Defending champions Germany will face Sweden, South Korea, and Mexico in the group stages at next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
The draw, which took place in the Kremlin in Russia, saw the four teams drawn out into Group F. Germany will kick off their defense against Mexico in a repeat of the Confed Cup semi-final from this summer on 17 June, before taking on Sweden on 23 June. The two teams played out two fantastic ties in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup (4-4 and 5-3). Germany will then take on South Korea in the final group game on 27 June.
Group F of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia contains holders Germany and could provide some fascinating encounters. Yet while the world champions are favorites to progress and top the group, there is little to separate the remaining three teams at first glance.
- Having already overcome three former World Cup finalists in their bid to qualify for Russia 2018, Sweden now faces a team with a record eight World Cup Final appearances – Germany.
- Many football fans may not remember that Sweden are also former finalists, having lost 5-2 to Pele’s Brazil on home turf in 1958.
- In an unexpected twist, Korea Republic have played Germany on three previous occasions and Sweden four times, but have contested a scarcely believable 12 games against Mexico.
- Germany and Mexico met in the semi-final of the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia in June 2017.
GERMANY – TONY KROOS
One of the finest midfielders of his generation, Kroos was a key component in the team that secured Germany’s fourth world title in 2014.
MEXICO – JAVIER HERNANDEZ
Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer, Hernandez appeared at South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014, scoring three times during those two global finals.
SWEDEN – MARCUS BERG
Thriving in the spotlight following the retirement of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Berg has provided power, panache and plenty of goals for Janne Andersson’s Sweden.
The KOREA REPUBLIC – KI SUNG-YUENG
Now heading for his third FIFA World Cup, Korea Republic captain Ki has arguably become the nation’s most recognizable footballer.
This is a really tough group. Like Group E, it is a race for the second team. Germany like Brazil are habitual group winners. It looks like the race for the second team is a two-team race not including South Korea. Sweden got a great welcome back to the competition. The group race will be hard for them.