By Nicholas Lavinio
There really isn’t much to say about this group aside from the fact that the nation to finish second could potentially be up in the air. We all know that Germany will most likely hoist the trophy come mid-July, crowning themselves consecutive World Cup champions. The Germans will steamroll past everyone in Group F, and if they fail to do so, I would be embarrassed in predicting the team to snag the trophy again with ease.
Whoever can claim the second spot to advance onto the Round of 16 is a toss up for me. I really would like to definitively say that Mexico has that ability, which they do, but they fail to impress me. On paper they have a pretty solid squad that should be moving out of the group stages really in any tournament, but they can fall victim to playing lackadaisically and come up short by not playing to their expectations. The dos Santos brothers are honestly the only hope that I could think of that could help push Mexico through the group stage. The intermittent star (I really should be saying “fading star”) in Chicharito only performs well in spurts at a time, if that, and assuredly cannot compare on the world stage to other strikers even of his own caliber at times. Even in a group that features an Ibrahimović-less Sweden and a less-than-legitimate side in South Korea (I’m sorry Heung-min Son, I still love you!), I am still skeptical and wary of Mexico’s potential. If the Mexicans play mediocre soccer, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sweden sneak through into the Round of 16. My prediction, though: Group F will send the defending World Cup champions and – hopefully – the Mexican national team to the Round of 16.
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