Prediction: Brazil U23 vs Germany U23
Verdict: Brazil U23 win
Best Odds: 1/1
In a repeat of the 2016 Olympic final, Brazil and Germany will open this summer’s tournament when they meet at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on Thursday lunchtime.
Starting with Brazil, claiming Olympic gold amidst what was a stunning night in Rio five years ago, it is no secret that the South American giants are tipped as another leading contender this summer. Looking to get their Group D campaign off to a flying start on Thursday lunchtime, The Yellows are one of the most successful footballing nations on the Olympic stage. Along with finally lifting gold on home soil back in 2016, Brazil have picked up six medals, and only once since 1976 have they failed to win a medal at all. However, almost failing to book their spot out in Tokyo this summer, the Selecao needed a final round 3-0 victory against bitter rivals Argentina in order to scrape their way to Japan. Nevertheless, opening Thursday’s meeting as a standout pick, Head Coach Andre Jardine did see his squad gain some perfect momentum last week. In their only warm-up contest, The Yellows landed a thumping 5-2 victory against the UAE.
Really the standout attacking option for Brazil, Everton striker Richarlison should lead the line on Friday lunchtime after featuring in the Copa America earlier in the month.
Veteran defender and former Barcelona superstar Dani Alves should get the nod and start at right-back.
As for Germany, while Brazil might have managed to get their warm-up preparations off to a flying start last week, The Whites found themselves in the midst of some real controversy. Squeezing in a friendly contest against Central American outfit Honduras, the 2016 Olympic silver medalists walked off the field with five minutes left to play because of alleged racial insults directed at 23-year-old defender Jordan Torunarigha. With the game poised at 1-1 and failing to get the momentum that Head Coach Stefan Kuntz had been hoping for, The Germans are tipped as a real outside pick to go one step further than five years ago this summer. With their silver medal out in Rio the first time that a united Germany have recorded any kind of medal in the past 60 years, they also don’t have a number of the superstars that graced their squad back in 2016.
Union Berlin striker Max Kruse should get the nod to start up top as he is one of Germany’s senior players.
Bayer Leverkusen youngster Nadiem Amiri will play in the number 10 role with Maximilian Arnold also featuring in midfield.
Key Factors to Consider
When the two nations faced off in the 2016 final, Brazil picked up gold thanks to victory from the penalty spot.
Everton forward Richarlison has scored 10 goals in 32 appearances at senior level.
Likewise, Union Berlin striker Max Kruse recorded 11 goals throughout last season.
Germany’s silver medal five years ago was the first time they have secured a medal in 60 years as a united nation.
Managing to pick up what was a thumping 5-2 win against the UAE last week in their only pre-tournament contest, Brazil should be looking to open their Group D run with a flurry here. Famously claiming the gold medal after beating Germany on home soil back in 2016, the likes of Richarlison will be confident of laying down an early marker. With Germany watching their 1-1 draw against Honduras get abandoned after alleged racial insults directed at 23-year-old defender Jordan Torunarigha, Stefan Kuntz’s side could already find themselves on the back foot. With The Yellows already tipped as a standout pick this summer, we’re backing a Brazil win here.
Verdict: Brazil U23 win
Best Odds: 1/1
Source: Soccer News
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