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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Olympics Betting: Brazil and Spain head the market


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Two big names are expected to be the dominant forces in the Men's Olympic Football tournament, with the bookmakers favouring Brazil or Spain to come out on top.

Despite Spain's scintillating run in recent tournaments, on this occasion it's the Brazilians who head the betting. It's no surprise though, because the South Americans are using this event as a testing ground for 2014.

Without qualifiers up to the next World Cup, the Brazilians have squeezed in as many of their potential squad for 2014 as possible into this line up. While Stuart Pearce has been forced to pick from limited resources the 'seleceo' have come with the likes of Neymar, Hulk, Oscar and Thiago Silva.

Despite a poor record at this event the bookies have been swayed by the powerful squad. Spain have also selected a strong line up, though they have resisted the temptation to raid the Euro 2012 winners too much.

Juan Mata is a key man after hardly playing at Euro 2012 - by contrast, Jordi Alba was in every match yet the hyperactive left back is in the party. Add in the likes of Iker Muniaian from Bilbao, David De Gea from Manchester United and Christian Tello from Barcelona and clearly they mean business.

It's a real stretch to look beyond these two for a winner. So many of the other qualifiers are from nations with a mediocre pedigree at world events and Africa, which produced recent winners in Cameroon and Nigeria, don't have qualifiers to match those talented teams.

Uruguay, on a high after successes at the 2010 World Cup and Copa America, are third favourites above Team GB. These two teams are drawn in the same qualifying group and with Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani in as over-age players Stuart Pearce's back four will have their work cut out.

Brazil                        6/4

Spain                        5/2

Uruguay                   13/2

Team GB                  10/1

Switzerland              14/1

Mexico                     16/1

40/1 Bar

Prices from Bet 365             

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Hugh Larkin

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