|Mexico and Sweden will meet on Wednesday in their final match in Group F. The Mexicans have nearly sealed their passage to the next round but need at least a point to ensure they go through.
A loss and a lopsided scoreline would see Juan Carlos Osorio’s team eliminated and Sweden into the round of 16.
Sweden were left heartbroken after their 2-1 loss to Germany in match two. The Swedes had outplayed the world champions for much of the fixture and took an early lead through Ola Toivonen’s cheeky chip goal. Germany battled back to level the match in the second half before Toni Kroos’ free-kick goal at the death. Sweden could have qualified for the knockout round with a draw, but the team now face a playoff against Mexico. Win and they could move on, lose and they will go home.
Group F could see three teams finish Wednesday on six points apiece. If Germany defeat South Korea and Sweden beat Mexico there will be a three-way tie. The tiebreaker will then be determined by goal difference. If that is the same, the team that advances will be determined by which national side has the most goals scored.
Mexico have played well in both attack and defence. The team’s key player is 22-year-old winger Hirving Lozano. The attacker scored Mexico’s goal in their 1-0 win against Germany and added an assist in match two. He set up longtime Mexico international Javier Hernandez for the goal.
Osorio’s side has impressed many, but Mexico have been building and developing these players for some time. Eight members of the current World Cup roster were a part of the Mexican team that won gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Mexico also won the under-17 World Cup in 2011 and finished second and fourth at the tournament in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Many of the players who featured in those teams have carried on to the side that is at the World Cup.
Mexico will go into the match without changing the side. Osorio has no need to adjust his XI, especially with Mexico needing a point to ensure progression. The team will continue with a 4-2-3-1 that has seen Lozano and Carlos Vela create while the defence has allowed just one goal in two matches.
Sweden will again play 4-4-2 with Marcus Berg and Toivonen at the top of the formation. Berg doesn’t score many goals but he does do plenty of running. Sweden’s problem is in the goal scoring department. The team has tallied just two goals. One was from a penalty while the other came from Toivonen’s wonderful chip.
Due to Sweden’s lack of goals and goal scorers, Mexico will go through to the round of 16 and end Sweden’s World Cup 2018.
Mexico vws Sweden Predictions:
Over 1.5 goals