The second games of Group F and G of Russia 2018 take place Saturday, with some massive names and games taking place. Here are the vital games taking place in the all-important games of the two groups:
Belgium v Tunisia (Kick-off 1 PM)
Belgium heads into this game knowing that a win could be enough to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition. Roberto Martinez’s team defeated Panama 3-0 in their opening game courtesy of three second-half goals after a lacklustre first half display. The Red Devils remain favourites to win the group.
The win last time out means that Belgium are now 20 games unbeaten, having recorded 15 wins in the process. Martinez side has been lethal in front of goal of late, scoring three or more goals in four of their last five games.
Tunisia suffered a late 2-1 defeat at the hands of England in their opening game. A defeat here could eliminate the North African team from the competition, depending on the result of the England-Panama game.
Nabil Maaloul’s team have now failed to win in four games. It seems unlikely that the African team will put that particular record straight in this clash.
South Korea v Mexico (Kick-off 4 PM)
South Korea kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 defeat by Sweden. In truth, it was a tight game, but the Swedes deserved their victory.
The Asian team know that they cannot afford another defeat in this clash, as another loss could mean elimination from the competition. However, Korea’s recent form has not been great, as they have lost five of their last seven international outings. They have also failed to score in their last three games.
Mexico pulled off one of the biggest shocks of Russia 2018 in their opener by beating world champions Germany 1-0. However, the win was richly deserved and El Tri could have won by more.
Juan Carlos Osorio’s team headed into the Germany game on the back of just one win in their previous four games after a good qualification campaign.
El Tri’s recent international games have been tight affairs, with under 2.5 goals scored in their last five outings.
Having qualified for the last 16 at the last six World Cups, Osorio’s team will be confident that they can achieve the win that would likely seal their place in the knockout stages of the competition.
Mexico win and under 2.5 goals
Germany v Sweden (kick-off 7 PM)
Germany headed into World Cup 2018 as world champions and favourites to lift the trophy. However, Die Mannschaft were brought back down to earth by Mexico in that aforementioned 1-0 defeat.
Judging by their status, the defeat was a shock result. However, judging by their recent results it should not have come as much of a surprise, as Joachim Low’s side have now won just one of their last seven games. They have also suffered defeat in three of their last four games. They will be determined to avoid defeat in this one, though.
Sweden scraped a 1-0 win over South Korea in the first game. The Scandinavian team were typically well organised but lacked an attacking threat going forward.
The win over South Korea ended a four-game winless run for Janne Andersson’s team. The game was another low scoring game for the Swedes, though, as nine of their last ten games have produced under 2.5 goals.
This game could be another tight one, with Sweden sitting back and soaking up the pressure. A win in this game would virtually seal a place in the knockout stages for the Scandinavians.
Germany win and under 2.5 goals
Will world champions Germany get back on track at the World Cup?