1st August 2012
Great Britain did well to recover from the opening setback to record a 3-1 victory over UAE in the second round and they now need just one more point to make it to the next stage. Uruguay, on the other hand, largely struggled at the start of the 2012 Olympics and after losing to 10-man Senegal, only a win over the hosts would take them to quarter-finals.
When it was talked about the most likely contenders at the Men’s football tournament at the 2012 Olympics, nobody mentioned Great Britain and there were numerous reasons for that. The team were assembled pretty quickly and did not have enough time to prepare for the tournament finals, while injuries to Gareth Bale and Jack Wilshire as well as Stuart Pearce’s decision to omit David Beckham further damaged team’s chances of reaching the final stages. Team GB indeed showed a lot of weaknesses in their opening game against Senegal and had to settle for 1-1 draw, but they greatly improved to beat UAE, a team that had completely outclassed Uruguay in the first round of fixtures. Craig Bellamy was once again instrumental on the pitch, but this time he had a lot of help from Tom Cleverley, Daniel Sturridge and most of his other teammates, and the UAE game showed that this team are slowly starting to gel. Going into the Uruguay game with their spirits significantly improved, Team GB look like they can secure the passage into the quarter-finals, obviously with a little help from the fans at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Uruguay football team may have two Olympics gold medals to their name, but with the last of those won more than 80 years ago, it is no wonder La Celeste are desperate to add the third Olympics title to their trophy cabinet. After boss Oscar Tabarez added Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani to what were already a very talented squad, Uruguay were rightly seen as one of the favourites for the trophy at the 2012 Summer Games. Nevertheless, the very first game showed that something’s not right given that La Celeste were completely outclassed by UAE, even if they somehow managed to pick up all three points. But, after Senegal, playing with ten men for more than an hour, recorded a 2-0 win over Oscar Tabarez’s side in the second round, it was perfectly clear that Uruguay don’t have what it takes to mount a serious title challenge. The individual talent of players like Suarez, Cavani, Lodeiro and Ramirez is enough to make England defenders worried, but with the absence of true team spirit, I seriously doubt La Celeste can win this game.
Great Britain have shown a lot of promise in their first two games and the experience of their Premier League contingent is helping them a great deal when things get tricky. Given that Uruguay are not even close to their top form, there is every chance that the match will end in draw.
Verdict: Draw (X)
Best Odds: 12/5