Defending champions Germany have been drawn alongside Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in Group F of the 2018 Fifa World Cup and we take a look at the form, squads and outright betting markets concerning each nation.
Note, odds quoted are an average price, accurate at the time of writing but subject to change
Qualification: Topped their group finishing 11 points clear of Northern Ireland
Form: Germany were foot perfect in qualifying, winning all 10 of their matches with a total of 43 goals scored and 4 conceded.
The Confederations Cup in Russia 12 months ago formed part of their preparations for these finals and the Germans won it, beating Mexico (4-1) in the semis and Chile (1-0) in the final after 2 wins and 1 draw in the group stage.
In Euro 2016 Germany made it through to the semi finals where they were beaten 2-0 by host nation France.
Germany won the World Cup in Brazil 2014. They took 7 points from 3 group matches before knocking out Algeria (2-1 aet), France (1-0) and Brazil (7-1). The final against Argentina was settled in extra time with the Germans scoring the only goal of the game.
The most recent warm up matches saw Germany lose 2-1 to Austria and they beat Saudi Arabia 2-1.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St-Germain).
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich).
Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris St-Germain), Leon Goretska (Schalke), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich).
Strikers: Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).
To win the group 7/20
To qualify from the group 1 / 16
Qualification: Topped one of the North and Central American groups finishing 5 points better off than Costa Rica and 8 clear of Panama.
Form: Mexico won 6 of 10 matches in their qualifying group, drawing another 3 and losing 1 with 16 goals scored and 7 conceded.
In the Confederations Cup last year they came through the group stage unbeaten after 2-2 draw with Portugal and 2-1 wins over New Zealand and the host nation before they crashed 4-1 to Germany in the semi finals.
In the World Cup 2014 finals Mexico came through their group with wins over Cameroon (1-0) and Croatia (3-1) either side of a 0-0 draw with hosts Brazil but they were beaten 2-1 by the Netherlands in the first knockout round.
Mexico’s most recent friendly matches delivered a 0-0 draw with Wales and 1-0 victory over Scotland.
Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard Liege), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul).
Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Diego Reyes (Porto), Hector Moreno (Real Sociedad), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Edson Alvarez (America), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Miguel Layun (Sevilla).
Midfielders: Rafael Marquez (Atlas), Hector Herrera (Porto), Jonathan dos Santos, Giovani dos Santos (both LA Galaxy), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Jesus Corona (Porto).
Forwards: Javier Hernandez (West Ham), Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Oribe Peralta (America), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC), Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt).
To win the group 21/4
To qualify from the group 7/10
Qualification: Came through the play offs against Italy after finishing as runners up in their grouo, 4 points behind France.
Form: Sweden were 1-0 winners on aggregate over the 2 legs of their play off with Italy after a decent qualifying campaign which saw them pip the Netherlands to second spot in a strong group. They won 6 of their 10 group matches, drawing 1 and losing 3 and they were top scorers, registering 26 goals and conceding 9.
In their most recent major tournament Sweden struggled in Euro 2016, drawing 1-1 with Ireland before 1-0 defeats to Italy and Belgium saw them head home early.
This will be Sweden’s first World Cup finals since 2006 when they made it to the first knockout round.
A recent warm up match with Denmark finished without a goal.
Goalkeepers: Robin Olsen (Copenhagen), Karl-Johan Johnsson (Guingamp), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea).
Defenders: Mikael Lustig (Celtic), Victor Lindelof (Manchester United), Andreas Granqvist (Krasnador), Martin Olsson (Swansea), Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen), Filip Helander, Emil Krafth (both Bologna), Pontus Jansson (Leeds United).
Midfielders: Sebastian Larsson (Hull), Albin Ekdal (Hamburg), Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig), Gustav Svensson (Seattle Sounders), Oscar Hiljemark (Genoa), Viktor Claesson (Krasnador), Marcus Rohden (Crotone), Jimmy Durmaz (Toulouse).
Forwards: Marcus Berg (Al Ain), John Guidetti (Alaves), Ola Toivonen (Toulouse), Isaac Kiese Thelin (Waasland-Beveren).
To win the group 25/4
To qualify from the group 5/4
Qualification: Qualified as runners up in their group finishing 7 points behind Iran.
Form: South Korea won 4, drew 3 and lost 3 of their qualifiers, scoring 11 goals and conceding 10.
They now have the chance to atone for a poor 2014 finals where they drew their first group match 1-1 with Russia before defeats to Algeria (4-2) and Belgium (1-0) sent them home. They did make it to the last 16 in South Africa 2010 where they lost 2-1 to Uruguay
Recent friendly matches include a 2-0 win over Honduras, 3-1 defeat to Bosnia and a 0-0 draw with Bolivia.
Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu (Vissel Kobe), Kim Jin-hyeon (Cerezo Osaka), Cho Hyun-woo (Daegu FC).
Defenders: Kim young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Jang Hyun-soo (FC Tokyo), Jung Seung-hyun (Sagan Tosu), Yun Yong-sun (Seongnam FC), Oh Ban-suk (Jeju United), Kim Min-woo (Sangju Sangmu), Park Joo-ho (Ulsan Hyundai), Hong Chul (Sangju Sangmu), Go Yo-han (FC Seoul), Lee Yong (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors).
Midfielders: Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea), Jung Woo-young (Vissel Kobe), Ju Se-jong (Asan Mugunghwa), Koo Ja-cheol (Augsburg), Lee Jae-sung (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Lee Seung-woo (Hellas Verona), Moon Seon-min (Incheon United).
Forwards: Kim Shin-wook (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors), Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Hwang Hee-chan (Red Bull Salzburg).
To win the group 33/2
To qualify from the group 26/10
I’ll take the view the South Korea will struggle here and could ship a few goals. The Germans obviously have plenty of firepower, Sweden were high scorers in qualifying and Mexico could also contribute to a tally that will hopefully reach 6 or more.
Bet: Total Group Goals Conceded South Korea, over 5.5 at 14/10
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