Olympics football tips: Five punts as men’s group stage gets underway
Robbie Purves | August 3, 2016
The Olympics is nearly here, and the world’s footballing attention turns to the pitches of Brazil. Who features among Coral’s Olympics football tips?
Mexico won the top prize in 2012, but will face stern opposition in from the likes of Brazil, Germany and Argentina.
The competition’s curtain raiser takes place on Thursday, kicking-off a festival of football concluding on August 20th. With so many top nations on show, We have picked out a few Olympics football tips from the opening fixtures…
Danes dominate Iraq
Denmark have competed in two Olympics football tournaments in the last 50 years, but finished runners up 1960.
Fulham’s Lasse Vigen Christensen was a bright spark for the disappointing Cottagers last term and the all-action midfielder has previously captained his nation’s under 21 side, and will hope to take his club form into the Olympics.
With Christensen combined with Red Bull Leipzig forward Yussuf Poulsen set to start, expect the Iraqi outfit to be overwhelmed – the Danes are 13/2 to win 2-0.
Algeria to excel against Honduras
Algeria resisted the temptation to pick Riyad Mahrez and instead, opted to keep continuity with qualifying.
French-born Rachid Ait-Atmane came through the ranks of Racing Lens at the same time as Raphael Varane and Geoffrey Kondogbia, and helped Sporting Gijon earn promotion to La Liga last term.
With his quality, expect Algeria to dominate and are 8/1 to triumph 2-1 over Honduras, who have a squad largely made up from Honduran based players.
Samba boys sink South Africa 3-0
After the shock and embarrassment of being thrown out of their own World Cup 2014 with a nation shattering 7-1 defeat that sent the country into footballing mourning, Brazil have made sure they don’t suffer the same fate in 2016.
The Samba Boys have selected a strong squad, featuring Barcelona’s Neymar, PSG’s Maquinhos and Felipe Anderson – plying his trade in Serie A. Combine with the uber-talented Gabriel Barbosa and Gabriel Jesus, and you have a formidable forward line.
Brazil scored three goals in five of their six games at the previous Olympics, and Coral have them 5/1 to sink South Africa 3-0.
Mexico hold Germans to nil
Reigning champions Mexico went through the group stage of tournament without conceding a single goal and are 8/1 to sneak a 1-0 victory over Germany.
Raul Gutierrez’s men will be keen to kick off the defence of their title with a bang and possess a talented squad. Hirving Lozano has been rumoured with a move to Manchester United this summer, and is a talented goalscoring winger with 23 goals in 93 appearances for Mexican side Pachuca.
The Aztecs also boast Mexican legend Oribe Oeralta who has a superb record of netting 22 times in 50 senior caps for El Tri. Of Germany’s six defenders, only one has full international for Die Mannschaft, the inexperienced backline may struggle to keep Mexico quiet.
Argentina power past Portugal 2-0
La Albiceleste won back-to-back tournaments in 2004 and 2008, conceding just two goals in as many Olympics and are 10/1 to triumph 2-0 over Portugal.
Argentina possess recognised talented such as Atletico Madrid’s Angel Correa, often compared to Sergio Aguero, and Giovanni Simeone – Diego’s son. Simeone Jr has a fantastic record for his nation’s Under-20 side, netted 10 in 12 caps. Expect an average Portugal side, devoid of big names to struggle to contain him.