Priced at $3.50, Spain are the favourites among the bookies to win Olympic football gold in Tokyo.
Sitting ahead of Brazil ($4.00), France ($5.50), Germany ($7.50) and Argentina ($7.50), La Roja will be an extremely challenging team to beat for anyone.
Gunning for their first football gold medal since 1992 at their home Barcelona Olympics, this team is packed full of stars and desperate for success. Spearheaded by six men who played for Spain during their Euros campaign, it’s a real luxury having Pedro, Unai Simon, Mikel Oyarzabal, Dani Olmo, Pau Torres and Eric Garcia within their ranks.
While many have questioned why they picked these physically drained players who were just at the Euros, Olympic coach Luis de La Fuente insisted they won’t be ran into the ground. “Each player will have their individualised training and workload.
“I want to make sure that everyone knows we will not take risks with anyone, their health and fitness comes first. We have 22 top-level players so we will be able to rotate without any problems.”
To further highlight what an outstanding side they’ve sent, the likes of Oscar Mingueza, Marc Cucurella, Carlos Soler, Bryan Gil and Jesus Vallejo punctuate their class. Moreover, the fact their three overage players are Merino, Asensio and captain Dani Ceballos ensures they unquestionably are the strongest team on paper at the showpiece.
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Things haven’t started ideally though, for they drew 0-0 vs. Egypt in their opening match. Although they dominated proceedings, they were made to rue their missed chances, which proved hard to come by due to the defiant, deep sitting Egyptian backline.
With group matches against Argentina and Australia to come next, they’ll be eager to turn things around and get a win on the board. Considering the quality and depth in their squad, there’s every reason to suggest they’ll do just that and show their competitors exactly why they’re so highly fancied to take home gold in Tokyo.