Brazil play Mexico in the final of the Olympic Football tournament at Wembley today (3pm UK time). Both sides eased to victory in their respective semi-finals. Brazil have certainly been the most impressive team in the competition. The pre-tournament favourites deserve their place at Wembley as they lit up the competition with a fluid and exciting style of play.
Mexico will be no pushovers, and they should be the first team to really challenge Brazil at the games. Mexico were tipped to reach the semi-final stage, but in the absence of Spain they were able to easily overcome Japan in their semi.
Surprisingly neither side has ever won the Olympic Football tournament before, Brazil have made the final on two occasions in 1984 and 1988 and they won a bronze in 2008. Brazil are the only team in the tournament who have to date won all of their matches, and amazingly they have scored three goals in every game. Their defence also looks like it has improved, as they conceded two goals against Egypt and Honduras, both teams that were not expected to trouble the mighty Brazil.
In their semi-final against South Korea there was really only ever going to be one winner, and Brazil controlled the game superbly. Their movement, passing and finishing was all too much for a limited South Korea side. Brazil were fortunate not to concede a penalty early in the second half, but after that Neymar again proved what a fantastic player he is creating two goals for Leandro.
Brazil just have such quality and it does not feel like they are an under-23 side, admittedly with three over-age players, such is the class of their play. They also have amazing depth. In their semi-final for example they were able to bring Hulk and Pato off the bench, both strikers that are world renowned due to their achievements at Porto and AC Milan.
If Brazil thought they were on for an easy ride, as they have enjoyed so far in the tournament, they are not against an excellent Mexico side. Mexico’s previous best achievement at an Olympic games was reaching the quarter-final stage, but now having guaranteed themselves at least a silver medal, they will be thoroughly focused on gold.
Mexico qualified for the Olympic games by winning all five of their qualifying games, and at under-21 and under-17 age group levels they have been very strong in recent years. Mexico have only failed to win one match at the tournament to date, that was their opening match with South Korea which they drew 1-1.
Since then they have beaten Gabon, Switzerland, Senegal after extra time and Japan. Against Senegal in their quarter-final they were 2-0 up midway through the second-half, before Senegal’s superior height and strength got them back into the game. Mexico came through with two goals in extra-time, before again coming from behind to beat Japan 3-1 in the semis.
The only match that Mexico struggled in was against Senegal, whose strength and aerial power troubled them, but Brazil will not play like that. The key players for Mexico are Giovanni Dos Santos and Oribe Peralta. That pair has scored half of Mexico’s goals between them and they will need to shine against a strong Brazilian defence.
Brazil v Mexico Betting Tips Verdict
Finding a weakness in the Brazil side is difficult. In defence they have Thiago Silva, the world’s most expensive defender and Marcelo, the Real Madrid defender. In midfield they have Oscar, Sandro and Lucas and up front they have four world class strikers to choose from, Pato, Neymar, Hulk and Leandro.
This is a squad that would probably get to the latter stages of a proper World Cup and the majority of the players are under-23. Brazil deserve to win and they will if they play the same way that they have throughout the tournament. The best Mexico can hope for is that Neymar and his team have an off day and they are able to sneak a goal or two.
Our betting tips: Brazil are best-priced at odds of 1/4 to take gold, so that is hardly a betting proposition. They are more backable at 8/15 to win in normal time but another way to have a financial interest on this game is in the ‘correct score’ betting market. Take Brazil to win 3-1 at 11/1 with Bet365 Online Bookmaker.