Brazil take on Germany in their opening fixture of the Olympic Men’s Football tournament on Thursday evening.
The two nations are drawn together in Group D and this fixture is a repeat of the 2016 final. Brazil were the victors on that occasion via a penalty shootout, so the Germans will be out for revenge in this one.
Unlike in the 2016 Games, which were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Selecao will be without superstar Neymar. The PSG forward was instrumental in getting his country to the final and scored the winning penalty to land the gold for Brazil.
There won’t be as many recognisable names this time around, but head coach Mano Menezes isn’t skimping on quality.
Barcelona legend Dani Alves has gained a call up to the squad as one of the overage options. Sevilla centre back Diego Carlos is another of the overage players in the squad.
There’s a few familiar names for Premier League fans, too. Everton forward Richarlison, Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz and Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli are all included.
The Germany team that reached the 2016 final was full of big names such as Serge Gnabry, Julian Brandt and Sven Bender. None are included in the squad for Tokyo 2020.
There are still some recognisable names in the Germany squad though. Wolfsburg’s Max Arnold and Union Berlin striker Max Kruse are the most notable players in the squad.
Besides those two players, it’s a young and relatively inexperienced Germany squad. The 2016 gold medal match up was an exciting encounter, there’s a fear this one could be much more one sided.
Below, we’ll preview this Olympics Men’s Football fixture and provide our predictions, the team news, our recommended bets and more…
Brazil vs Germany Predictions
Brazil are world-renowned for their attacking football. The players that Mano Menezes has selected for his squad suggest that they’ll live up to their name here.
It’s important to get off to a good start in major tournaments. This will likely be the hardest game in group for both nations, so a win in this would set the victor up nicely to progress.
Richarlison offers a little bit of everything – fight, physicality, skill and a finishing touch. If he starts the game for Brazil, expect him to be leading the attack.
Dani Alves could play a key role. He’s well-known for his attacking runs down the wing from full back and he could be a key attacking route for the Brazilians here.
There will be plenty of pace in attack for the Samba Boys. If Germany choose to go with possession football, the Brazilians could be devastating on the counter attack.
The Germans aren’t coming into this with a prolific goalscorer as they did in 2016. Max Kruse is the most experienced player in the squad, he only netted 11 goals in 22 appearances in the 2020/21 season.
He will need help from the players around him and it’s likely a few players will have to get goals in this Germany team for them to succeed.
Germany don’t have a great record in Olympics football and 2016 was probably their best chance, given the quality in the squad. They were just unfortunate to run into an equally talented Brazil in the final.
This Germany squad is nowhere near as talented as in 2016. Despite the fact that Brazil aren’t as strong either, they have far more strength in depth than their opponents.
Read on for our Brazil vs Germany predictions and best bets.
Brazil vs Germany Head to Head
These two football giants have clashed on four previous occasions at the Olympic Games.
The first was at the quarter-finals stage of the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. After a 2-2 draw in the regulation 90 minutes, the game went to extra-time.
In the additional 30 minutes, Germany scored twice to run out 4-2 winners. They eventually went on to finish fourth overall in the tournament.
The two nations didn’t meet at the Games again for another 32 years until the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Brazil won that clash 1-0 and made it all the way to the final, but had to settle for silver after losing to France.
Just four years later, the two countries found themselves facing off again. This time in the semi-finals of the 1988 games in Seoul. Brazil won on penalties after a 1-1 draw, but would again face heartbreak in the final.
The next, and most recent meeting came in the 2016 final. Brazil prevailed thanks to a penalty shootout. That means Germany have only won this fixture once, and that was almost 70 years ago.
Brazil Team News – D W W W D
Athletico-PR shot stopper Santos is the most experienced goalkeeper in the Brazilian squad. He could get the nod to start between the sticks.
Dani Alves will undoubtedly get a place in the starting XI. Even at the age of 38, he’s more than capable of doing a job as wing back in this Brazil team.
Diego Carlos will bring plenty of experience to the defence and the younger players will benefit massively from that. We’re expecting him to start this game and provide defensive cover for Alves’ adventurous runs.
Gremio midfielder Matheus Henrique could start the game. He is expected to be joined in the middle of the park by Douglas Luiz.
Our Brazil v Germany predictions expect Richarlison to start. He would be flanked either side by Martinelli and Ajax forward Antony, if the Brazilians opt for three upfront.
Germany Team News – D W W W D
Stuttgart goalkeeper Florian Muller is most likely to start in goal for the Germans here. The 23 year old played 31 games for Freiburg in the Bundesliga last season before signing for his current club.
Keven Schlotterbeck, who played the vast majority of the 2020/21 season in front of Muller at Freiburg, is expected to start in defence.
Hertha Berlin fullback Jordan Torunarigha may be tasked with keeping Dani Alves under wraps. That will be a fascinating battle of youth against experience.
Benjamin Henrichs and Nadiem Amiri are expected to join Max Arnold in the midfield. It will be interesting to see if the Germans opt for five in midfield or in defence for this game.
Max Kruse is expected to lead the line solo here. He’s not the most mobile at 33 years of age. Germany will likely try to take advantage of set pieces.
Brazil vs Germany Betting Tips
Despite having a good record against Germany at the Olympic Games, Brazil are not odds-on favourites for this game. They are fancied by the traders though, who have them as 21/20 favourites in our Brazil v Germany match bets.
All but one of the four encounters between these two has ended all square. If you think this game will end in a draw, you can back that at 9/4.
As we’ve stated throughout, this is not the Germany team that gave Brazil a good game in the 2016 final. With lesser players here, they’re not really fancied at odds of 13/5 to win the game in 90 minutes.
Given everything we’ve discussed, Brazil looks like the value play in this one.