The stats started unimpressively but the performances have been encouraging, and Great Britain are now in a position to win the group ahead of their final Group A game against Uruguay tomorrow night (Wednesday August 1, 7.45pm).
Unfortunately, the ugly side of the game will crop up ahead of the match: Luis Suarez will be faced with the Great Britain captain and current team-mate of Patrice Evra, Ryan Giggs. Luckily, the Welshman looks as if he has no time to dwell on such a nonsensical matter, rather just looking for the minimum of a draw to take his team through.
Team GB ultimately dispatched the UAE in their last game, opponents that looked particularly dangerous in their opening match against Uruguay. UAE had flair and were slicing through the defence of their opening game opponents. Great Britain, however, put those threats to rest with a comfortable 3-1 final score line.
Craig Bellamy has really embraced the fact that he and his team-mates are now Olympians, as well as footballers. The Liverpool striker has two goals in two games and has stepped into the role as one of the leaders of the team.
Bet365 Online Bookmaker bets like this:
6/4 GB, 9/5 Uruguay, 9/4 Draw
Meanwhile, captain Ryan Giggs is still looking at his best despite his age and now has the personal accolade as the oldest goal scorer at the Olympics. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled.
But the team are not without their problems. Stuart Pearce’s selection concerns have cropped up again as Daniel Sturridge really appeared to struggle in the opening game and was substituted during half-time. Should anything of greater concern occur, that would leave the side with Marvin Sordell as the only option for the lone striker role.
I’ve been over it before, but it would have been great to see someone like Jordan Rhodes in that role. He has played plenty of football this past season and knows where the goal is. Highlighting the frustrations was Sordell’s late strike against the post in the opening game with Senegal. A win would have surely guaranteed progress out of the group, but Uruguay can be a dangerous team to play in a deciding fixture.
Uruguay have shown both sides of their game in their opening two fixtures. The attacking prowess of their forwards has been impressive, with Luis Suarez driving his team on, particularly against Senegal.
Gaston Ramirez, a target for a host of Premier League clubs, netted an outstanding free kick in the opening game, as Uruguay ran out 2-1 winners. Hardly a comfortable match for one of the favourites, but their key players’ experience at the top level shone through.
Against Senegal, however, those early concerns were brought to the fore. The defence was shaky and not entirely sure of itself, and Senegal capitalised. The 2-0 final score was a shock to most, but Great Britain will now be fearing a very determined Uruguay in their game on Wednesday.
Uruguay have the pace and power to overrun this Great Britain side. And although he hasn’t reached the heights he is capable of yet due to his position on the flanks, Edinson Cavani can be the real difference in the tie. A powerful striker who can comfortably out-muscle the Great Britain defence, he’ll be a threat particularly from set pieces.
In midfield, Joe Allen hasn’t been convincing, and Great Britain are often left with huge gaps between their defence and midfield. An extra body in that midfield might be necessary for Pearce’s side, as the team need to avoid defeat more than anything.
A combination in midfield of Aaron Ramsey, Tom Cleverly and Joe Allen is promising for the attacking side of the game, but the team need to shut down the opposition breaks; an aspect in which they have not been wholly convincing.
Great Britain v Uruguay Betting Tips
The two opening games for Great Britain have shown that Pearce is capable of making necessary changes to his side to force the issue. The team have improved and they should be confident of a positive result in their final group game. But I believe Uruguay’s attacking options will be too much and the South American’s will win a close game.
Verdict: Back Uruguay to get the win they desperately need at around 7/4.
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