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Olympic Football Tournament Preview And Top Tips


You may think that with the Copa America and Euros tournaments completed, that the focus of attention for football fans would switch to the start of the domestic season in August. However, before that there is another big international football event taking place, the Olympic Soccer tournament which features both a men’s and women’s event.

Several venues across Japan will host the matches with the women’s tournament getting underway on the 21st July and the men’s a day later, both before the official opening of the Olympic Games in Tokyo this Friday (23rd July).

With coveted gold medals up for grabs once again, it is going to be interesting to see who comes out on top of both events, especially with some stellar squads announced, particularly in the women’s tournament.

If you would like to have a bet on either the men’s or women’s football tournaments at the Olympics, then bet365 Sport has markets available for both tournaments with some very intriguing bets available, especially in the more open men’s tournament.

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The reason the women’s event is not as open as the men’s is because of the domination of Team USA in this event. The Americans have won the gold medal on four out of the six occasions that women’s football has been contested at the Olympics, including in 2016 in Rio and they are the hot favourites to do likewise again.

Understandably, many Americans may be considering a bet on the women’s team as a result, and if you live in the states, then check out the BetRivers Sportsbook site for a wide range of bets on the Olympics and soccer in general.

Let’s now preview the two tournaments more closely starting with the women’s tournament.

Women’s Olympic Soccer – Preview

The women’s tournament features 12 teams competing in three groups of four teams. The top two teams in each group, together with the two third-place teams with the best record, will make it through into the quarterfinals of the tournament.

As is customary, each team will play the other teams in their group once at venues across Japan. The games will be played on the 21st , 24th and 27th July.

The Groups have been drawn as follows:

  • Group E – Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Chile
  • Group F – China, Brazil, Zambia, Netherlands
  • Group G – Sweden, United States, Australia, New Zealand

The Fixtures are as follows across the three days:

21st July

  • Great Britain v Chile
  • Japan v Canada
  • China v Brazil
  • Zambia v Netherlands
  • Sweden v United States
  • Australia v New Zealand

24th July

  • Chile v Canada
  • Japan v Great Britain
  • China v Zambia
  • Netherlands v Brazil
  • New Zealand v United States
  • Sweden v Australia

27th July

  • Chile v Japan
  • Canada v Great Britain
  • Netherlands v China
  • Brazil v Zambia
  • New Zealand v Sweden
  • United States v Australia

Women’s Olympic Outright Winner Betting

Unsurprisingly, the United States are the 4/7 favourites to win the tournament for the fifth time. Having won it on the four of the six occasions a gold medal has been awarded to women’s soccer teams at the Olympics, the talented US squad looks well set to make a big challenge for gold again this year.

The three European qualifiers, Netherlands (6/1), Great Britain (8/1) and Sweden (12/1) are likely to be their main challengers with Brazil also rated as a 14/1 shot alongside the hosts Japan. Australia and Canada are 25/1, with China 80/1, New Zealand and Zambia both 100/1 while Chile are the 250/1 outsiders.

Women’s Olympics Tips

Given that all the women’s squads have sent full-strength teams to this event, injury permitting, this is going to be a very competitive event, but it does look like the United States are the standout team from the dozen and I think they are going to win the event.

Who will play them in the final is more interesting and if things work out as they should, it could well be the Netherlands, Great Britain or Japan that meet them in the final and as such, a bet on the hosts at 14/1 as an each way option could well be a good value bet.

Men’s Olympic Soccer – Preview

The men’s tournament is slightly expanded compared to the women’s event and features 16 teams, all of whom have been drawn into one of four groups. The format of the tournament is still each team plays the other in its group once in the group phase, but only the top two teams in each group will qualify for the quarterfinals.

Unlike the women’s event, the men’s event features teams of U-23 stars, with a number of over-age selections for each country to bolster the squad. That means that many of the top stars in world football won’t be in attendance, but there are still a few well known faces taking part in the tournament such as Dani Alves, Pau Torres, Dani Ceballos, Pedri, Marco Asensio, Dani Olmo, Diego Carlos, Douglas Luiz, Richarlison, Gabriel Martinelli, Alain-Pierre Gignac, Eric Bailly, Franck Kessie and Max Kruse.

The Groups have been drawn as follows:

  • Group A – Japan, South Africa, Mexico, France
  • Group B – New Zealand, South Korea, Honduras, Romania
  • Group C – Egypt, Spain, Argentina, Australia
  • Group D – Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia

The fixtures will be contested on the 22nd, 25th and 28th July and are outlined below.

22nd July

  • Mexico v France
  • Japan v South Africa
  • New Zealand v South Korea
  • Honduras v Romania
  • Egypt v Spain
  • Argentina v Australia
  • Ivory Coast v Saudi Arabia
  • Brazil v Germany

25th July

  • France v South Africa
  • Japan v Mexico
  • New Zealand v Honduras
  • Romania v South Korea
  • Egypt v Argentina
  • Australia v Spain
  • Brazil v Ivory Coast
  • Saudi Arabia v Germany

28th July

  • France v Japan
  • South Africa v Mexico
  • Romania v New Zealand
  • South Korea v Honduras
  • Australia v Egypt
  • Spain v Argentina
  • Saudi Arabia v Brazil
  • Germany v Ivory Coast

Men’s Soccer Olympics Outright Winner Betting

The men’s tournament is a more open event than the women’s with Spain the 2/1 favourites to win just ahead of Brazil at 11/4 with France at 5/1 followed by Argentina and Japan both at 8/1. Germany are ranked as a 9/1 chance to win the tournament.

Outside those shorter priced teams, South Korea are 16/1, but then the odds increase significantly to Romania (40/1), Mexico (50/1), Egypt, Ivory Coast, New Zealand and Honduras (100/1), Australia (150/1) and lastly Saudi Arabia and South Africa (both 250/1).

Men’s Olympics Tips

This event does look like being a very open one and I think any of five or six teams do have a genuine chance of winning it. Japan will be a tricky one as they have the advantage of playing at home, but the way the draw works out they should have a great chance of a semi final spot and I can see France and Japan qualifying from the top two groups for the semis.

However, who joins them is more of a question in the much tougher side of the draw. I see Spain and Argentina coming through Group C and Brazil and Germany making it through Group D. And from that, I see Brazil and Spain reaching the semifinals and I think both of these teams will win their semis to contest the final.

Spain may be the favourites but after losing out on the Copa America, I think Brazil will be keen to win something this summer and I am backing them to do that at the Olympics.