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Olympic Games Men's Football | Gold Medal match
Aug 7, 2021 at 12.30pm UK
Nissan Stadium
Brazil U23s
2 - 1
Spain U23s
Cunha (45+2'), Malcom (108')
Arana (20'), Richarlison (31'), Cunha (64'), Luiz (89')
Oyarzabal (61')
Garcia (27'), Gil (105+1')

Preview: Brazil Under-23s vs. Spain Under-23s - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Olympic Games Men's Football clash between Brazil Under-23s and Spain Under-23s, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The Nissan Stadium is the venue in Japan where the men's football tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will conclude, when Brazil Under-23s meet Spain Under-23s in the gold-medal match.

Brazil are aiming to defend and retain their gold medal which they won at their home tournament five years ago, while this game is Spain's first appearance in an Olympic final since 2000 when the nation achieved a silver medal.

Match preview

Matheus Cunha of Brazil celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on July 31, 2021© Reuters

Brazil topped Group D by two points after the first week of fixtures in Japan, recording two wins and one draw.

Everton striker Richarlison's tournament could not have got off to a better start as he scored a hat-trick against Germany in the opening 30 minutes of Brazil's tournament, a game which ended 4-2.

After a goalless draw with Ivory Coast, Andre Jardine's side finished their group stage with a convincing 3-1 win against Saudi Arabia, and Richarlison added two more goals to his tally this summer.

Egypt were the opponents in the quarter-final and Brazil dominated possession and recorded twice as many shots on target than their counterparts, but a single strike from Matheus Cunha was all that separated the sides in the end.

The semi-final against Mexico was a tight affair and the game ended as a goalless draw after extra time, despite a total of 10 shots on target between the two teams.

Brazil's penalty takers were on top in Japan and came out as 4-1 winners thanks to goals from Dani Alves, Gabriel Martinelli, Bruno Guimaraes and Reinier along with one save from goalkeeper Aderbar Santos.

Since the age-cap on players in the men's Olympic football squads was introduced in 1992, Brazil have earned a medal on four of the five occasions they have participated, and this year's final will be the third consecutive time Brazil have featured in the gold-medal match.

Rafa Mir of Spain celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates on July 31, 2021© Reuters

Spain were the lowest scorers - along with Egypt - in the group stages out of the teams that progressed into the knockout stages, only scoring twice in their first three games in Japan.

Luis de la Fuente's side were more clinical in front of goal in the quarter-final and struck five past Ivory Coast, with Rafa Mir registering a hat-trick and Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal also getting on the scoresheet.

Hosts Japan were the opponents for Spain in the semi-final and the young Spaniards dominated possession as they have done in every game this summer, but it took extra time to separate the sides thanks to Marco Asensio's strike five minutes from the end.

Spain's Olympic campaign this year has been a successful one already having reached the final and guaranteed themselves at least a silver medal, considering since the nation's last medal in 2000, the side failed to qualify for three Olympics and were eliminated at the group stages in 2012.

Brazil Under-23s Olympic Games Men's Football form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Brazil Under-23s form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Spain Under-23s Olympic Games Men's Football form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Spain Under-23s form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Richarlison of Brazil pictured at the Olympics on July 22, 2021© Reuters

Richarlison is currently leading the goalscoring chart and has the Golden Boot all but secured at the Tokyo Olympics, with the only players who could realistically catch him now being Mir, who would need to score a brace to equal the Brazilian forward, and Oyarzabal, who would need to score a hat-trick.

Brazil have kept the same back four throughout this tournament so Guilherme Arana, Diego Carlos, Nino and Alves are all expected to start on Saturday.

Both Santos and Unai Simon are in with a chance of securing the Golden Gloves, currently on three clean sheets each, along with Japan's Kosei Tani and New Zealand's Michael Woud, but if one was to keep a clean sheet on the weekend they would take the award for themselves.

De la Fuente has rotated his squad slightly more than Jardine, but the midfield unit of Martin Zubimendi, Pedri and Mikel Merino has stayed the same for the last three games, and that is expected to continue for the final.

Oyarzabal has started all five games at the Olympics so far after also featuring for the senior side at the Euros this summer, and he has been one of Spain's biggest threats in front of goal in Japan, scoring two and assisting two goals out of the eight Spain have scored.

Brazil Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Santos; Arana, Carlos, Nino, Alves; Guimaraes, Luiz; Richarlison, Claudinho, Paulinho; Antony

Spain Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Simon; Cucurella, Torres, Garcia, Gil; Zubimendi, Pedri, Merino; Asensio, Oyarzabal, Olmo

SM words green background

We say: Brazil Under-23s 2-1 Spain Under-23s
(after extra time)

Both sides have demonstrated the quality they have in their squads and the final is sure to be an evenly-fought contest, which is why extra time is likely to be needed to find the gold medalists.

Spain have not been a team to score many goals in a single game this summer, bar the Ivory Coast game, and Brazil's firepower in front of goal will come through after the 90 minutes is played.

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Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats up until an hour before kickoff, suggested the most likely outcome of this match was a Brazil Under-23s win with a probability of 40.56%. A draw had a probability of 32.3% and a win for Spain Under-23s had a probability of 27.13%.

The most likely scoreline for a Brazil Under-23s win was 1-0 with a probability of 16.75%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome were 2-0 (8.66%) and 2-1 (6.81%). The likeliest drawn scoreline was 0-0 (16.2%), while for a Spain Under-23s win it was 0-1 (12.74%).

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Matheus Cunha of Brazil celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on July 31, 2021
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