Germany have been unconvincing in Russia, so far, but South Korea will only be playing for pride. Does John Newsome feel that a big win is on the cards, for Joachim Low’s men?
SOUTH KOREA v GERMANY
South Korea are on the plane after this game against Germany. They managed a goal through Tottenham star Son Heung-Min but haven’t really performed to World Cup standard in a group which has been one of high standard.
Germany eventually came to the party against Sweden in their 2nd game. Having gone behind in the first half, Joachim Low must have read the riot act at half time and the Germans came out for the 2nd half and quickly got the equaliser through Marco Reus. With time running out, they were awarded a free kick which Real Madrid star Tony Kroos, after initially taking the free-kick short, coolly slotted home, giving the Germans the 3 points they desperately needed. A win here against South Korea will put them in the last 16.
Germany Win 2-0
MEXICO v SWEDEN
Mexico have been the surprise of the tournament so far, with superb wins again against Germany and Sweden. The crazy thing is though that if Sweden beat Mexico 1-0 and Germany beat South Korea 1-0, Mexico are eliminated by way of the Head to Head result with the Swedes. Javier Chicharito Hernandez got his 50th Mexico goal, in the 2-1 win against South Korea, the highest ever by a Mexican International.
Sweden were extremely unlucky against Germany losing to a 95th minute Tony Kroos goal. As mentioned they can still qualify with a win here against Mexico. Ola Toivonen got the goal against Germany and will want to add to that in this game. Depending on team selection Mexico should not lose.
SERBIA v BRAZIL
Serbia lost to a late Xherdan Shaqiri goal against Switzerland and really need to beat Brazil to progress. A draw won’t be good enough as it will put them on the same points as Switzerland and as they have lost to the Swiss, the Head to Head will come into play. That said Switzerland will probably beat Costa Rica so if the Serbs can beat the Samba Boyd, Brazil will go home. Fulham star Aleksander Mitrovic got the Serbs goal against Switzerland.
Brazil got 2 late goals from Philip Coutinho and Neymar to get the 3 points the needed. As mentioned they really have to get at least a point here against Serbia to progress to the last 16. A loss married with a Switzerland win against Costa Rica will see the Yellow and Greens bow out of Russia. Brazil won’t want that and should be too strong for Serbia.
Brazil Win 2-0
SWITZERLAND v COSTA RICA
Switzerland got a late, late winner against Serbia and only need a point here against a poor Costa Rica side to progress to the last 16. Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka got the Swiss back into the game against Serbia with a superb left-foot power drive. Stoke superstar Xherdan Shaqiri got a late goal against the Serbs, keeping his cool after being put clear to coolly slot home the deserved winner. He was subject to disciplinary proceedings due to his Double Eagle celebration which goes back to his Albanian roots, but got away with a slapped wrist and will be vital in this final game.
Costa Rica have been unlucky in both their games, losing their opener to a single Aleksander Kolarov free kick. They did put up a great fight against the Samba boys and for 90 minutes looked like they would hang on for a famous draw. Unfortunately, the Brazilian’s wore them down in the end and the Coffee Beans conceded 2 late goals in added time, so will be going home after this game. The Costa Rican’s can prevent Switzerland’s progression to the last 16 if they manage to get the win. That said Switzerland shouldn’t lose and will get at least a draw.
Contact John Newsome, with your own predictions, requests and feedback, at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org