Great Britain vs. Senegal: 5 Stars That Will Shine in Prelim Matchup
In several hours, Great Britain will end its 52 year exile from Olympic football when they face Senegal at Old Trafford in a highly anticipated first match.
This opening match will feature some of Britain's best young talents against a young Senegal squad that is starting to emerge on the international stage. Though Senegal failed to advance from their group in last winter's African Cup of Nations, they still have some great players with the likes of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.
With some fantastic talents on the pitch this evening at Old Trafford, here are five players to watch.
One of the top emerging strikers in the Premier League, Daniel Sturridge will be looked upon as the key striker for this British side.
Sturridge will be looked upon to star for Chelsea as a lead striker this year with Didier Drogba gone. Last season, Sturridge tallied 13 goals and was a major component of the Chelsea squad that captured their first Champions League crown.
A winner of the Europa League with Atletico Madrid two years ago, Ibrahima is one of the top young strikers to watch in these Olympics.
Ibrahima scored two important goals against Oman in a playoff to get Senegal into these Olympics. If Senegal are to win this match, Ibrahima will need to score at least one goal.
One of two Manchester United players that will participate on this Great Britain squad, Thomas Cleverley will look to replicate the form he had at the beginning of last season for the British national side tonight.
Cleverley will be looked upon as one of the key creating forces for the British side in this match. Considering he didn't do too well against Brazil in his last match, he will need to do much more against Senegal.
An overage player for Senegal, Mohamed Diamé will be looked upon to provide leadership for a Senegal side that will be participating in their first ever Olympic match this evening.
Diamé played an important role for Wigan Athletic this past season, helping the Lactics secure a spot in the Premier League for this season. He will hope to provide a similar key role for Senegal in this opening game in the midfield by stopping the British attack.
The captain of this British squad, Ryan Giggs will have the first opportunity of his career to play in an international tournament this evening on the same ground that helped him become a legend in British football.
Giggs, who has more appearances than any other player in the history of Manchester United, will be looked upon as a key cog in a relatively young side.
It would be appropriate for Giggs to have a fantastic match at the Theatre of Dreams. After a disappointing match against Brazil, look for Giggs to attempt to inspire this British squad to victory.