High-flying Australia U23 will play Spain U23 at the Sapporo Dome on Sunday in their second Group C fixture of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They will go into this match hoping to book a place in the quarter-finals.
The Olyroos caused a huge upset in their opening game with a 2-0 defeat of South American champions Argentina U23, the first real upset of the Games.
Goals from Lachlan Wales and Marco Tilio secured all three points for the Australian U23s. They will now be hoping to repeat the trick against the Spaniards, who couldn’t find a way past Egypt in a goalless stalemate.
La Furia Roja were gold medalists at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. They certainly have the quality to pull up trees again, with Euro 2020 stars Pedri, Marco Asensio, Pau Torres, Dani Olmo and Mikel Oyarzabal all in the squad.
However, they need points in this match, as only the top two sides from the group qualify into the next round.
Australia U23 vs Spain U23 Head-To-Head
This will be the first meeting between the sides at the Olympics.
Australia U23 Form Guide (all competitions): W-L-L-L-L
Spain U23 Form Guide (all competitions): D-D
Australia U23 vs Spain U23 Team News
Australia’s impressive performance in the first game might convince manager Graham Arnold to field the same line-up again.
That means another start for senior striker Mitchell Duke, although Tilio, one of the scorers of the Argentina victory, will also be pushing for a start.
The Reds have a fair bit of injury concerns with Oscar Mingueza suffering an injury in their last match and Dani Ceballos also hobbling off with an ankle injury.
So, a few changes are definitely on the cards, such as Jessu Vallejo coming in for the Barcelona star, while Carlos Soler or Jon Moncayola might take Ceballos’ place.
Injured: Oscar Mingueza, Dani Ceballos
Australia U23 vs Spain U23 Predicted XI
Australia U23 (4-5-1): Tom Glover; Nathaniel Atkinson, Thomas Deng, Harry Souttar, Joel King; Daniel Arzani, Riley McGree, Connor Metcalfe, Denis Genreau, Lachlan Wales; Mitchell Duke.
Spain U23 (4-3-2-1): Unai Simon; Jesus Vallejo, Pau Torres, Eric Garcia, Juan Miranda; Mikel Merino, Pedri, Carlos Soler; Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio; Rafa Mir.
Australia U23 vs Spain U23 Prediction
Australia will be upbeat following their Argentina victory and will certainly give Spain a tough time too.
However, the Reds have experience and can bounce back in this match with a win.
Prediction: Australia U23 1-2 Spain U23