Olympic gold has evaded football's most successful nation, but Mano Menezes's ultra-talented squad look set to correct that this summer. Al Hain-Cole wonders how Egypt will cope
However, one look at Mano Menezes's squad suggests that they may not have to wait too long to change that, as the line-up looks more befitting of a World Cup than an Under-23 tournament.
Thiago Silva, Neymar, Hulk & Co. are heavily fancied at 1/5 (1.20) with William Hill to hit the ground running and win their opening game against Egypt.
Africa's most successful footballing nation have underwhelmed in the build-up to the tournament, going out in the group stages of the Arab Nations Cup before scraping a 2-1 win over Lierse and losing to Honduras in friendly games.
It would be a major shock if Hany Ramzy's side could pick up a win against their exalted opponents, as the 10/1 (11.00) odds demonstrate.
Even a draw would be a fantastic result for a nation that has gone through considerable upheaval in recent times, and you can get odds of 4/1 (5.00) on the Egyptians giving their fans something to smile about by claiming a point here.
Of all the superstars on display for the Selecao this summer, most attention will be given to their prodigious young striker Neymar.
The 20-year-old Santos frontman has already bagged nine goals in 18 appearances for the senior national team, and his imperious performance in the warm-up match against Team GB suggests that U23 football might be a little too easy for someone of his ability.
Having provided a goal and assist in that match, Neymar should have no problem unlocking the Egyptian defence this evening, and must be backed to score at 8/11 (1.73).
Egypt cannot afford to focus solely on Neymar, though, as the likes of Hulk, Leandro Damiao, and Alexandre Pato can be equally devastating in front of goal.
With firepower like this to call on, Brazil should be expected to chalk up a resounding opening win to send out a message to any fellow pretenders for the gold medal.
Backing the five-times world champions to score four goals or more could provide a healthy windfall, at odds of 12/5 (3.40).
|Neymar to score anytime at 8/11 (1.73) with William Hill
||Brazil to score 4 or more at 12/5 (3.40) with William Hill|
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.
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