In contrast to on the boys’s aspect, the Olympic Video games is a highly-prestigious event in ladies’s soccer.
At ladies’s worldwide stage, claiming Olympic Gold is second solely to successful the World Cup.
With that in thoughts, anticipate a really aggressive competitors with 12 of one of the best groups on the planet preventing it out for medals.
When are matches going down?
Group stage matches: 21, 24 & 27 July.
Quarter-finals: 30 July.
Semi-finals: 2 August.
Bronze medal match: 5 August.
Gold medal match: 6 August.
What’s the draw?
Group E: Japan, Canada, Nice Britain & Chile.
Group F: Brazil, China PR, Netherlands & Zambia.
Group G: United States, Sweden, Australia & New Zealand.
Which groups are more than likely to win a medal?
1) United States
As ever, the USA are the favourites to win a ladies’s worldwide event and with good motive.
The Stars and Stripes retained the World Cup in 2019, beating Netherlands 2-0 within the ultimate, thereby lifting the trophy for the fourth time.
On the Olympics, the USWNT have claimed gold in 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012 while settling for silver in 2000.
Their 2016 Olympics marketing campaign although was a catastrophe, crashing out within the quarter-finals, shedding a penalty shootout to Sweden in Brasília.
Provided that that’s technically a draw, the U.S. are unbeaten in 52 aggressive internationals, successful 17 in-a-row, final shedding in July 2011 to Sweden within the World Cup group phases.
Thus, it could be a serious shock if Vlatko Andonovski’s aspect didn’t go away Tokyo with a medal, possibly of the gold selection.
The brand new Head Coach has named his strongest accessible roster for this competitors.
38 yr previous Carli Lloyd shall be wanting so as to add to her 126 worldwide targets which is, remarkably, 58 lower than Abby Wambach’s nationwide document.
Alex Morgan is the opposite squad member with 100+ worldwide targets; she, like Lloyd, gained Olympic Gold in 2012.
Different forwards, Christen Press and Tobin Heath, each impressed at Manchester United final season.
The U.S. will face three acquainted opponents within the Olympic Video games group phases.
First up, they’ll be in search of revenge towards Sweden, the aspect that ended their Olympic ambitions 5 years in the past.
After that, it’s New Zealand, a aspect they beat 2-0 on the final Olympics after which Australia who they overcame 3-1 on the 2015 World Cup.
USA are definitely within the hardest of the three teams however they need to nonetheless prime it after which go on to assert gold in Tokyo on 6 August.
2) Nice Britain
Will this highly-talented Nice Britain aspect go all the best way?
That is simply the second Olympic Video games Staff GB have entered, crashing out within the quarter-finals on house soil in 2012, shedding to Canada in Coventry.
Hege Riise has been tasked with bringing collectively one of the best of the British nations to construct a coherent aspect for this competitors.
Her 22-player squad consists of principally English gamers in addition to Kim Little and Caroline Weir of Scotland and Wales’ Sophie Ingle.
This squad incorporates expertise in all places you look.
Proper-back Lucy Bronze was named The Greatest FIFA Ladies’s Participant in 2020 and has gained 15 membership honours in her profession, together with three Champions Leagues in-a-row with Lyon.
Manchester Metropolis captain Steph Houghton, who’s gained 125 caps for England and GB mixed, will begin alongside Bronze in defence.
Additional ahead, 2021 Ladies’s Participant of the Yr Fran Kirby is one in every of many attacking choices.
The Chelsea winger shall be competing for a begin with different WSL stars Lauren Hemp, Georgia Stanway and Nikita Parris who’s lately left Olympique Lyonnais for Arsenal.
Ellen White is more likely to lead the road.
The Man Metropolis striker scored twice in a warm-up pleasant towards New Zealand on 14 July and scored six instances as England reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2019.
GB kick off their marketing campaign towards Chile earlier than two a lot more durable video games towards Japan after which Canada.
By way of expertise, Staff GB needs to be competing for a medal so will this workforce come collectively and kind a profitable aspect?
Over the previous few years, no European nation has loved as a lot success as Netherlands in Ladies’s worldwide soccer.
In 2017, they gained their first Ladies’s Euros, lifting the trophy on house soil, a contest they’ll look to retain on the subsequent Euros in July 2022.
Then, on the World Cup in 2019, knockout victories over Japan, Italy and Sweden noticed them get all the best way to the ultimate the place they have been overwhelmed by the unstoppable pressure that’s the U.S.
So, regardless of the actual fact that is the primary time Oranje have certified for the Olympics on the Ladies’s aspect, they’re amongst the favourites.
In the event that they did go away Tokyo with a medal, it could be the nation’s first soccer Olympics medal for 101 years.
The easy motive as to why Holland are such a pressure is that they’ve among the finest gamers on the planet.
Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema has already scored 73 targets for her nation regardless of being simply 25 years previous.
Her former membership teammate Daniëlle van de Donk, now of Lyon, is likely one of the finest attacking midfielders on this planet.
