Olympics men’s football odds: Spain favourites to depose champions Brazil
Olympics men’s football odds and preview
Great Britain will not have a men’s team at the 2020 Olympics just like in Rio but there are some big nations looking to win the tournament which gets under way on Thursday.
Brazil are the men’s defending champions but Spain are the 2/1 favourites in the Olympics men’s football odds with six players from Euro 2020 in their 22-man squad.
The format is four groups of four with the top two qualifying for the quarter-finals and as usual the squads are comprised of under-23 players with a maximum of three permitted to be overage.
Pedri, the Euro 2020 young player of the tournament, Eric Garcia, Dani Olmo, Pau Torres, Mikel Oyarzabal and Unai Simon are all included in Luis de la Fuente’s squad.
Real Madrid duo Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio, plus Real Sociedad’s Mikel Merino, have been selected as the overage players, so it’s clear why Spain are the favourites for gold despite finishing bottom of their group in their last appearance at London 2012.
Spain enjoyed a great run at the European Championship and were the better team in the semi-final against Italy but lost in a penalty shoot-out after the match finished 1-1 at the end of extra time.
The champions have had a turbulent build-up to the Games with some clubs refusing to release players, but are 11/4 to win the gold medal once again as they prepare to face Germany, Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia in the group phase.
After the dust had settled, former Barcelona right-back Dani Alves, now with Sao Paulo, is one of the three overage players in the 22-man squad which also comprises Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli and Lyon defensive midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.
Brazil shared goalless draws with South Africa and Iraq in the group stage at their home Olympics five years ago, but 2-0 and 6-0 wins against Colombia and Honduras sent them to the final which they won courtesy of a penalty shoot-out with Germany.
World champions France won the gold medal in Los Angeles in 1984 but like Brazil they have had a handful of withdrawals after the players’ clubs refused them permission to compete at the Olympics where they face Japan, Mexico and South Africa in the group stage.
Experienced striker Andre-Pierre Gignac and midfielder Florian Thauvin, who both play in Mexico, are in the overage bracket.
Lorient midfielder Enzo Le Fee and Reims striker Nathaniel Mbuku are expected to shine for France who are 5/1 in the Olympics men’s football odds.
Real Madrid youngster Takefusa Kubo spent last season on loan at Gefate and the 20-year-old winger is the pick of the players from Japan who are 8/1 in the Olympics men’s football odds.
Former Southampton centre-back Maya Yoshida, now with Sampdoria, captains a side that were involved in one of the best games of the 2016 Games, a 5-4 defeat by Nigeria and although they beat Sweden they failed to get out of the group stage.
Their best showing came in 1968 when they took bronze and they have hopes of replicating that performance on home soil.
Best of the rest
Argentina will be hoping to emulate their Copa America-winning side and the Olympic teams who won gold in 2004 and 2008.
Premier League spotters will recognise Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister from the 22-man squad, but Thiago Almada, linked with Leeds, is expected to be a key player for a team that are 9/1 to win the tournament.
Union Berlin striker Max Kruse is the familiar name in the Germany squad who are available at 10/1 having won silver in Rio.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication