The 2016 Brazil Olympics soccer team is now two wins away from achieving what none of their highly regarded predecessors did, which is to win a first-ever Gold Medal in the competition. With the women’s soccer team already out of the competition courtesy of a semifinal upset at the hands of Sweden, the men will be keen to a avoid a similar feat when they take on the Honduras in one leg of the semifinals. In the other semifinal game, we will be treated to another great matchup between two in-form teams, favorites Germany and dangerous underdogs Nigeria. Below, find a brief preview of these two games, complete with free online soccer picks and online sportsbook predictions.
Rio 2016 Men Soccer Semifinals Winining Predictions
Brazil vs. Honduras Men’s Soccer Preview and Prediction
Where: Maracanã Stadium, Rio De Janeiro
When: Wednesday, August 17, 12:00 pm ET
TV: NBC Sports Network / Telemundo
Why Bet on Brazil
Looking at the manner in which Brazil has played with a sense of urgency and utmost discipline in its last two games (4-0 win over Denmark, 2-0 win over Columbia), it goes without saying that there couldn’t be a better time for Brazil to push for a chance in the Gold match. I mean, Brazil’s defense is yet to concede a goal in the entire tournament—following a pair of 0-0 draws in the first two games—while the offense has found its rhythm. Add that to resounding support they will receive in this game, Honduras will definitely have it rough if it is to stop the Selecao’s golden dreams.
Why Bet on Honduras
It would ill-advised to disregard the Honduras team just because Brazil has a superstar in Neymar and the team will be playing at home. Yes, Honduras is making its first-ever appearance in the men’s Olympics soccer and there’s nothing fancy about their defense-first style of play and the 6 total goals they’ve scored so far in the tournament. Still, this is the same team that beat South Korea 1-0 in the quarterfinals, in spite of the fact that the Korean team had scored the second-most goals in the group stage (12 goals in 3 games). And with Swedish women showing that defense can really win champions after upsetting hot tournament favorites USA and Brazil in successive games, you’d be a fool to at least not consider the reality that a similar feat could befall the Brazil men’s soccer team.
Game Prediction: Brazil Defeats Honduras 2-0
Nigeria vs. Germany Men’s Soccer Preview and Prediction
Where: Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo
When: Wednesday, August 17, 3:00 pm ET
TV: NBC Sports Network / Telemundo
Why Bet on Germany
The German have scored a whopping 19 goals in their four games entering this Semifinal matchup, which averages to a little under 5 goals per game. You’d be hard-done to find a team this lethal and efficient in front of goal in the history of the Olympics. Facing a Nigeria team that allowed two goals to Columbia and four goals to China should thus be a much-welcomed opportunity for the hot-firing Germans. Meanwhile, after struggling with cheap conceded goals in the group stages, the Germans showed that they’d cleaned up their act, as they kept a clean sheet in the 4-0 win over Portugal in quarterfinals. Should the Germans bring more of the same balance in the game against Nigeria, not even Chelsea defensive star John Obi Mikel will be able to save the Super Eagles from a German onslaught.
Why Bet on Nigeria
The Nigerians don’t have much of a name in the tournament so far, and their presence in the semifinals is actually considered as a luck of sorts, kind of like Honduras. But if you’ve watched them play, you’d agree that they’ve been very methodological, knowing when to attack and defend. This was illustrated in the group stages where they became the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals as group winners just after two games (amidst competition from the likes of Columbia and China). And even when no one gave them a chance in the quarters against Denmark, they still came out on top with a well-earned 2-0 victory. Obviously, beating the otherworldly Germans will take a galactic miracle and extreme discipline, especially in the defense. But after beating the likes of Sweden, China and Denmark, anything should be possible–including an upset over Germany–for this young-and-talented Nigerian team that comes into this game with virtually nothing to lose.