Preview: Mexico v Sweden
Mexico and Sweden head into the final Group F matchday in Ekaterinburg with all on the line. Mexico sit top with two wins from as many matches, while Sweden are three points adrift following their drama-charged defeat against Germany.
Though Mexico have a perfect record, a defeat combined with a Germany win over Korea Republic could see El Tri suffer the rare fate of elimination, despite winning two group matches. Sweden head into the contest in the knowledge that they likely need a win to stay alive.
Mexico’s fans have travelled in significant numbers to the furthermost eastern venue at Russia 2018, and are sure to provide a mini-Azteca flavour to proceedings. Part of Sweden’s challenge will be to overcome the mental blow of losing to Germany in such heartbreaking fashion in Sochi.
Team reporter analysis
Mexico know that everything they’ve achieved so far would not be of any use if they lose to Sweden in Ekaterinburg, so they are extremely focused on the match. The main question is whether coach Osorio will play the team’s usual attacking game or if he will decide to sit back and wait for the Swedes to push forward, given they likely need to win.
_Despite the painful defeat to Germany the Swedes will still take a lot of positives from their experiences in Sochi, with the possibility of qualification still in their own hands. And there is a strong belief within the team that they can beat Mexico. Once again the players have been highlighting the importance and value of the strong unity within the group.
Did you know?
Only one team has previously been eliminated at the group stage with two wins from three matches – Algeria in 1982.
Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa; Carlos Salcedo, Hector Moreno, Hugo Ayala, Jesus Gallardo; Miguel Layun, Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado; Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano.
Sweden: Robin Olsen; Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelöf, Andreas Granqvist, Ludwig Augustinsson; Viktor Claesson, Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg; Marcus Berg, Ola Toivonen.