Germany's Toni Kroos, right, celebrates with Marco Reus after scoring a sensational goal from a free kick move against Sweden in stoppage time. Photo: Frank Augstein/AP
Germany's Toni Kroos, right, celebrates with Marco Reus after scoring a sensational goal from a free kick move against Sweden in stoppage time. Photo: Frank Augstein/AP
Will there be more tears of joy and relief for Neymar today? Photo: Georgi Licovski/EPA
Will there be more tears of joy and relief for Neymar today? Photo: Georgi Licovski/EPA

After the drama of the last few group deciders, can we expect Germany and Brazil to face some difficulty today?

The fact that they haven’t won both their group matches suggests that may be the case, although Germany should be able to get past Korea Republic.

Brazil, though, face a tricky encounter with Serbia…

4pm: Korea Republic v Germany

Surely the defending champions have regained their confidence after Toni Kroos’ dramatic late winner against Sweden?

But the problem for Germany is that their fate is not entirely in their own hands, as they are level on points with the Swedes and have the same zero goal difference.

So, to go through to the last-16, they need to have a bigger victory than Sweden need against Mexico, who play at the same time.

But in the Germans’ favour is that they have the easier match, with Korea Republic (South Korea) having lost to both their Group F games.

Coach Joachim Loew will hope that Kroos’ stunning strike from a free kick move with ignite the rest of his star players, but he will be without the suspended Jerome Boateng and injured Sebastian Rudy.

It remains to be seen whether Mesut Ozil will earn a recall, but Marco Reus is full of running, and Timo Werner will hope his luck changes in this game.

Korea won’t have injured captain Ki Sung-yueng.

Prediction: Korea Republic 0-2 Germany.

4pm: Mexico v Sweden

The same scenario that faces Germany applies to Sweden – they need to win by a bigger margin.

But the Swedes come off a heartbreaking last-gasp defeat to the defending champions, and now they have to face Group F leaders Mexico.

The Mexicans are buzzing after two consecutive victories, although they need a point to be sure of topping the group.

Coach Juan Carlos Osorio has vowed to continue employing an attacking style, although as we saw with the Denmark-France draw, sometimes teams will just do what they need to advance.

While Sweden have a strong defence, they lack real firepower to go all-out for goals – with set-pieces probably their best opportunity – while Javier Hernandez and Co are lethal in the opposition box.

Prediction: Mexico 2-1 Sweden

8pm: Serbia v Brazil

All permutations are on the table for Serbia and Brazil – they can top Group E, end second or miss out in third.

The only guarantee of a last-16 spot is victory, and what a clash it promises to be. The Serbians felt hard done by when they weren’t awarded a penalty against Switzerland, and striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is in red-hot form.

He will bank on getting through-balls and crosses from the likes of Nemanja Matic and Dusan Tadic, but they will come up against a Brazilian outfit that will feel they’ve found their touch by beating Costa Rica 2-0.

Neymar got on to the score-sheet, and is surrounded by sharp attacking forces such as Gabriel Jesus, Philippe Coutinho and Willian.

Prediction: Serbia 1-2 Brazil

8pm: Switzerland v Costa Rica

Switzerland will hope Brazil will do them a favour by beating Serbia, but with the matches being played at the same time, they have to get the job done themselves if they want to be sure of making the last-16.

Swiss duo Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka have hit the headlines as much for their controversial celebrations as for their performances on the field.

But they will want to underline their ability on it once more by dispatching Costa Rica, who lost to both Serbia and Brazil.

Costa Rica do have a world-class goalkeeper in Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas, but won’t have enough in attack to cause an upset.

Prediction: Switzerland 2-0 Costa Rica

 

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