MEXICO produced the shock of the first round against Germany, but are they capable of holding top spot in Group F? Lucas Swain-Britton (@LucasSwain95) tells us all in his preview of their clash with South Korea from Rostov on Sunday.
South Korea v Mexico | Saturday 23rd June 2018, 16:00 | ITV
Many people knew of Mexico’s qualities before this tournament. The Central American side’s ability is no secret – they’re a real banana skin opposition. However, I think few expected them to overcome the Germans.
The people of Mexico cast serious doubt over Juan Carlos Osorio ahead of this tournament, with many believing he wasn’t the man to guide El Tri beyond their usual four matches at a World Cup.
Despite this, it was Osorio’s tactics that allowed Mexico defeat the world holders and put them in a fantastic position to top the group. Germany’s key players were nullified and Hirving Lozano showed why he’s one to fear.
For all of Mexico’s brilliance against Germany, they certainly didn’t control the match. They used their pace and fluid transitions to pounce on counter-attacked in fantastic fashion. When they play against South Korea, they’ll be forced to attack more.
Whilst there’s an impetuous for the Asian side to attack having zero points in this group, if Mexico want to finish top they also have to attack here. Both of these situations combined and it may seem as if goals are on the cards.
Hector Herrera has a big role to play for Mexico in this match as they control the ball more, but he has the quality to dictate this match.
The alarming statistic for South Korea in their previous match is their chance creation, or lack of. Whilst they decided to sit relatively deep, so it was naturally going to be poor, generating an xG of 0.51 is shocking.
It was thought if Son Heunng-min could perform as the centrepiece they may have stood a chance of something, but the only hope the South Koreans had was punting long passes the Kim Shin-wook. That simply won’t suffice against a stronger Mexico side.
Korea have an awful lot to prove if they want to get anything from this match. They’re a capable side at the back, which makes me believe this won’t be a hammering and a relatively tight affair.
The betting angle
I think Mexico are priced up slightly generously for this match at the time of writing, but I suspect many bettors with favour with them come closer to kick-off and this price will come in.
I’ve already mentioned I don’t particularly fancy many goals in this one, so it’s a pretty straight forward bet for me. I’ll be having a bit of Mexico to win and Under 3.5 Goals at 6/5 (Ladbrokes).
South Korea v Mexico – Mexico win and Under 3.5 Goals (6/5 Ladbrokes)