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Are there higher expectations for Team GB than England at Euro 2012?

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With every passing day, the London Olympics get closer and closer.

The football competition is often a sideshow to the major Olympic events such as Athletics, Cycling and Swimming. That has the potential to be different for London 2012.

Sixteen teams are taking part in the football tournament, which starts on July 26 and concludes with the final at Wembley Stadium on August 26.

Can Stuart Pearce’s Team GB unit win a medal for a unique team in a special event? The expectations are high.

Potential challengers

Before examining Team GB, we should assess some of the other potential challengers for the gold medal.

The favourites are probably Brazil and Spain. The Brazilians have announced a formidable squad, including AC Milan’s Thiago Silva, uncompromising left back Marcelo and Hulk from FC Porto.

The Spanish won the gold in Barcelona in 1992 and are coming off the back of another successful campaign at Euro 2012.

Chelsea’s Juan Mata, together with young starlets Javi Martinez and Kiev final goalscorer Jordi Alba, are amongst the stars in the Spanish squad.

These two teams have been drawn in Group C and Group D respectively, so Team GB wouldn’t face them before the semi-finals if they progressed past the group stages.

None of the other teams in the second half of the draw should be giving Stuart Pearce (pictured) any nightmares.

Regarding Team GB’s Group A, it will produce plenty of interesting obstacles in the teams they have to face.

It is dangerous to write teams off but the chances of the United Arab Emirates escaping Group A are slim to nil.

Uruguay is the no.3 side in the world and plenty of upcoming talents are emerging. Plus, they can call on Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani amongst their over-age players.

High expectations

So have Team GB got realistic expectations of at least achieving a medal? Absolutely they have.

The squad might be missing David Beckham and Gareth Bale, but there is plenty of young talent and the experience that Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs will provide could be a huge advantage, especially as both are well known leaders.

If there is a potential weakness in Stuart Pearce’s 18 man squad, then the strikers lack the ability to score plenty of goals in tournament football.

Marvin Sordell is immensely talented but didn’t score for Bolton after his January move from Watford.

Scott Sinclair is named as an attacker but operates more as an attacking winger, while Daniel Sturridge’s selection remains in doubt as he is undergoing tests for viral meningitis.

But while England’s footballers went to this summer’s European Championships full of hope rather than expectation, there is bound to be extra pressure to deliver on the Olympic team.

The home fans will be expecting some fantastic football and will want to see Team GB progress all the way.

With a Wimbledon finalist, a Brit in the top three of the F1 drivers championship and one of the Premier League’s clubs the current champions of Europe, it has been an exciting summer so far for British sport.

Hopes are high and expectations need to be matched.

A medal is certainly possible for Team GB in the greatest show on earth.

By Simon Wright – Follow me on Twitter @Siwri88

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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