By Anis Bazza
Last Updated: 19th June 2018
Pre-tournament injury doubts Mesut Ozil, Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng could all start for Germany vs Mexico.
The defending champions will be hoping to become the first team to retain the World Cup in 56 years and beat a Mexico side they defeated 4-1 at last year’s Confederations Cup.
Mexico meanwhile will draw on their strong qualifying process where they made it with three games to spare. Mexico will play in their 7th consecutive World Cup and – drawn alongside Sweden and South Korea – will hope to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1986.
However, Mexico have only won one of their 11 games against Germany (D5 L5) – all the way back in 1985 – while Germany coach Joachim Low will hoping to reach the semi-finals of a major tournament for the sixth consecutive time. Germany to win and 4 or more goals in the match is 7/2.
But Low will be worried by his side’s form since qualifying having won just once in six friendly games (a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia). Retaining a World Cup is something no-one has done since Pele’s Brazil in 1962.
“We need the greed, the fire,” said defender Jerome Boateng. “It’s part of what makes things go off with a bang sometimes in training and on the playing pitch. We will have to fight for every inch.
While Thomas Muller is the highest active goal-scorer (10 goals at the World Cup) – Thomas Muller to score two or more goals is 9/1 – RB Leipzeig’s Timo Werner is set to lead the line for the Germans this summer.
Werner looks to be the dynamic forward Germany have been missing in recent years and his early international career has been promising. With Javier Hernandez lining up front for Mexico, Werner and Chicarito are both at 10/1 odds to score.
Anis grew up supporting Manchester City but found joy and solace across Europe’s major football leagues. Increasingly passionate about NBA, he is interested in and has written extensively about many different aspects of sport across the years, previously working at Sky Sports News and Sport360 newspaper in Dubai. He studied Sport Journalism at University but spent a large portion of his academic years building City Watch instead - the largest independent Manchester City Twitter account and website.