Olympic Soccer Bracket 2012: Most Likely First Matchups Between Megapowers
The group stages offer excitement, but the tournament really does not start until the knockout stages.
That is when the most dominant teams in the world begin matching up, and the intensity kicks up a notch.
A few of the tournament favorites include Brazil, Spain, Great Britain, Uruguay and Switzerland.
Here's a look at when some of these megapowers may match up in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
These two teams are both in Group A, so we know they will be playing each other.
They will scare off in the final game of Group A play, and there's a good chance the group title will be on the line.
Vegas Odds lists Great Britain and Uruguay as the tournament favorites behind Brazil and Spain.
The host country Great Britain will be led by veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs as well as young stars Ryan Bertrand and Daniel Sturridge.
The Great Britain squad is overall very talented, and playing on their own soil makes them a favorite.
Uruguay counters with explosive striker Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavanini. Uruguay recently reached the U-20 South American final, so they have plenty of young talent on the team as well.
Here's an early matchup that you will not want to miss.
The previously mentioned match will determine who gets a shot at the Group B winner.
Whoever falls short in Group A will take on either Switzerland or Mexico. Each matchup between Group A and Group B should feature two world powers.
Let's say Switzerland comes out on top in Group A as the Swiss have a very good youthful team.
Switzerland won the U-17 FIFA World Cup in 2009, then proceeded to finish second to Spain at the UEFA U-21 Championships.
The Swiss will put a strong defense on the field led by goalkeeper Diego Benaglio. That could pose an interesting matchup if Suarez and Uruguay take on Switzerland.
Brazil opens as the tournament favorite and will most likely not face their first real test until the semifinal round.
Brazil could potentially match-up with Uruguay, Great Britain or a Group B team. A match with Uruguay would be highly anticipated.
The South American rivals squared off in the U-20 South American Championships where Brazil trounced Uruguay 6-0.
This time around Brazil would not be able to fare that easily, and Uruguay would have revenge on their minds.
A nice consolation prize would be a match between Brazil and Great Britain. It would be a classic game between Brazil's flare and excitement to a more disciplined approach from Great Britain.
Much like Brazil, Spain should not be seriously tested until the semifinal round.
If all goes according to seed, Spain would get a shot against the Group B winner which will most likely be Switzerland or Mexico.
Switzerland advancing to the semifinals to face Spain would be a rematch from the U-21 UEFA Championships.
Spain got the upper hand that day, taking the match 2-0.
The key matchup in this contest would be how Switzerland would use its stingy defense to slow down the Spanish attack.
Spain will be led by attackers Cristian Tello, Iker Muniain and Adrian Lopez. It will be tough for Switzerland to slow them down but will be a chess match worth watching.
Group stages, knockout stages and final rounds all will feature promising matchups as long as the favorites take care of business in the early stages.
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