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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

OLYMPICS : Brazil target mens football gold medal

It's not the World Cup, but the mens and womens Olympic football tournaments are still high quality events and will sell more Olympic tickets than any other Olympic sport.

Mens Olympic Football :

In the mens event, Spain are looking very strong as a nation with wins in European Championships at senior level, U21 and U19 and with a strong side selected that Spanish team are probably the best value at 3.50.

However, Brazil have never won the mens football olympic gold medal and as brazil are still considered the kings of football that fact hurts and Brazil have selected a very strong side to make a big effort this time.

African sides have done well at the Olympics in recent years at big odds, with Nigeria winning in 1996, Cameroon in 2000, Mali 5th in 2004, and Nigeria 2nd in 2008. Nigeria did not make it this time - and Gabon, Morocco and Egypt do not look to have the same force.

Argentina won in 2008 (with Lionel Messi, Juan Riquelme and and Sergio Aguero playing) beating Nigeria 1-0 in the final, while Brazil won the Bronze medal.

Gold Medal Olympic Football Odds from PinnacleSports :
Brazil 2.53 -- Spain 3.50 -- Uruguay 6.88 -- Britain 10.79

The knockout draw will keep the group winners from Group C (Brazil?) and Group D (Spain?) apart until the final - and I predict that we will see a Brazil v Spain final so your gold medal bets should probably be either one of these two sides.

Womens Olympic Football :

The womens event is dominated by the United States side who have three gold medals and a silver medal from the last four events.

With only twelve teams competing, qualification was fierce, and three countries which normally contest in the semi-finals at least, Germany, China and Norway were all eliminated and will not be at London.

That leaves the United States and Brazil as the two stand out sides with Olympic pedigree, indeed the last two Olympic finals have seen USA beat Brazil 2-1, and 1-0. So the United States are the standout side.

One team hoping to change Olympic history is Japan, who won the FIFA World Cup in 2011 for the first time, beat Germany 1-0 (AET), Sweden 3-1, and the United States in the final on penalty kicks.

Because this is only a 12 team competition, the kncokout draw is a little strange, and the winners of Group F (Japan?) will have an advantage of not meeting another group winner until the final, whereas the winners of Group E (Brazil?) and Group G (United States?) could meet in a semi-final clash.

Gold Medal Olympic Football Odds from PinnacleSports
United States 2.86 -- Brazil 4.54 -- Japan 4.97 -- France 7.03 -- Sweden 9.75 -- Britain 11.26

The United States at 2.86 are the favourites, but Japan has the favourable draw and their 4.97 odds are definately good value as well.

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