The final of the 2012 London Olympic Football Final kicks off this morning and Counter-Attacking Football is here to give you our predictions of the match.
Below are a few selections from our staff regarding what to expect from Brazil vs Mexico.
Question 1: Who do you think will win in the final, and why?
Surya Solanki: Brazil without doubt.
The Samba boys have been the most impressive team in the tournament so far and look set for a historic first gold medal. The South American giants have been firing on all cylinders and have a much better squad than their opponents.
The defense is led by arguably the best center-back on the planet, Thiago Silva and the new PSG man is provided with ample support through the likes of Juan, Rafael and Marcelo. The midfield consists of impressive youngsters like Lucas Moura, Oscar, Sandro and Alex Sandro. The former two are seen as two of the most talented play-makers in world football and it could be interesting to see them possibly play for two Premier League rivals for the upcoming season, considering the possibility that Lucas might join Manchester United this summer (although chances look bleak now with PSG’s intervention).
Barcelona-bound and arguably the most coveted young striker in world football today, Neymar, will spearhead the attack.The 20-year-old has been in scintillating form so far and will be arguably be Brazil’s most important players on Saturday.He will be partnered by Leandro Damiao, who is in top form right now and in all due fairness, the Brazilians look just too enough for the Mexicans.
Matthew Buening: Wise money is on Brazil to take the gold home, and the argument can be easily made. Perhaps I am not that wise however, and I am actually predicting Mexico to pull off a massive golden upset this year and to take down Brazil.
For me, it boils down to the fact that Mexico has an impressive attack (though not as impressive as Brazil’s) and the Brazilian defense is rather spotty and prone to major lapses.
Brazil’s most experienced defender, Thiago Silva, has not been his usual dominating self and his counter-part in defense Juan Jesus is shaky to say the least. Both full-backs, while excellent players, are very attack minded and don’t offer much defensively.
Even though Mexico is missing key forward Giovani Dos Santos due to injury, people forget that Jorge Enríquez actually played very well when he came on for Dos Santos against Japan.Add this to Fabian’s impressive form, and Mexico has an impressive attack that is somewhat overlooked.
Question 2: Who do you think will be man of the match? Who could surprise us with a big performance?
Sam Tighe: As much as we all love to hate him, I think Neymar will step up big and secure a brace for Brazil in the final.
He’s a clutch player who can perform on the biggest of stages and in the most intense of atmospheres. The freedom he has been allowed in Mano Menezes’ formation has seen him thrive during the Olympics and he’s not about to stop here.
In terms of surprises, I’m tipping Romulo for another fantastic game but this time, his influence will be noticed. Many focus on Sandro in the holding role or Oscar in the playmaking role, but it’s the shuttler Romulo who runs the game for Brazil and he’s so quietly effective it’s scary.
I think he’ll finally turn some heads in the final after scoring in the semifinal.
Surya Solanki: I expected Brazil to reach the final but not Mexico.
The latter might have been one the pre-tournament favourites but I expected Spain to reach the finals instead due to La Roja’s immense depth and quality in the squad.
However, the Spaniards disappointed heavily and the Mexicans on the other hand have stunned many with their emphatic displays and their come-from-behind wins against Senegal and Japan have surely proved us that they truly deserve to be in the final and might just go on to clinch a debut gold medal for the football-mad nation.
Sam Tighe: Absolutely. My tip before the tournament was Brazil to romp, Uruguay to flop and Mexico to shine.
They are the two clear strongest teams despite Oscar Tabarez bringing Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani along for the ride, and both countries treat youth football properly.
Of course, I would have liked to see Great Britain in the final, but the old penalty curse struck with it’s usual sickening regularity and South Korea don’t have the individual excellence to trouble the two finalists.
Brazil and Mexico will produce an incredible game and are worthy finalists.
You have heard from us here at CAF, but what do you expect from the final between Brazil and Mexico?
Who will shine and lead their team to Olympic gold?