Friendly preparations underway ahead of Team GB Olympic bid
With less than two weeks to go until Team GB’s Olympics opener with Senegal, Stuart Pearce’s men have been put through their paces in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Mexico.
The match was played in three separate 30-minute sections, but had a less than favourable result for Pearce’s men, who came out on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline in Marbella, Spain.
Despite featuring each senior squad member in Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards, Team GB eventually fell to a Mexico under-23 side, with Chivas forward Marco Fabian hitting the winner.
Although the result will not worry Pearce too much at this stage, it does not bode particularly well for his side, whose next friendly is against 13/8 Olympics favourites Brazil on Friday.
That said, it is interesting to note which players featured from the off on Sunday, serving as an indication to likely starters when Team GB eventually take to the field in competitive action.
England’s third-choice goalkeeper at Euro 2012, Jack Butland, was afforded a starting berth as expected, and will likely be favoured to retain his position between the posts for this summer’s tournament.
Amongst others representing a youthful English contingent, Craig Dawson, Jack Cork, Marvin Sordell and Danny Rose, who have all played for the Three Lions at under-21 level, were named in the starting 11.
Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverly also continued his rehabilitation from a lengthy injury layoff, via playing from the off, whilst Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand started a match for the first time since the Champions League final too.
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey completed the lineup with the three more experienced squad members, indicating that a heavy Welsh influence may run through the spine of the team, despite the Welsh FA’s reluctance for their players to compete at the Olympics.
Indeed, players such as Ramsey, Bellamy, and captain Giggs will be integral to Team GB’s chances of justifying an 8/1 price for London 2012 glory.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.