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Olympics

  • 11 August 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Wembley Stadium, London
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 86162
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Brazil - Mexico Preview: Selecao desperate to end Olympic drought by winning gold for first time

Brazil - Mexico Preview: Selecao desperate to end Olympic drought by winning gold for first time

Stanley Chou

The Samba stars have reached the final twice in the past, in 1984 and then four years later, but both times they could only get silver medals and El Tri are in the way this time

  PROBABLE LINEUP
BRAZIL

Gabriel
Rafael, Thiago Silva, Juan, Marcelo
Romulo, Sandro, Oscar
Hulk, Leandro, Neymar


MEXICO

 
Corona
Israel, Reyes, Araujo, Chavez
Enriquez, Salcido
 Aquino, Cortes, Fabian
Peralta


Brazil's starting XI should include few changes, however left-back Alex Sandro, who played in a central midfield role against South Korea could be replaced by Hulk as Oscar sits back in a deeper role.

Neymar and Olympics top scorer Leandro Damiao will lead the line in attack with the Internacional man holding off the presence of Alexandre Pato throughout the tournament to keep his place.

New Paris Saint-Germain signing Lucas Moura will be pushing for a starting place after a number of encouraging cameo appearances; however he will likely be used from the bench if needed.

Since their opening day 0-0 draw with South Korea, Mexico have settled with a fairly consistent starting line-up and that looks likely to continue in the final.

The three over-age players Carlos Salcido, Jose Corona and Oribe Peralta will start for El Tri, however Giovani dos Santos has been ruled out with a foot injury, meaning Javier Cortes could take his place alongside Javier Aquino and Marco Fabian in the advanced midfield positions.

In the semi-final victory over Japan, right-back Israel Jimenez struggled with a knock late on but should be fine to start against Mano Menezes' side.


  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Leandro Damiao (pictured right) is the tournament’s top scorer with six goals.

  • Brazil have won all of their games en route to the final, scoring three goals in each match.

  • This is the first time Brazil have reached the Olympic final since 1988 when players such as Romario and Bebeto played.

  • The Selecao have never won gold in men's Olympic football, settling for silver in 1984 and again four years later.

  • Mexico and Brazil met in a warm-up match just prior to the tournament, and Mexico came out on top with a 2-0 win.

  • With 15 and 10 goals, Brazil and Mexico are respectively the tournament’s two top-scoring teams, while Giovani and Co. have managed one more than Menezes' men in the knockout phase.

  • Carlos Salcido will be the most experienced player on the pitch on Saturday with the 32-year-old racking up 103 caps at full international level.

  • In the last eight meetings between these two sides, both teams have four wins apiece, with two of Brazil's victories coming in friendlies to Mexico's one.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Olympic Games ‎(OLY)‎ 11 Aug 2012 Brazil Under 23 1 - Mexico U-23 2
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-GabrielGoalkeeper
2RafaelDefender
3Thiago SilvaDefender
4Juan JesusDefender
6MarceloDefender
15Alex SandroDefender
5SandroMidfielder
8RômuloMidfielder
11OscarMidfielder
9Leandro DamiãoStriker
11NeymarStriker
18Neto Goalkeeper
13Bruno UviniDefender
14DaniloDefender
7LucasMidfielder
16GansoMidfielder
19HulkStriker
17Alexandre PatoStriker
12J. CoronaGoalkeeper
2I. JiménezDefender
-C. SalcidoDefender
4H. MierDefender
5D. ChavezDefender
4D. ReyesDefender
-H. HerreraMidfielder
-M. FabiánMidfielder
11J. AquinoMidfielder
14Jorge EnríquezMidfielder
18O. PeraltaStriker
12A. RodriguezGoalkeeper
15N. VidrioDefender
16M. PonceDefender
17N. AraujoDefender
7J. CortésStriker
10Giovani dos SantosStriker
18R. JiménezStriker
Players to Watch
Neymar
Neymar
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
6 3 0 0
It is little surprise that Neymar is the one to watch for Brazil, but he is too good not to highlight.

Admittedly the Santos man has not been at his very best in this tournament, often going quiet for periods of matches, but his outrageous skill and bursts of pace have been brilliant to watch throughout, and with four assists plus three goals he will be essential for Menezes.
M. Fabián
M. Fabián
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
6 1 1 0
With Giovani dos Santos ruled out of the final, much of the attacking creativity will be expected to come from Fabian on the left-wing after showcasing some lovely ball control, dribbling and crosses so far.

The Guadalajara man has been a constant threat for Mexico in attacking positions with his crossing a particular highlight, but he will have to up his game even more if Mexico are to remain just as impressive without Giovani.
Prediction
The 2-0 defeat to Mexico just before the tournament shows that Brazil will be in for a tough match on Saturday. However Giovani’s absence will be a massive blow for El Tri, and with Brazil in imperious form in front of goal, one can only look towards a win for the Selecao.
Editor's Prediction

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