Premier League players at the Olympics: Bailly going for gold
Premier League players at the Olympics
The men’s Olympics football tournament gets under way on Thursday and the Premier League is well represented in Japan.
Spain are the 2/1 favourites in the Olympics men’s football odds but they don’t have a single player from the English top flight competing at the 16-team event where Brazil are the defending champions.
Manchester United and Brighton are the most affected teams as we list the Premier League players going for gold at the Olympics.
Arsenal (Gabriel Martinelli)
Martinelli is expected to play a key part in Brazil’s bid to retain the title they won in a penalty shoot-out with Germany five years ago,
The Gunners forward has had a couple of injury-hit seasons and Mikel Arteta will be concerned that the new season starts six days after the gold-medal match, but the Spaniard could have refused permission for him to play in Japan so perhaps he wants to give him the chance to get competitive games under his belt as part of his pre-season training programme.
Aston Villa (Douglas Luiz)
Luiz has also been included in Brazil’s mainly under-23 squad having also played a part in their run to the Copa America final which they lost to Argentina.
The Villa midfielder made 33 Premier League appearances last season and is expected to be a key player for Dean Smith in the forthcoming campaign.
Burnley (Chris Wood)
Sean Dyche had an injury-hit start to last season so he could probably do without the absence of star striker Wood, who is in the New Zealand squad taking on Romania, South Korea and Honduras during the group stage.
Wood scored 14 goals in 35 appearances for the Clarets last season, finding the net in the last three games of the campaign, and he is in a Kiwi squad viewed as 100/1 outsiders.
Brighton (Alexis Mac Allister and Tudor Baluta)
Two Premier League players at the Olympics come from the same team with Mac Allister and Baluta representing Argentina and Romania who are 9/1 and 66/1 respectively to win the gold medal.
Midfielder Mac Allister scored three goals in his first four appearances in all competitions for the Seagulls but did not add to that tally throughout a season which saw him start 13 games.
Baluta made a couple of Champions League appearances on loan for Dynamo Kiev last season, coming off the bench in the closing stages of the games against Barcelona and Ferencvaros, but he has never played for Brighton in the Premier League.
Crystal Palace (Jay-Rich Baghuelou)
The Australian has yet to make his mark at Selhurst Park, but new manager Patrick Vieira will get the chance to see the 21-year-old centre-back compete against the likes of Argentina and Spain in the next few weeks.
One of the highest-profile Premier League players at the Olympics, Richarlison was a key figure in Brazil’s Copa America squad so it could be a while before he meets up with new Everton boss Rafael Benitez especially as his team are expected to make it to the final.
Manchester United (Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo)
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged Ivory Coast duo Bailly and Diallo to come back with medals from Japan which he views as part of their pre-season.
Frustrated by last night match. These are not easy times. Thanks to all the fans for your support in good times and bad.
It's time to rest with the family and come back stronger. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/zl7oSts3d6
— Eric Bailly (@ericbailly24) May 27, 2021
Bailly played almost all of the Europa League final against Villarreal in his last competitive outing, while exciting winger Diallo made a handful of appearances, scoring in the 1-1 draw with AC Milan in the same competition.
Southampton (Caleb Watts)
England-born midfielder Watts is one of the Australia contingent at the Olympics and he will keen to show Ralph Hasenhuttl what he can do after making a handful of appearances off the bench last season.
West Ham (Winston Reid)
Veteran centre-back Reid spent last season on loan at Kansas City in the MLS and at Brentford with whom he won the play-off final against Swansea at Wembley.
The New Zealand defender has been affected by injuries in the last few years so David Moyes will be taking a keen interest in his performances.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication