BRAZIL VS BELARUS PREVIEW
Having recorded a hard-fought victory over Egypt in their opening game, the tournament favourites could be in for another difficult task, this time against dark horses Belarus.
The predictions seemed spot on when they scored three goals inside the first period in the opening game against Egypt, but two second-half goals from the Pharaohs made them sweat in the final 15 minutes of the match.
The clash against Egypt should serve as warning that Brazil need to take every opponent seriously if they want to win their first ever Olympic gold, and we are yet to see how the team will respond against Belarus.
Mano Menezes is likely to stick to the same side that beat Egypt and he is only expected to experiment in the final group game against New Zealand.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Neto – Rafael, Thiago Silva, Juan, Marcelo – Oscar, Sandro, Romulo – Hulk, Leandro Damiao, Neymar.
Belarus may be making their first appearance at the Summer Olympics, but nobody is really surprised to see the Red Devils in London.
The former Russian republic have become famous for their excellent work in youth categories and most of their youth sides are regular at tournament finals.
Belarus Olympic squad have done well to mastermind a 1-0 victory over New Zealand in their opening game, although they scored the only goal from a set-piece.
The Red Devils are expected to line up in a 4-5-1 formation with former Zenit star Sergei Kornilenko set to be deployed as a lone striker.
Probable starting line-up (4-5-1): Gutor – Kozlov, Politevich, Polyakov, Kuzmianok- Solovey, Renan, Dragun, Baga, Gordeychuk – Kornilenko.
SENEGAL VS URUGUAY PREVIEW
Senegal did well to keep their qualifying hopes alive by holding hosts Great Britain to a 1-1 draw, but they now face another tricky tie against one of the tournament favourites.
Uruguay experienced major problems in what should have been an easy game against UAE, but Oscar Tabarez’s side did record an important victory after coming from a goal down.
The Teranga Lions were virtually written off after Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Dame N’Doye were ruled out of the tournament, but their opening game showed Senegal are not there only to make the numbers.
Abdoukarime Diouf’s side worked really hard throughout the game and fought valiantly for every single ball, and the equalizer scored by Moussa Konate was ajust reward for their efforts.
Midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye is doubtful after picking up injury against Team GB, but all other players are fit to feature.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): O. Mane – Ciss, Ba, P. Gueye, Souare – Kouyate, Diame, Z. Toure – Konate, Balde, S. Mane.
What was supposed to be a mere walk in the park turned out to be an extremely difficult encounter for Uruguay as La Celeste were completely outplayed by enthusiastic UAE side in the first half.
The free-kick goal Gaston Ramirez scored just before the half-time break proved crucial, and Oscar Tabarez’s men managed to win the game thanks to Nicolas Lodeiro after showing a massive improvement in the second period.
The experienced boss admitted after the game that his side were experienced big fitness problems and with the clash against hard-working Senegal side coming just three days later, everything suggests La Celeste will be in for another difficult encounter.
Boss Oscar Tabarez is unlikely to make major changes to the side, although match winner Nicolas Lodeiro should start.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Campana – Albin, Arias, Coates, Rolin – Lodeiro, Arevalo Rios, Calzada – Suarez, Cavani, Ramirez.