Spain comes as one of the favourites to clinch their second gold medal in the Olympics after 1992. They have brought their world class squad as some of them have been playing for senior side, with a few of them just returned from EURO 2020. No wonder that La Furia Roja deserves to be backed to win easily here against Egypt at the opener of Tokyo 2021.
Both teams’ previous games
Shawky Gharieb who leads Egypt U-24 decided to call up all the players from their domestic teams except one name, Ahmed Hegazi. The Al-Ittihad man is one of the three over-aged players included in the squad. The other two are Al-Ahly’s goalkeeper Mohammed El-Shenawy and Zamalek defender Mahmoud Hamdy.
Spain U-24 under Luis de La Fuente apparently has named many high-profile figures in the squad, including some key players in Euro 2020 such as Pedri, Unai Simon, Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarzabal, Eric Garcia and Pau Torres. There are also three over-aged figures who have been well-known worldwide. They are Marco Asencio, Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos and Real Sociedad man Mikel Merino.
Shawky Gharieb is likely to deploy a 4-4-2 with a pragmatic defensive approach. Ramadhan Sobhi shall get the nod upfront alongside Taher Mohammed. In the midfield, Nasser Maher is expected to be the anchorman in the build up as well as helping out strengthen their defence line.
His counterpart, Luis de la Fuente will definitely opt for 4-3-3 formation. Marco Asencio shall lead the attack accompanied by Mikel Oyarzabal and probably Rafa Mir. In the midfield, Dani Ceballos, Carlos Soler and Mikel Merino will be operating from the second line to win the ball and initiate the attack.
Players to watch
Egypt seems to be relying on Al-Ahly connection here. There are the six players from the club including the striker Taher Mohammed, the goalkeeper Mohammed El-Shenawy, the midfielder Nasser Maher and the defender Ahmed Ramadhan. They could be the key for the Pharaoh’s campaign in Tokyo 2020.
In Spain, Real Madrid man Marco Asencio is expected to shine here to prove that excluding him from EURO squad was a mistake. Some other important figures to watch are Mikel Merino, Real Sociedad man Mikel Oyarzabal and the versatile left back Marc Cucurella.
Egypt vs Spain Prediction
Spain is certainly the dominant side in this fixture, especially considering their better squad and the experience of their players. However, Marco Asencio and Co shall not look down on the African side if they do not want to have another shameful defeat in 2012 edition when they were surprisingly beaten by Japan at the opener despite having world class squad. If Luis de la Fuente’s side could score soon, then they should have less burden to win here. A narrow win for La Furia Roja.
Spain is certainly the clear favourite here. Their odds to win are at 1/4, whereas Shawkiy Gharieb’s men are only projected to win at 16/1. The draw result is at the value of 9/2.