The women’s football at the Olympics has more prestige than the equivalent for men and we have taken a look at the leading contenders to win gold.
With no age restrictions in place, many of the top players in the world will be on show at the Tokyo Games so here is our assessment of the best Olympic women’s football predictions.
UNITED STATES @ 11/20
The USA won women’s football gold at three successive Olympic Games from 2004 to 2012 but their dominance was ended by a penalty shoot-out defeat against Sweden in Rio five years ago. Their World Cup success in 2019 proved they remain the dominant force in the women’s game and they are now aiming to become the first team to follow up World Cup glory with Olympic gold. The squad looks to be a good blend of youth and experience and will take some stopping.
NETHERLANDS @ 6/1
The Dutch women’s team are appearing at the Olympics for the first time in their history as a result of their World Cup run two years ago when they reached the final before losing 2-0 to the USA. They won all their group matches and then knocked out Japan, Italy and Sweden but November’s 2-0 defeat at home to the Americans in a friendly suggested they still have more to find if they are to get revenge for their World Cup loss.
GREAT BRITAIN @ 9/1
England reached the World Cup semi-finals two years ago and make up the bulk of the Team GB squad, which also contains Scotland’s Kim Little and Caroline Weir plus Sophie Ingle of Wales. Ellen White again leads the line after being the joint-top scorer at the World Cup with six goals, including an equaliser in the final which England lost 2-1. England have not played a competitive match since the World Cup, though, and the departure of Phil Neville to Inter Miami did not help preparations, but they still look a tempting option for Olympic women’s football predictions at 9/1.
SWEDEN @ 11/1
Sweden were runners-up at Rio 2016 and are among the leading contenders again this time but may need the same amount of good fortune as they had five years ago. They required penalties to get past both the United States and Brazil during the knockout stage before losing 2-1 to Germany in the final and then beating England 2-1 in the third-place play-off. A 1-1 draw with the USA in Stockholm in April suggests they can again cause the favourites problems.
JAPAN @ 11/1
Japan made it to the knockout stage at the World Cup and will hope home advantage – despite the lack of fans – allows them to go deep in this tournament. They only lost to the Dutch two years ago after conceding a stoppage-time penalty and they have won all five of their matches in the build-up to the Olympics by an aggregate score of 28-1, although those were against limited opposition.
BRAZIL @ 12/1
Brazil finished runners-up to the United States at the SheBelieves Cup in February thanks to victories over Argentina and Canada and are a dark horse at 12/1 in the outright Olympic women’s football odds. Coach Pia Sundhage knows what it takes to win Olympic gold, having done so with the USA in 2008 and 2012, while she was in charge of the Sweden team which reached the 2016 final. At the age of 35, Marta may not be the player she once was but she will hope to end on a high if this proves to be, as expected, her international swansong.
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