First the Republic of Ireland were sent home from Euro 2012 without a point for their troubles before Roy Hodgson’s England slumped to a meek exit at the hands of Italy.
Now the excitement of the Olympic football tournament has been tempered by Brazil’s emphatic 2-0 possession lesson in Friday’s warm-up game against Team GB.
Things are unlikely to get much easier when the tournament starts on Thursday with Great Britain in Group A against Senegal, United Arab Emirates and a strong Uruguay.
Indeed, the presence of the Uruguayans – led by Copa America winning coach Oscar Tabarez and including Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez in the ranks – could be problematic for Stuart Pearce’s side.
That’s the last game of the group so a tentative start against Senegal may prove costly.
Team GB are 11/4 (3.75) not to qualify and, while that may not be a patriotic bet if you are based in the Olympic host nation, it could be a lucrative one if Pearce fails to forge them into a team.
Despite the doubts about this side, the second group game against the United Arab Emirates will surely provide some cheer.
The senior UAE side is currently bottom of their 2014 World Cup qualifying group behind South Korea, Lebanon and Kuwait.
This outfit should prove no match for Pearce’s players and odds of 5/2 (3.5) against Team GB netting four goals or more in any Olympic game look attractive because of this fixture.
That’s the best bet in this one. Who will get the goals? Craig Bellamy came closest on Friday and the 33-year-old will need to assume more responsibility this summer as an over-age player.
Bellamy may relish that and can be backed at 5/6 (1.83) with William Hill to score in this tournament.
The question is – will it be in a losing cause?
|Team GB to score four or more goals in a game at 5/2 (3.50)
||Team GB to be eliminated at the group stage at 11/4 (3.75) with William Hill
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on
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