- South Korea
WorldCupAcca To Be Confirmed Squad:
Keepers: G. Ochoa, A. Talavera, J. Corona
Defence: C. Salcedo, N. Araujo, D. Reyes, H. Moreno, H. Ayala, O. Alanis, E. Alvarez, J. Gallardo, M. Layun
Midfield: J. Molina, R. Marquez, H. Herrera, J. dos Santos, G. dos Santos, A. Guardado, E. Gutierrez, M. Fabian
Forwards: J. Hernandez, R. Jimenez, O. Peralta, JM. Corona, C. Vela, J. Aquino, H. Lozano, J. Damm
Arguably the most consistent side in World Cup history, they’ve participated in 15 qualifying campaigns reaching the finals themselves every time* and they have gone out in the round of 16 in every tournament since 1994, they’re best finishes to date are when they reached the quarter finals in 1970 and in 1986.
*1934 they didn’t qualify from a best of 3 games with the USA & in 1974 & 1982 the winner of the previous CONCACAF Championships (Haiti & Honduras) were the qualifying team. One for trivia fans.
WorldCupAcca The Squad:
Guillermo Ochoa is starting in goal. The Mexico number 1 currently plying his trade in Belgium with Standard Liege, he has 92 caps for his country since making his debut in 2005. In 2014 he conceded just once in the group stage and made several big saved against the Dutch in the next round, although they ended up losing to a 91st minute penalty he was still voted man of the match.
There are injury concerns over a few big players here and they should have just until Mexico’s next 2 friendlies with Wales & Scotland to prove their fitness.
Hector Moreno and Diego Reyes are both doubtful, they would likely be the pairing at the heart of their defence if they are passed fit, though Reyes has occasionally been deployed as a holding midfielder for both Porto and Mexico, very recently in a 3-3 draw with Belgium back in November.
Miguel Layun & Jesus Gallardo are most likely to start, playing for Sevilla (loan from Porto) and Monterrey, though in their most recent friendly with Croatia Edson Alvarez started ahead of Gallardo. Most of the defenders selected in the squad so far are primarily centre backs so these 2 would appear the most natural choices.
Mexico legend Rafael Marquez is looking to become only the 4th player to play in 5 different World Cups but in August of last year he was named in a drug trafficking investigation from the US Treasury, though he denies any involvement.
Andrés Guardado plus Jonathan and Giovani Dos Santos also have fitness concerns coming into the tournament, though they have said that they expect to be ready by the time it comes around. Giovani & Guardado would be guaranteed starters should they make it, along with Hector Herrera.
Javier Hernandez will of course lead the line, Little Pea has a record of 1 in 2 for his country. There’s a lot of talent in the attacking areas with the likes of Carlos Vela, Raul Jimenez and Jesus Manuel Corona but the star man for them will be Hirving Lozano. After a few years with Pachuca, Chucky signed for PSV last summer after links with several other top european teams, he became the first PSV player to score in his first 3 fixtures and finished with 17 in 29 as they went on to win the Eredivisie.
WorldCupAcca The Group:
Whilst Germany should still be winning the group, this should be an interesting group – I wouldn’t expect Germany to blow teams away, they will be coming into the tournament with one of the strongest starting XI’s and serious strength in depth.
Sweden themselves have made the correct decision to not call Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to the squad, as great a player as he was, having made the decision to retire it would have been a bit of a joke to allow him to come back into the fold when the rest of the team secured qualification.
Having secured a playoff spot at the expense of the Netherlands, recent friendly results have been a bit hit and miss – wins over Portugal and Denmark are followed up with defeats to Romania and draws with Estonia, it’s hard to tell which team will turn up on the day and they will be heavily reliant on goals from Berg and Forsberg.
The other side to complete Group F are South Korea, other than Son Heung-Min and Koo Ja-cheol they don’t really offer a lot, their qualification campaign was a little underwhelming, only winning 4 from 10 and finishing 7 points behind Iran and just 2 ahead of Syria.
In their last 5 friendlies they have only won 2 which were both 1-0 wins against Latvia and Moldova, other than a 2-1 win over an understrength Colombia side in November 2017 you have to go back to March of last year for their last victory.
WorldCupAcca Betting Tips:
World Cup Group F Fixtures / Results
|Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow – June 17, 2018 6:00 pm|
|Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod – June 18, 2018 3:00 pm|
|Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don – June 23, 2018 6:00 pm|
|Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi – June 23, 2018 9:00 pm|
|Kazan Arena, Kazan – June 27, 2018 5:00 pm|
|Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg – June 27, 2018 7:00 pm|
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