Mexico vs Senegal: 6 Bold Predictions for Olympic Football Quarterfinal
If only Great Britain had finished runners-up in Group A of the men's Olympic football tournament, then they would be playing their quarterfinal at Wembley.
But instead it is Senegal who will face Mexico at the English national stadium, while the Brits will play South Korea in the ground's equivalent in the Welsh capital, Cardiff.
Senegal are in the last eight following the disappointing exit of Uruguay, while Mexico topped Group B with two wins and a draw. The winners will face either Japan or Egypt in the semifinals.
Now it's time to focus on six bold predictions, with the emphasis on the 'bold'. Best not take these too seriously.
Giovani Dos Santos Will Score
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The continued presence of Giovani on Tottenham's books is a constant source of bafflement. Since he joined Spurs from Barcelona in 2008, he has started just 15 games and scored only three times.
However, loan spells at Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander were all productive, and he continues to start and score at a fine rate for his country.
All three of Giovani's goals for Tottenham have come at home—none of them in the Premier League—so it stands to reason that he will score highly there while wearing the colours of his country.
Senegal Will End Match with Seven in Pitch: And Win
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Senegal drew a lot of criticism for making their opening group match against Great Britain a bruising encounter, with several fouls that somehow escaped the censure of yellow and even red cards.
In their second match against Uruguay, the officials finally took action as Abdoulaye Baw assent off for two bookable offences after just half an hour, but somehow they still managed to win 2-0.
As this knockout match at Wembley will see the intensity ratcheted up even more, Senegal could well get the maximum number of players sent off without the game being forfeited and still progress into the semis.
Wembley Will Sell out
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Clearly, even with all of the ticketing and empty-seat issues that have dogged these Olympics, Wembley would be chock-full for a Great Britain match. When the hosts played UAE there on Sunday, the crowd was 85,000-strong.
However, when South Korea played Gabon in their Group B clash on Wednesday—which wasn’t even part of a double-header—just a shade under 77,000 people turned up.
Given that this is a match which guarantees a result, and it could potentially have featured Great Britain, there is every chance that Wembley will be full to its 90,000 capacity.
Both Coaches Will Tell Teams to 'Throw' Match
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There was much uproar and scandal earlier this week when four teams in the doubles of the badminton all tried their best to throw their matches.
All four teams had qualified already from the round-robin, and they were each conspiring to lose in order to get favourable draws in the next round.
Given the poor level of communication, and controversial officiating at certain points across these Olympics, if Mexico and Senegal are not fully briefed on the rules they may mistakenly instruct their players to lose in order to avoid either Japan or Egypt in their next match.
Someone Will Buy One of These Players on a Whim
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We have seen it happen so often following an international tournament when a club splashes out a load of money on a player who had one good performance in the spotlight only for them to turn be a bust.
Think El-Hadj Diouf, Karel Poborsky or Stephane Guivarc'h and you get the idea.
All it could take is for one average player to have the game of his life in front of a Wembley crowd that is sure to include plenty of scouts and we could seen see a foolish chairman and his money parted.
Mexico Will Have Players Banned
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In 2011, Mexico sent a squad of young players to the Copa America, just weeks after the senior side had claimed victory in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
While using the invitation to enter the South American tournament with a squad of young players was a shrewd one, it backfired spectacularly when eight members of that squad were sent home early and in shame after being caught with prostitutes in their hotel rooms.
If that's how the Mexican players behave in Argentina, what will they be like in London on a Friday night with trendy West End nightclubs like Chinawhite full of girls falling over themselves to meet footballers?
If Mexico make it to Wembley on Saturday with all of their squad intact and not hungover then it will be an achievement.