Brazil and US the bookies favourites for football gold medals
Friday, 27 April 2012
April 27 - Following this week's draw for the London 2012 Olympic Games football tournament, Brazil and the United States (pictured left) are favourites with the bookmakers for the men's and women's gold medals.
Brazil (pictured below) were pitted with Egypt, New Zealand and Belarus in Group C of the men's draw.
With a strong squad likely to be selected, the South Americans are optimistic they can finally bring home their first Olympic gold medal, though they do not necessarily offer value for money with William Hill at odds of 15-8.
Second favourites at 9-4 are Spain, the reigning World and European Champions, who last won the Olympic tournament on home soil in Barcelona in 1992.
They were drawn with Japan, Morocco and Honduras in Group D, whilst Group B pits North American champions Mexico against South Korea, Gabon and Switzerland.
The hosts Britain are third favourites at 5-1 to lift the title on the first occasion they will have played as a united football team since failing to qualify for the 1972 Munich Olympics.
They will be mindful though that the hosts have exited at the first round of the last four Olympic Games, and have been drawn in Group A with Uruguay, Senegal and the United Arab Emirates.
In the women's tournament, the US are optimistic of a third successive Olympic gold after an excellent qualifying campaign, and were drawn with France, North Korea and Colombia in Group G this week.
They have been given odds of 11-4, just ahead of Brazil and reigning World Champions Japan (pictured below), both at 3-1.
Brazil are up against the hosts, Britain, New Zealand and Cameroon in Group E, whilst Japan face Sweden, Canada and South Africa in Group F.
France and Sweden both enjoyed an excellent World Cup last year, reaching the semi finals 11-2 and 10-1 respectively.
William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly said: "The [British] men head into the tournament as third favourites despite the fact that nobody knows who will be in their squad, while the loss of Kelly Smith looks to have hampered the women's chances."
William Hill are also offering bets on who will make the historic Team GB squad, with LA Galaxy's David Beckham a strong contender according to the bookies at 10-1 on.
Punters can get odds of 7-1 against him being selected by coach Stuart Pearce, whilst Gareth Bale at 16-1 on and Josh McEachran 2-1 on are also strong candidates for the squad.
Intriguingly, Lille's Joe Cole – a strong player for one of the three slots allowed for players over 23-years-old – who has enjoyed an impressive campaign with the French champions, only has a 9-2 chance of selection according to the bookies.
April 2012: Team GB footballers face tough London 2012 test following group draws