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We’ve got some big names involved in the semi-finals of the Men’s Olympic football on Tuesday morning. Three of the four teams are guaranteed a medal from here on but as the saying goes, if you’re not first, you’re last.
Spain are the current favourites to win gold come next Saturday but face a stern test against Japan who were the only side in the tournament to win all of their group stage games.
Everton forward Richarlison has been leading the way for Brazil with five tournament goals but they’re up against the team with the most goals so far in the competition, Mexico.
Let’s preview the matches and find some potential bets.
Mexico have scored a very healthy 14 goals over their four tournament games so far, winning three and losing one, conceding six goals in the process. Brazil have won three and drawn one, scoring eight and conceding four.
This Mexico team doesn’t hold back, they just don’t know how to play any other way than to go all out. Brazil are a bit more cautious in their approach, like the senior side we just saw getting to the Copa America final they prefer to hit teams quickly, build and defend their lead and pick them off on the counter.
All this means we should see a lively end-to-end game. Brazil are obviously the favourites thanks to having some fairly experienced players among the ranks, but this Mexico side have nothing to fear and have shown over the competition they have an arsenal of firepower in their squad.
Over 2.5 goals has landed in all four of Mexico’s games so far and in two of Brazil’s with Both Teams to Score landing in three of Mexico’s and two of Brazil’s. With both teams in great goal-scoring form BTTS looks a given but we can’t see this one ending level, our first pick is BTTS No Draw.
Be honest, you kind of want Japan to win here don’t you? The hosts were impressive in the Group Stage where they beat Mexico and France 2-1 and 4-0 respectively. Their quarter-final was a dull affair though. New Zealand dug in and Japan could only register three shots on goal during the 90 minutes, but were eventual 4-2 winners on penalties.
Spain had a tough group stage where they won just one game against Australia 1-0, drawing the other two – 1-1 with Argentina and a 0-0 with Egypt. In their quarter-final game though the team finally clicked, drawing 2-2 with the Ivory Coast, scoring a 93rd-minute goal to force extra time where they scored three more goals, with Wolves’ Rafa Mir scoring the final goal of the 90 and two in extra time.
There’s plenty of talent in this Japan side. They’ve scored at least two goals in two of their four matches and scored two in three of their pre-tournament friendlies. Spain showed against Ivory Coast that they can turn on the style when it comes together. They had the tougher games too against defensive-minded teams and they should be able to get more chances against an attack-focused Japan. This one has the smell of goals and we’re liking the odds on BTTS Two or More here.
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