Everybody knows that Germany won the World Cup in 2014, and along the way they made a very powerful statement, in a true road game, against a team that couldn’t seem to get out of its own way. They probably couldn’t count on the same level of charity in this year’s tournament, being played throughout Russia, but Die Mannschaft is once again a prime contender to take home the big prize. And VietBet can take you every step of the way, with props on everything you can imagine.
It would appear that Germany doesn’t have any discernible weaknesses. And they have been a dependable proposition in recent years at this level, having gone at least to the semi-finals in each of the last four World Cup tourneys. They had been in a 24-year “drought” until 2014, when they shocked a lot of people by simply walking all over the host country (Brazil), scoring seven goals, before having a more prepared opponent in from of them in the championship game, beating Argentina 1-0. This time around they can be excused if they are looking ahead a little to competing in the knockout round, where they would probably go against Costa Rica, Switzerland or Serbia – whoever the second-place team in Group E is.
Offensive threats are going to be all over the field. The most interesting proposition here might be Marco Reus, who did not get to play in the last World Cup, or in Euro 2016 either, as he had injury issues. And there was an ACL injury that left him out entirely this season until the latter half of the Bundesliga season. During this time there was some doubt as to how effective he could be, or whether he would even be fit. But he exploded for Borussia Dortmund, tallying seven goals in eleven games, so he is not only in the lineup, he is seen as a very key piece.
If you ask who the best midfielder in the world is, a lot of people might tell you it’s Toni Kroos, the Real Madrid star. Mats Hummels is one of the more stalwart players on the back line, and against opponents who aren’t deep in offensive talent, he has the ability to take away much of the attack. And if he can’t, Manuel Neuer can. He’s had foot problems, but insists that he is operating without pain at the moment. Germany is about as complete a team as there is; they are priced at -315 to win Group F, and -1210 to advance, according to the World Cup props at VietBet. Joachim Low’s squad is also +445 to capture the championship.
The word is that Mexico (+515 to win this group) is challenged from a defensive standpoint, but you must say this about El Tri – they have made it to the Round of 16 in six consecutive World Cup finals tournaments. There are a number of standout offensive performers, including 22-year-old Hirving Lozano, who is playing club football in the Netherlands. Among the veterans, Andres Guardado is playing in his fourth World Cup and is only 31; as recently as three years ago, he was the Golden Ball winner at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. They hope the presence of Rafael Marquez does not cause too many distractions. “Rafa” is suspected of being a front man and money launderer for a Mexican drug cartel, and has had his bank accounts frozen, but the football federation wants to give him a final World Cup appearance – his fifth. At age 39, we’re not sure how much he has left in the tank Mexico is -117 to advance, which means they are favored over the other two squads.
South Korea, which finished in fourth place in 2002 but was eliminated in the group stage four years ago, sacked its coach, Uli Sielike, after a loss to Qatar in qualifying, which was especially humiliating. Sin Tae-yong was his successor. And after breezing by inferior opponents in early stages of qualifying, they had considerable trouble when moving up. This is now nine consecutive times that they have made the 32-team field, and they did fairly well in friendlies – of note, they beat Colombia and drew with Serbia. They are longshots, priced at +400 to advance and +2360 to win the group, according to VietBet.
Sweden has a capable squad, although they haven’t qualified for the last two World Cups. They beat France and Italy during qualifying, which is a definite feather in their cap. Sure, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not on hand; he has retired from international play. This is indeed a team that is in need of an offensive boost – more than Emil Forsberg and Marcus Berg are perhaps able to provide. But they can defend. Coach Janne Andersson is going to have this team playing rather close to the vest, and that should be able to get them through to the Round of 32. They are priced at +138 to qualify out of group, and +720 to win it. So they may have to beat Mexico on June 27 to make the difference.
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