On Thursday, a strong Spain Under-23s squad will kick off their Olympic Games Group C campaign against Egypt Under-23s in Sapporo. La Rojita will be favourites to get off to a winning start against a country that has qualified for the Games more than any other African country. Spain has a number of players from their run to the Euro 2020 semi-finals. Here is everything you need to know about Egypt vs Spain prediction, team news, and lineup for Tokyo Olympics Men’s soccer.
Egypt named Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy, veteran defender Ahmed Hegazi, and Zamalek’s Mahmoud Hamdi as their over-age men, as it has been frustrated by their inability to select some of their senior team’s stars.
Omar Marmoush from Wolfsburg was surprisingly left out of the squad, allowing Ahmed Yasser Rayan and Salah Mohsen to compete for the Pharaohs’ starting spot up front.
In Tokyo Olympics Men’s soccer, Spain’s three over-age players this summer will be Real Sociedad’s Mikel Merino and Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio – the latter having helped Spain to victory at the Under-19 Euros in 2015 and representing La Roja at the 2018 World Cup.
Star man Pedri is a strong contender to break into the starting XI after coming off the bench and all those three senior players started in midfield against Japan last week.
Though coach Luis de la Fuente also has Mikel Oyarzabal as an option, Up front, Asensio and Dani Olmo are expected to start in support of Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Rafa Mir.
This week, Spain will be a formidable opening opponent for one of the competition’s outsiders Egypt. Especially given that the North African football giants have never advanced past the quarter-finals despite competing in 15 previous Olympic Games.
However, head coach Shawky Gharieb’s hopes of progressing through Group C have been dashed after denying permission for national icon and on-field talisman Mohamed Salah to join the cause, following Liverpool’s refusal to comply when the Premier League star was named in the provisional squad.
This Olympic squad is designed to dominate the ball and break through opponents by probing patiently, much like Spain’s Euros squad was.
Though a well-balanced Egypt side devoid of stars but boasting several players on the verge of moving to Europe should not be underestimated in a difficult Group D, they will fall short on Thursday, with the majority of their efforts focused on chasing Spanish shadows.
Egypt Under-23s possible starting lineup:
El Shenawy; El Eraki, Hegazi, Ramadan, Fouad; Tawfik, Hamdi, Maher; Sobhi, Mohsen, Mansi
Spain Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Simon; Oscar, Torres, Garcia, Cucurella; Merino, Pedri, Ceballos; Olmo, Mir, Asensio
Our Prediction: Egypt Under-23s 0-2 Spain Under-23s
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