Mexico will enter a World Cup match as the favourite for the first time when they take on Korea Republic in this second group stage match. In what is definitely one of the more difficult groups at this year’s tournament, few are giving Korea a chance alongside the likes of Germany, Sweden and of course Mexico.
The Mexicans will be elated after defeating Germany in their opening match, but must be careful not to be over-confident now that they face a relatively easy opponent in the Koreans. A win and they are through to the Round of 16 once again, although a loss means they will most likely need to beat Sweden to progress.
Korea on the other hand surely need to win this match to have any chance of progressing the next round. The Germans were unlucky against Mexico and will now need to be at full strength in their final match against the Asian nation. And even if some of the big names are out, the current depth in the German ranks is exceptional – even a third XI could compete with and possibly beat the low-ranked Koreans.
Speaking of rankings, Mexico enters this tournament in the top-fifteen nations, while Korea Republic are closer to 60th according to the official FIFA standings. While we don’t always agree with the rankings system, it does in this case highlight the expected gulf between the two nations. Korea may have navigated their way through a weak Asian qualification group, although they will be under no illusion as to the difficulty of their task at this tournament.
So let’s talk odds. Mexico are actually very good value here, considering we think they will dominate this matchup. They enter the match at -184, while the draw is paying +304. Korea Republic started at around +300 but have blown out after Mexico’s first up win. They are paying +500 and would be great value if you can foresee an upset here.
The thing is, we can’t see any other result other than a Mexican victory here. Korea Republic are the weakest team in the group, and Mexico will be too strong. They will have their eyes fixed firmly on yet another Round of 16 appearance, and we believe they will win this one.
Our prediction is a 2-1 win to the Mexicans, who have goals in them but may concede against a Korean side that boasts good attacking players of their own.