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2018 FIFA World Cup: Germany vs Mexico- 3 key battles to watch out for

Ameya Vaidya
Top 5 / Top 10
7.15K   //    17 Jun 2018, 14:14 IST

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The Group F consisting of Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea is a challenging group. All four teams have an equal chance of making it to the knockout stages. Being the Defending Champions, Germany are expected to overcome all hurdles and easily clear the group. Germany are one of the most accomplished teams in Europe. They hold 4 World Cup titles (1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014) and 3 European Championships (1972, 1980 and 1996). Whenever they have won the World Cup, they have always brought a transformational change in football.

Joachim Low has changed the earlier style of German football of playing long balls into a more possessional style of play. This style of play also consists of playing through balls in order to penetrate the opposition's defence. The German side is good in defence, adventurous in midfield and powerful while attacking. They have built a Spain-like philosophy of dominating at least 70%-80% possession and penetrating the opposition's defence in order to open it and score goals.

The 1st match of the group between Germany and Mexico will be quite an interesting game to watch. Mexico are a defensive team who play counter-attacking football and like to frustrate their opponents. The 2014 World Cup performance of Mexico reaching the Round of 16 was an unexpected achievement as they didn't have a good side that time. The current Mexican team is a blend of experience and youth. Rafael Marquez of Mexico is probably the oldest player(39) playing in this World Cup. In attack, they have Hernandez and Lozano who are the main goal-scoring threat for Germany.

Having Muller and Werner in their side, Germany likes to penetrate the opposition's defence with pace and innovative passes. Toni Kroos and Khedira will dominate the midfield and keep possession of the ball and Manuel Neuer will secure the goal.

Mexico will be a tough side to crack open and hence it will be good game between these two sides. Let us look at the 3 key battles which will decide today's game.

#3 Kimmich vs Hirving Lozano

Joshua Kimmich and Hirving Lozano are probably the two most talented youngsters to watch out for at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Both have got tremendous amount of pace, enjoy keeping possession and are wonderful crossers.

Kimmich is a risk-taking defender who likes to venture forward but will have to be careful against Mexico as Lozano is a very dangerous player and who when given space will exploit it to Mexico's advantage. Lozano will also have the responsibility of coming back, helping out his defence and preventing Kimmich from delivering a cross into the penalty area.

Being a shrewd campaigner, Lozano is also good at heading the ball and shooting the ball from distance. Hence, Kimmich will have to be careful when Lozano is near the penalty area.

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