By Anis Bazza
Last Updated: 22nd June 2018
Saturday 23rd June
Kick-off: 7:00pm BST
Stadium: Sochi, Fisht Stadium
Live on BBC One
Germany vs Sweden odds
Sweden are 11/2 to cause an upset while Germany are 1/2 to get their title defence up and going.Die Mannschaft have won three of their last four World Cup games and a draw is priced up at 10/3.
Germany striker Thomas Muller said: “There is a lot of pressure. Sweden will defend deep. Sometimes you have to play fast to break down the opposing defence. But if you are not patient, this can backfire.”
Germany vs Sweden match stats
Three of the last four World Cup winners crashed out of the group stage after returning as reigning champions. Germany will be desperate not to add to this series, and will draw courage from the fact they are unbeaten in their last 11 games against the Blågult.
Germany coach Joachim Low insisted there was no need to panic after losing his opening Group F game against Mexico 1-0. Germany last lost an opening World Cup match to Algeria in 1982, where they went on to reach the final.
Sweden currently sit at the top of the group after beating South Korea through a Andreas Granqvist penalty. In what is their first appearance at the World Cup in 12 years, Sweden will be cautiously optimistic of heading to the knock-out round.
Germany vs Sweden key players to watch
Manchester United and Sweden defender Victor Lindelof could play after missing his side’s 1-0 win over South Korea earlier this week because of illness. He is likely to replace Leeds centre-back Pontus Jansson.
German legends Lothar Matthaus and Mario Basler, have piled the pressure on Mesut Ozil, calling for him to be dropped. Basler, a Euro 96′ winner with Die Mannschaft described Ozil’s body language as “that of a dead frog”. Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus could come in Ozil’s stead.
In the two most recent matches between these sides have produced a total of 16 goals – with a 4-4 draw in Germany in October 2012 before Sweden lost 5-3 at home in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. If you fancy both teams to notch, then front men Timo Werner and Marcus Berg to score for Germany and Sweden is 6/1.
Thomas Muller, currently the highest active goal-scorer at the World Cup, failed to register a shot on target against Mexico – maintaining his efficient record of 10 World Cup goals from 14 shots on target. Muller is currently 4/1 to score first against Sweden
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 different aspects of sport across the years, previously working at Sky Sports News and Sport360 newspaper in Dubai. He studied 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.