Olympics frontrunners Brazil, Spain and Uruguay 5/4 to all win openers

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The men’s football gets underway on Thursday with Brazil (6/4), Spain (9/4) and Uruguay (7/1) rated the three most impressive sides taking part. They all start off with matches that they are convincing favourites to win, with odds of 5/4 offered on each of the trio triumphing…

Spain to beat Japan @ 2/5 (14:45)
For once, Spain aren’t entering an international tournament as favourites, however they have a strong squad packed with players who delivered at the European Under-21 Championship last year and featuring Euro 2012 winners Jordi Alba, Javi Martinez and Juan Mata. Spain secured gold the last time they participated in a Europe-based Olympics in 1992 and silver when last involved in 2000, have to be fancied over a Japan side who lost five of their six games at the 2004 and 2008 editions.

Uruguay to beat UAE @ 2/7 (17:00)
There is much to admire about Uruguay both in terms of their Olympic pedigree as two-time gold-medal winners who have never lost a match at the Games and their recent success, winning Copa America in 2011 and reaching the semi-finals at World Cup 2010. They have one of the fiercest attacks in the tournament with Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Abel Hernandez at their disposal and should outclass a UAE team with nowhere near as much top-level experience.

Brazil to beat Egypt @ 1/4 (19:45)
Brazil are gold-medal favourites despite having competed 11 times before without getting the job done. They have started out with a victory on four of the last five occasions that they have qualified though and look well equipped to do so again with a squad that appears the most complete of all on show. They have the likes of Thiago Silva and Marcelo at the back, a wealth of much-hyped midfield talent like Oscar and Lucas and frightening forward options like Neymar, Hulk and Alexandre Pato.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.