London Olympics 2012: Spain and Other Teams That Will Destroy Their Groups

Sam R. Quinn@SamQuinn_Senior Analyst IIIJuly 12, 2012

KIEV, UKRAINE - JULY 01: Jordi Alba of Spain during the UEFA EURO 2012 final match between Spain and Italy at the Olympic Stadium on July 1, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Olympic football doesn't bring the same level of intensity as World Cup or European Championship competition, but the 2012 London Olympics will still boast some intriguing football matchups.

While the Olympics may seem second-rate, international competition is international competition, and entire nations still care deeply about the outcome.

There are 16 teams that will be vying for a medal this summer. All but three will come away disappointed.

Here are the predictions for each group.

Group A: Uruguay

The Uruguay team finds itself in a group with Great Britain, Senegal and the United Arab Emirates.

Coach Oscar Tabarez will command a team that includes Sebastian Coates, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Nicolas Lodeiro, Gaston Ramirez, Abel Hernandez, Egidio Arevalo Rios, Diego Polenta, Matias Aguirregaray and Jonathan Urretaviscaya, among others.

Their only competition in this group is host Great Britain, but expect the Brits to have a bit of trouble in this one. While all the players are familiar with each other thanks to Premier League play, not many of them have had the advantage of playing with one another.

On top of that, they haven't exactly performed exceptionally in major international tournaments as of late.

Don't be surprised if Uruguay runs away with the group.

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Group B: Mexico

Mexico comes in as the favorite, but a group victory won't come all that easily.

Switzerland and the Republic of Korea both have quality products to put on the field, but manager Luis Fernando Tena is hoping that the Mexicans can overcome their competition.

Giovani dos Santos will be playing for Mexico in London despite the fact that he was not at the qualifying tournament after Tottenham Hotspur refused to release him.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez won't be playing in the competition because Manchester United's head coach Sir Alex Ferguson won't let him.

Jose de Jesus Corona, Carlos Salcido and Oribe Peralta have been selected as the over-23 members of the squad.

Group C: Brazil 

Brazil find themselves in a group with Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand. They won't exactly have to run the gauntlet to win the group, and should be considered a favorite to win the entire tournament.

This team is absolutely stacked for this competition.

Hulk, Thiago Silva and Marcelo are the three over-23 players who will be on the roster for the Brazilians, but the fun doesn't end there.

Neymar, Alexandre Pato and Oscar will be on the pitch looking to dominate their opponents with their superior speed and agility as well.

Brazil's roster could be the best we've seen in Olympic competition in recent memory. Their youth and athleticism should frighten the rest of the field.

Group D: Spain

Unfortunately for Spain, they won't have many of the players that were key to their 2012 European Championship victory due to age restrictions. Having said that, there's no reason for the team not to come out on top against Japan, Honduras and Morocco.

The Spanish are the only group of players that will be able to challenge Brazil for a gold medal thanks to a roster that includes Jordi Alba, Juan Mata and Javi Martinez, who all were part of Spain's Euro victory.

Adrian Lopez, Iker Muniain and Ander Herrera are nice complementary pieces to Alba and Mata, and hope to make their own mark on Spanish international football.

Coach Luis Milla is confident in his team's chances to play with the best of the best, as the squad relies on the country's patented "tiki-taka" style of play (no surprise there).

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