With London 2012 just over three weeks away, Willie Duncan casts his eye over the nations dreaming of Olympic gold in the Men's Football competition this summer
With home advantage, many will fancy Team GB - priced up at 6/1 (7.0) with William Hill to win the tournament - to go far, but Pearce’s side will face stiff competition as they challenge for gold. This tournament has a list of illustrious past winners and will see the hosts face a stern test from all around the world.
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Brazil’s squad boasts household names like Chelsea’s David Luiz, Milan’s Alexandre Pato and, perhaps most notably, Santos’ Neymar and they will be desperate to make amends for the disappointment of failing to secure gold four years ago.
Spain are European Champions at Under 17, Under 19, Under 21 and, of course, senior level so it comes as no surprise that they are also among the favourites for glory with William Hill, making La Rojita a 9/4 (2.75) shot to complete the set with Olympic success.
Spain’s squad, unsurprisingly, is packed with quality with the likes of Manchester United’s David De Gea in goal and prolific striker Adrian Lopez leading the line and they will pose a huge threat.
David Beckham may be a notable absentee from the Team GB squad but have Welsh duo Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy alongside England’s Micah Richards as the three permitted Over-23 players in the squad.
They are interspersed with young talent like Daniel Sturridge, Aaron Ramsay and Tom Cleverley, there’s no doubt that Pearce has picked a squad capable of winning the tournament and Team GB appear to represent good value at 6/1 (7.0) with William Hill.
Switzerland are also chalked up at 6/1 (7.0) with William Hill to taste success at the Olympics and, with the nucleus of the squad that won the Under 17 World Cup in Nigeria in 2009 and lost out to Spain in the final of the Under 21 European Championships last year set to travel to London, the Swiss are expected to mount a strong challenge here.
It looks certain to be a fascinating contest and there will certainly be plenty of good football to keep punters entertained until the major European leagues kick into action next month.
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter
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