Illness, injury could leave Sweden short against Germany

Germany's midfielder Sami Khedira speaks to media prior to a training session at the Olympic Park Arena in Sochi

Germany's midfielder Sami Khedira speaks to media prior to a training session at the Olympic Park Arena in Sochi

The defending world champions came in for harsh criticism after their opening 1-0 loss to Mexico, with Ozil and Khedira singled out and the former having his string of 26 consecutive starts in competitive matches snapped.

With Mexico top of Group F after winning their second match on Saturday, Germany play South Korea on Wednesday knowing they must do as well as the Swedes against Mexico if they are to progress to the knockout round.

"Mats Hummels will probably not be able to play".

At halftime Germany trailed Sweden 1-0 following Ola Toivonen's sensational finish and were 45 minutes away from a humiliating group stage exit from the World Cup.

Germany needs a win to keep their place in the tournament, Sweden need the three points to qualify to the next round and this sets up for a great game. "We didn't bring them on the flight because we didn't know what had made them feel a bit queasy, but they will travel tomorrow", Andersson said at a press conference at Sochi's Fisht Stadium Friday.

Mexico avoided a letdown Saturday after upsetting Germany to start the tournament, handling South Korea by a 2-1 score But Mexico (six points) isn't safe yet.

The Germans scored a stoppage time victor through Toni Kroos to snatch a 2-1 victory over the Swedes and hand themselves a lifeline for a spot in the knockout stage after having suffered a shock opening loss to Mexico.

Iceland eliminated despite spirited display in loss to Croatia in Rostov
Gylfi Sigurdsson levelled with a penalty but Ivan Perisic grabbed a last-gasp victor . A Nigeria win would send the Icelanders and Argentinians both home.

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It begins, however, with what should be a one sided Group G affair, as Belgium take on Tunisia.

Tunisia is in the World Cup for the first time since 2006 and had an admirable showing in its opener against England.

One of the best supported nations in Russia, Mexican fans have flooded across the Atlantic in tens of thousands and their side are making just as big an impression on the pitch.

"Of course this was a thriller, full of emotions and a rollercoaster ride right up until the final whistle", Germany coach Joachim Loew said.

Among them was defender Pontus Jansson, who played against the South Koreans. We think we can win this game.

Similarly, Mexico's attacking resources will be too much for goal-shy South Korea. "He was obviously involved in the mistake with the Swedes scoring the first goal".

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