In most cases, the Group of Death is characterized by two tough European squads and two strong teams from other confederations. Here’s an example of the two candidates from the 2014 World Cup:
- Group B — Australia, Chile, Spain, and the Netherlands. This group was so tough that the defending champs, Spain, went home early.
- Group G — Germany, Ghana, Portugal, and the US. Germany and the US moved on, while Portugal, one of FIFA’s top five teams, went home.
FIFA changed the way that group draws are done in the 2018 World Cup. This edition no longer uses geographical considerations as heavily. Instead, groupings are more based on the FIFA World Rankings.
Nevertheless, Group F still stands out as the Group of Death in the 2018 Cup. Let’s look at each team in Group F and discuss why they make this such a tough draw. Also note that you can bet on every World Cup match at GTBets.
1. Germany, FIFA Ranking #1
- Qualifying record: 10 wins, 0 draws, 0 losses
- 43 goals for, 4 goals against
The defending World Cup champions have played great ever since their victory in Brazil. They were perfect in World Cup qualifying matches and haven’t lost since a 2-0 defeat to France in the Euro 2016 semifinals.
The Germans have crushed teams like the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, and Norway on their path towards World Cup success. This squad is so deep that their B-roster beat Mexico and Chili in back-to-back matches in the Confederations Cup.
Germany has dominated thanks to a ridiculous stable of goalkeepers, Bayern Munich’s stifling defense, and stars like Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, Toni Kroos, and Mesut Ozil. Muller scored five goals in every international tournament that he’s competed in. If he puts in seven goals in Russia, it would move him past countryman Miroslav Klos as the World Cup’s all-time scorer.
2. Mexico, FIFA Ranking #15
- Qualifying record: 11 wins, 4 draws, 1 loss
- 29 goals for, 8 goals against
El Tri has some strong players in Andres Guardado, Javier Hernandex, Hector Moreno, Miguel Layun, and Meme Ochoa. They also boast 22-year-old Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, the PSV Eindhoven star who scored 19 goals in his first season in Europe.
3. Sweden, FIFA Ranking #23
Qualifying record: 7 wins, 2 draws, 3 losses
27 goals for, 9 goal against
Sweden’s road to the 2018 World Cup wasn’t an easy one. They had to beat The Netherlands (UEFA Group A) and Italy (1-0 in aggregate playoffs) to reach Russia. Not coincidentally, both of these teams failed to qualify for the Cup in a total shocker.
It’s also worth noting that Sweden notched an impressive victory over France. But were these big wins just Cinderella living it up before the clock strikes midnight?
Not quite. Sweden has an experienced core who’ve been together since 2009. They’ll blend these veterans with fresh talent that won Sweden’s first-ever UEFA U-21 title in 2015.
The Swedish national team chose to pass on star Zlatan Ibrahimovic. But they may not miss him when considering that they boast Marcus Berg, John Guidetti, Ola Toivonen, and Isaac Kiese Thelin.
4. South Korea, FIFA Ranking #57
- Qualifying record: 12 wins, 3 draws, 3 losses
- 38 goals for, 10 goals against
South Korea had an easy time in the first two rounds of AFC qualification matches. But they struggled the third round, with losses to China and Qatar, the latter of which resulted in German manager Uli Stielike being fired.
Nevertheless, the Reds have a strong attack thanks to Son Heung-Min and his world-class abilities. The 25-year-old has played outstanding in Tottenham and is bringing the same skills to Russia.
South Korea is looked at as the weakest team in Group F. But they’re a strong No. 4 in the toughest group.