have it all to play for in this Wednesday’s final game against Brazil. Win, and they’ll make it through to the knockout stages, lose or draw and they’re out – simple. Group E is so tight at the moment, there’s just a point separating the top three with one game left to play so it’s going to be really interesting to see who prevails come Wednesday night. Due to Serbia’s inferior goal difference, if they draw this match it still won’t be enough to see them through to the Round of 16, even if Switzerland lose to Costa Rica so Mladen Krstajić’s men really have to go for it here. Despite taking an early lead in their last game against Switzerland last Friday, Serbia found themselves undone by two second half goals from Granit Xhaka & Xherdan Shaqiri, losing 2-1 in their second game of the tournament. That defeat has put them in a really unwelcome position ahead of this Wednesday’s final match with five time winners Brazil, with a win their only chance of progressing through to the last 16. Can they upset the odds here or will it be the end of the line for the ‘White Eagles’. 

Brazil have so far been a shadow of their former selves at this years World Cup. Tite’s men were held 1-1 by Switzerland in their opening game just over a week ago and last Friday scraped past Costa Rica in the dying stages thanks to two late goals from Philippe Coutinho & Neymar Jr. If they’re to go the distance in Russia this summer then they’re going to have to drastically improve their performances, starting here in Group E’s crunch fixture with Serbia. A loss here would knock Brazil out of the World Cup, should Switzerland pick up at least a point in their final match against Costa Rica. A draw would still see Brazil through to the knockout stages, but likely as runners-up instead of winners (assuming Switzerland win their last game), and that could actually work in their favour in the next round. Mexico look as though they will be finishing as Group F champions, which would mean that should Brazil finish second in Group E, they will meet them in the Round of 16 phase next week. If Brazil top Group E though, it’s looking likely that they’ll go up against hypothetical Group F runners-up Germany, something they’ll be keen to avoid after the last time the two sides met in the World Cup…

Recommended Bets:

Gabriel Jesus to score first (4/1 with Betfred) – BET HERE

Brazil to win & under 2.5 goals (9/4 with SkyBet) – BET HERE

Switzerland v Costa Rica (Group E) – 19:00

Switzerland head into this game as heavy favourites, but know that Costa Rica will be far from an easy challenge after their resilient performance against Brazil last week. Vladimir Petković’s men would drop out of the World Cup with a defeat or draw here should Serbia beat Brazil in Group E’s other game on Wednesday, so to ensure they make it through to the knockout stages they’ll be going all out for the win in this tie. Switzerland are so far unbeaten in Russia but they haven’t made things easy for themselves, going a goal down in both matches before turning the game around and rescuing much needed points. After their confidence-boosting win over Serbia on Friday, Switzerland will head into this match with some great momentum. We make them solid favourites here and would suggest backing them with a -1 handicap.

This will be Costa Rica’s final involvement in the World Cup after losing their last two games to Serbia & Brazil. The Central American’s were extremely unlucky to come away with nothing in their most recent match against Brazil after keeping the Canaries out for 90 minutes last Friday. Ultimately they haven’t been good enough though, and are currently facing the all too real prospect of being the only team at this years World Cup not to score a single goal. They’ll be playing for pride against Switzerland here, but we’re not sure that will be enough to see them upset the odds and win this clash considering how much is riding on this match for the Swiss.

Recommended Bets:

Switzerland to win -1 (2/1 with William Hill) – BET HERE

Xherdan Shaqiri to score anytime (2/1 with Bet365) – BET HERE