London 2012: 10 Bold Predictions for Great Britain vs. Brazil
Here is a bonafide preview of the knockout stages at the London 2012 women's football tournament. This might as well be another clash between England and Brazil. But it's Great Britain vs. Brazil, and it will be an exciting match to watch at Wembley Stadium, a fitting venue for a contest of this magnitude.
Both Hope Powell's Team GB and Kleiton Lima's Brazil have punched tickets to the quarterfinals, so this will be a battle for seeding. Kickoff at Wembley is scheduled for Tuesday, July 31, at 7:45 p.m. BST.
Here are 10 bold predictions for this clash of the titans between Great Britain and Brazil.
1. The Goals Will Fly: At Least 5 Will Be Scored
Anytime Engl-er, Great Britain and Brazil meet on the pitch, there will be plenty of high-scoring action. Karen Bardsley (pictured) and Andreia will have it tough to contain the production from both teams. There's going to be at least five goals scored in this contest between Great Britain and Brazil.
2. Marta with a Brace
When all is said and done, there is only one Marta Vieira da Silva. The face of Brazilian women's football along with Cristiane, Marta is going to hit the ground running and score a brace on Karen Bardsley at Wembley. And why not? With 80 national team goals to her credit, Brazil's No. 10 will fancy a couple more to add to her collection.
3. Cristiane with a Brace
If you're going to be talking about Marta's ability to score for Brazil, you also have to mention Cristiane. With two goals under her belt, Cristiane and Marta form one of the most deadly offensive tandems at this tournament. Look for Cristiane to secure her own brace on Tuesday.
4. Francielle with Two Assists
And who is going to provide those goals for Marta and Cristiane? There are a number of midfielder that can provide those through balls, and one of them is Francielle. Look for Francielle to record two assists against Great Britain.
5. Steph Houghton with a Brace
Perhaps the No. 1 reason why Team GB is in the knockout stages is the play of Arsenal Ladies forward Steph Houghton. She leads the team in goals with two at this tournament and will get on the score sheet with a brace of her own.
6. The Stats Will Not Tell the Story; the Scoreline Will
This is a pretty even match between two teams with a lot of world-class talent. So don't expect the statistics to tell the story here. One team may dominate in certain categories; the other will dominate in the others, but it's going to go down to the scoreline to give the final verdict at Wembley.
7. Under 6 Saves Each for Both Goalkeepers
Both Bardsley and Andreia (pictured) will have a difficult time keeping the ball out of their own net on Tuesday. There won't be a lot of stops. Look for these two netminders to make under six saves each.
8. A Penalty Will Be Called
There was a penalty called in Brazil's match with Cameroon. And there will be a penalty called at the expense of the hosts at Wembley. The home fans won't like Marta slotting home the spot kick, but that's what they will be faced with.
9. Early Lead for Great Britain at the Half
The first 45 minutes of this match will result in a dream start for Great Britain. Steph Houghton's brace against a goal from either Marta or Cristiane will give Team GB a 2-1 halftime lead at Wembley.
10. Double Trouble Gives Brazil the Victory
But the second half will be all Brazil. And when Marta and Cristiane are on fire, the hosts will be wise to stay out of the way so they don't get torched. Brazil rallies to go unbeaten in Group E play, but not before a goal festival between two of the better teams at these Olympics.
Brazil 4, Great Britain 2