2012 Olympic Football outright latest odds, news and free bets

The opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games does not take place until Friday, although the men’s football tournament starts two days earlier, with sixteen teams battling it out for the chance to claim gold, silver and bronze medals

The games will be played at Old Trafford, Wembley, the City of Coventry Stadium, the Millennium Stadium, St James’ Park and Hampden Park, with Great Britain being led into battle by veteran Manchester United star Ryan Giggs.

Anyone who watched Team GB’s recent friendly against Brazil might think that a bronze or silver medal is the best that Stuart Pearce’s team can hope to achieve, although the host nation look to have a reasonable chance of coming through a group that includes Senegal, UAE and Uruguay.

Great Britain are 11/1 (Blue Square free bets) to claim an overall victory, with Pearce having plenty to consider after first-half goals from Sandro and Neymar helped Brazil to a comfortable 2-0 friendly win and the South Americans are strong favourites to claim the gold medal.

Several of the Selecao squad will be featuring for their country at the 2014 World Cup and the bookies are wary of a powerful young team who are now a best price 17/10 (Sportingbet bookmaker) to be celebrating on 11 August.

However, Spain could offer some stubborn resistance and there are some excellent players in Luis Milla’s squad which includes new Barcelona recruit Jordi Alba who is one of the best full-backs in the world and scored for La Roja in the Euro 2012 final against Italy.

There is also Chelsea’s Juan Mata included as an over-age player while Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez is also a class act which suggests that odds of 5/2 (Bet365 £200 free bets) looks a decent price about a country who are used to winning football competitions at the moment.

Uruguay also merit respect and it could be worth siding with them to ease Great Britain aside when it comes to winning Group A, with Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez among those players selected for the honour of representing their country at the 2012 Olympics.

Liverpool’s Sebastián Coates is the other England-based player to make an appearance and Paddy Power go 7/1 that the South Americans claim the gold medal.

Group B looks an interesting section and it might be Switzerland and Mexico that scramble into the quarter finals, with the Swiss squad containing several highly-rated players including the safe pair of hands in goal that is Diego Benaglio.

Mexico won’t have Javier Hernandez playing although Giovani dos Santos is the only non-Mexico-based player in the squad and Carlos Salcido will bring a wealth of experience and a powerful shot to the team.

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