An intriguing group for this third Pop World Cup match, with two of the sleeping giants of pop football – Sweden and South Korea – lined up against the always capable Germany and dark horses Mexico. Group of death? In a sense, they are all groups of death when YOU have the casting vote. Pick your favourite two tracks and may the best manager win!

Pop World Cup 2018 Group F Match 1: Pick TWO tracks [ballot]

  • SOUTH KOREA: Taeyeon 34%
  • MEXICO: Clorofila 29%
  • SWEDEN: Those Dancing Days 28%
  • GERMANY: Wolkenfrei 9%

Total Voters: 42

Poll closes: 10 Jul 2018 @ 18:15

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SWEDEN (Manager: Dan Watkins): Those Dancing Days – “Can’t Find Entrance”

“In my mind the Swedish pop WC team, turn up as at the tournament as a ragtag collection of individuals, who haven’t seen each other or worked together since the last tournament. In such situations, all a manager can do is put out the “players” who’ve been world beaters in previous tournaments.

If this world cup was allowed to use songs up to 2008, Those Dancing Days would be the band I’d have saved for the final. (the song would be Hitten – my belief that hitten is one of the 2 best songs of the 00s is a hill I would happily die on). TDD were formed when all the members were at school, and split up 4 years later when they all went to different universities. In those 4 years, they wrote, what is to my mind, some of the greatest indie pop music ever written, the living embodiment of euphoric joy. Can’t find Entrance is my favourite song from their second album.

If any of the voters want to give me the best possible chance, I’d suggest giving the song until the chorus before making a first judgment. To me the song is at it’s best if you let it play all the way through, then put it on repeat for a second time.”

GERMANY: (Manager: Joris): Wolkenfrei – “Wolke 7”

“… because everybody likes a bit of schlager (especially dressed up in big synths) (and bathing suits)”

MEXICO: (Manager: Dorsalstop): Clorofila – “Baby Rock Rock”

Drawn in the group of death with pop powerhouses Sweden and South Korea as well as plucky Germany, we have to rely on the strength of our collective* (even if one of us takes a star turn here). Today, we fuse elements of our traditional style of play with the kind of game we expect our opponents to play, and also aim to charm neutral spectators with our visuals. Some on our own team seem to think ‘something’s missing’, but I believe we can beat the odds.

*Clorofila is part of a group called Nortec Collective, and the album artist is a.k.a. ‘Nortec Collective presents Clorofila’

SOUTH KOREA: (Manager: Ludo): Taeyeon – “I Got Love”

“Dark synth stabs take us for a majestic sexy ride. Taeyeon’s wails sound heavenly, but the crazy-ass weirdo ‘chorus’, brings us right back to the ground. Stampin’ our feet. Blood is on the dancefloor, and it isn’t Taeyeon’s. She’s way too cool for that”

RESULTS: Brazil’s manager sets out to lay their group stage curse to rest with a dominant Group E win and 3 points which sets them up nicely for the second match. It’s nip-and-tuck between the fancied Swiss team and a spirited Costa Rica side, but it’s the Europeans who carry home 2 points and leave Costa Rica with 1. That leaves poor Serbia to bear the brunt of a tough group – the manager will have some thinking to do for next time.