Germany v Sweden Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
June 19, 2018
Fisht Olympic Stadium - World Cup Group F
Germany look to bounce back from a surprise defeat to Mexico in their opening game, but face a resolute Sweden side in fine form. Janne Andersson's men are undoubtedly underdogs, but seem to revel in their status, having beaten Italy and the Netherlands in the qualifiers.
Germany beat Sweden in an eight-goal thriller when the sides last met, with an Andre Schurrle hat trick and a goal apiece from Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze. The last time that the result was reversed was back in 1978 when a Lennart Larsson brace gave the Swedes a win.
It will be fascinating to see whether Joachim Löw sticks or twists with the team that struggled on Sunday. The manager certainly has a wealth of worthy replacements, with Marco Reus and IIkay Gündogan surely pushing for a start. However, he will be hesitant to make major changes and risk knocking the confidence of senior players.
Janne Andersson is unlikely to make any chances, with his tactics relying on resolute organisation and coordination. However, with Oscar Hiljemark and Gustav Svensson offering fresh legs in the middle, early substitutions may help keen the Germans at bay.
Preview and Predictions
Having served up the biggest shock of Match day one, Joachim Löw's side will be keen to get back on track with a win on Saturday. However, as good as Mexico's performance was, it exposed a number of weaknesses in the German side that could well be exported by Sweden at the weekend.
Perhaps most worrying for the world champions was their susceptibility to counter-attacks due to the slow pace at which their midfielders tracked back. Certainly, the a central-midfield pairing of Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira have had little defensive responsibilities at their respective club, and are hardly known for their searing pace. With the full-backs pushed forward, it was Mesut Ozil that was left defending for Mexico's goal.
Sweden, of course, are a very different side to Mexico, and are unable to boast the South American side's pace on the counter attack. They are however, highly organised and with the second tallest team in the competition, are able to replace speed with physicality.
As Andersson's side proved in the play-offs against Italy, Sweden are highly capable at parking the bus, and with Emil Fosberg, they have a potent attacking threat on the left wing. Whether the manager decides to defend deep from the offset, or try to punish the Germans early, a la Mexico, remains to be seen, however with a win already in the bag, there will be a lot of positivity in the Swedish camp going in to the game.
Anything other than a win on Saturday could spell the end of Germany's campaign, and lead to the third successive World Cup champions failing to make it out of the group stage.
Germany to win both halves at 12/5
The Germans will be keen to start fast to dispel any doubt, and Sweden will struggle if they concede.
Germany to win by a two goal margin at 5/2
Löw's side have a point to prove, but will struggle against a defensive Sweden side.