World Cup Match Of The Week: Germany vs Mexico
World Cup Match Of The Week: Germany vs Mexico Germany vs Mexico, June 17th, 11:00 a.m. EST (Germany -234, Mexico +630, Draw +349)

The action in Group F of the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Sunday, June 17, when Mexico faces reigning world champions, Germany, in Moscow. The match involves the two teams most are projecting to advance out of the group. Of course, Germany is also viewed as one of the top favorites to win the cup while Mexico isn't seen as much of a threat beyond the group stage.

No Question of Talent

From a talent standpoint, both teams have to like where they are heading into this World Cup. The German side may be even better than the group that won the World Cup four years ago, as their returning veterans have young, rising stars like Timo Werner and Julian Draxler to complement them. The fact that Leroy Sane was excluded from the 23-man roster tells you everything you need to know about how good the Germans can be.

Meanwhile, many have wondered if this is the best Mexican team to ever head to a World Cup. El Tri has so many familiar faces, including Javier Hernandez, Giovani dos Santos, Andres Guardado, Hector Moreno, and even Rafa Marquez, who is heading to his fifth World Cup at age 39. If Mexico can get those guys peaking at the same time, they have to feel good about their chances to make some noise in this tournament.

Injury Concerns

Unfortunately, both Mexico and Germany are facing injury question marks heading into their World Cup opener. German goalie Manuel Neuer hasn't played a competitive game since September because of injury, but he will be the starter against Mexico. Midfield playmaker Mesut Ozil is also battling a knee injury, putting his status for the Mexico game in doubt.

The Mexicans also have some questions about players working their way back from injury, Guardado is still not in top form less than a month after surgery on a nerve in his leg. If he's not up to speed, it could hurt Mexico in the midfield. Moreno has also been held up due to injury in the lead up to the World Cup, as has fellow defender Diego Reyes. Those injuries have put a spotlight on Mexico's uncertainty on their back line.

What Have You Done for Me Lately

Both Germany and Mexico have stumbled in friendlies ahead of the World Cup. The Germans took a surprising 2-1 loss against Austria. While they rebounded against Saudi Arabia 2-1 over the weekend, the Germans also failed to win either of their March friendlies against Spain and Brazil.

Mexico has also failed to impress in their run-up to Russia. They settled for a scoreless draw against Wales and a modest 1-0 win over Scotland. In their final friendly before the tournament, El Tri looked all out of sorts in a 2-0 loss to Denmark. If Mexico can't even handle an average European side like Denmark, it doesn't bode well for their chances against Germany.

Same Old Germans

Few countries are better at opening a World Cup than Germany. Not since 1986 have the Germans failed to win their tournament opener. They also tend to do so in impressive fashion. In their last four World Cup openers, Germany has outscored their opponents 20-2, including a 4-0 drubbing of Portugal four years ago.

After their win over Saudi Arabia, the Germans appear to be all systems go for the World Cup. Meanwhile, Mexico has still not settled on a back-four, which is not what you want heading into a match against the Germans. Mexico skipper Juan Carlos Osorio has a lot to sort out leading up to the World Cup opener, as the Denmark game left El Tri with more questions than answers. Even if Osorio can find a few answers, it's crazy to bet against the Germans in a World Cup opener. Bet Germany -200 to beat Mexico.