2018 World Cup Betting Preview: Day 14
Wednesday promises to be an exciting day at the 2018 World Cup, as there is a lot left to play for in Groups E and F. Let’s take a closer look at the four games on tap.
2018 World Cup Betting Preview: Day 14
— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) 26 de junio de 2018
Sweden vs. Mexico
Despite wins in their first two games, the Mexicans are not yet assured of a spot in the final 16. However, they are slight +140 favorites against Sweden, who needs a win and some help. A Sweden win is set at +210, while a draw, which would be enough for Mexico but probably not the Swedes, is listed at +222
Sweden will have to quickly recover from the heartbreak of their last-second loss to Germany over the weekend. The Swedes played bravely and managed to create a couple quality scoring chances despite being on the defensive most of the game. They could employ a similar strategy against Mexico, although they may be a little more desperate to push forward, knowing they need a win.
Mexico, on the other hand, can’t lose focus against Sweden. A loss in their final 2018 World Cup Group F game, particularly one by more than a single goal, could still knock El Tri out of the tournament. It’s important that Mexico keeps its foot on the pedal; playing for the draw could potentially backfire against a team like Sweden.
Germany vs. South Korea
Germany is trending upward again after the heroics of Toni Kroos gave them a late winner against Sweden. With that new-found momentum behind them, the Germans are -563 favorites to beat South Korea, who have long odds at +1565 and nothing to play for in their final game of the tournament.
The Koreans haven’t shown much going forward in their first two games. Thus, the Germans figure to dominate possession and force the Asian side to spend the game defending deep in their half of the field. Of course, much like they got beat against Mexico on the counterattack, the Germans must be wary of Son Heung-Min leading the way for South Korea if they get caught pushing too far up the field.
Germany will no doubt remember that they have little margin for error. A tie may not be enough, and even with a win, they could be kept out of the knockout stage. If the Germans get a lead, they won’t be afraid to push for more goals just to be safe.
Brazil vs. Serbia
Serbia blew a lead against Switzerland in their last match, and now they face a virtual must-win situation against Brazil with +595 odds to pull off the upset. Brazil, meanwhile, will want to keep up the momentum from their late goals against Costa Rica, especially since they are heavy -204 favorites to top Serbia.
Despite the long odds to win, Serbia may be better off sitting back and staying compact defensively against Brazil. The Serbs have the attacking options to get forward on the counterattack and take advantage of set piece opportunities. They can afford to stay conservative at first against the attack-minded Brazilians, but at some point, Serbia will have no choice but to push forward, potentially leaving themselves vulnerable against Neymar and company.
Switzerland vs. Costa Rica
Switzerland has not yet assured a spot in the knockout stage, but for their final group game, they are heavy -143 favorites to beat Costa Rica, a team with no chance of advancing. The Tacos are listed at +543 to win, while a draw is set at +233.
Despite losing their first two games in the 2018 World Cup, Costa Rica has proven to be quite stout defensively. The Ticos only allowed a goal via set-piece against Serbia and then held Brazil scoreless for 90 minutes before giving up a couple late goals in stoppage time. Keylor Navas has once again proven to be one of the top goalies at the World Cup, so Switzerland may have a hard time breaking through the Costa Rican defense to get a goal.
The Swiss caught a break with standout performers Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka, and Stephan Lichtsteiner being fined and not suspended following a FIFA investigation. Of course, even with those players available and presumably in the starting lineup. Getting the draw they need against Costa Rica is far from a guarantee.