Except for these two, Wolfsburg duo Jill Roord and Shanice van de Sanden in addition to Barcelona’s Lieke Martens will bother any defence.
Head Coach Sarina Wiegman, who led Holland to the aforementioned Euros glory, will go away after this competitors to develop into England’s Head Coach.
Netherlands are in a relativity sort Group F alongside Zambia, China and Brazil so will they proceed to be a pressure in huge competitions?
Will Australia lastly ship on the large stage?
The Matildas gained three successive OFC Nations Cups earlier than transferring throughout to Asia the place they have been topped champions of that continent in 2010.
Since, they’ve misplaced in back-to-back Ladies’s Asian Cup Finals, in 2014 and 2018, towards Japan each instances.
Regardless of this, they’re but to make the step up on the worldwide scene.
On the Olympics, one of the best Australia have managed is the quarter-finals, shedding to Sweden in 2004 and Brazil in a penalty shootout 5 years in the past.
In France two summers in the past, the Matildas have been hoping to go all the best way however noticed their journey reduce quick within the spherical of 16, shedding to Norway, once more in a penalty shootout.
The explanation a lot is predicted of Australia is that their squad consists of some prime gamers.
Arsenal trio Lydia Williams (goalkeeper), Steph Catley (centre-back) and Caitlin Foord (winger) are all more likely to begin at this competitors.
Their star participant and captain although is Sam Kerr.
The 27 yr previous has scored 42 worldwide targets and, for her membership Chelsea, has scored 22 instances in simply 26 league appearances.
Having already gained the league in Australia and the States, she gained 5 main honours in London together with back-to-back FAWSL titles.
Regardless of all of her membership honours, Kerr shall be determined to fireside her nationwide workforce to some success.
Australia kick off their Olympics marketing campaign towards New Zealand; these two co-host the 2023 World Cup, making this competitors doubly necessary forward of that one.
Then, Tony Gustavsson’s aspect play Sweden earlier than their ultimate group match towards back-to-back world champions USA.
Group G is definitely the hardest of the three teams however, assuming Australia attain the knockout section, they’ll be hopeful of brining house a medal.
Will Sweden declare an Olympic medal, simply as they did in 2016?
In Brazil 5 years in the past, the Blue and Yellows beat the favourites USA en path to claiming a Silver Medal, shedding 2-1 to Germany within the ultimate on the Maracanã.
Except for this, Sweden have been a continuing pressure on each a continental and world stage.
They gained the primary ever Ladies’s Euros, in 1984, and have reached not less than the semi-finals six instances since, most lately in 2013.
Sweden additionally reached the World Cup Closing in 2003 and have completed third at that competitors on three events; 1991, 2011 and 2019.
Within the latter, they beat Chile, Thailand, Canada and Germany earlier than shedding to the Netherlands within the semi-finals however bounced again by beating England within the third-place play-off.
So, Peter Gerhardsson’s aspect are very a lot within the dialog at this event.
This might be captain Caroline Seger’s final event; the 36 yr previous has gained 215 caps and performs for the league’s most profitable membership Rosengård.
Different key gamers embrace defenders Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea) and Amanda Ilestedt (Bayern Munich) in addition to the squad’s prime scorer Sofia Jakobsson who’s simply moved to Bayern.
Sweden are in Group G, the group of loss of life, and kick off towards the U.S. earlier than conferences with Australia and New Zealand.
After claiming silver in Rio, will they go all the best way in Tokyo?
After going so shut at virtually each Olympics so far, will the Brazilian Ladies’s Nationwide Staff carry house the Gold Medal this yr?
Thus far, their finest efficiency on the Olympics was back-to-back silvers in 2004 and 2008, shedding to the U.S. within the ultimate each instances.
Except for that, Brazil have misplaced within the Bronze medal match 3 times, 1996, 2000 and 2016, due to this fact narrowly lacking out on a medal, the latter on house soil.
Nonetheless, this does imply Brazil have reached not less than the semi-finals at 5 of the six Olympics since Ladies’s soccer was added.
In South America, Seleção dominate having gained seven of the eight Copa América Femeninas, reaching the ultimate of the opposite, in addition to three of the final 5 Pan American Video games.
Nonetheless, lately, they haven’t been capable of translate this into World Cup success, final successful a knockout sport in 2007 once they reached the ultimate.
On the final two World Cups, they’ve crashed out within the spherical of 16, shedding to Australia in 2015 after which France two years in the past.
However Pia Sundhage’s squad has undoubted high quality.
Captain Marta, now 35, has been named FIFA World Participant of the Yr six instances and has gained 22 main honours in her glittering profession.
However, she isn’t even near being the oldest member of the squad; 43 yr previous Formiga shall be wanting so as to add to her 200 caps this summer time.
She made her worldwide debut in 1995, approaching in a World Cup group match towards Japan.
Brazil, alongside Netherlands, ought to cruise by way of Group F which additionally incorporates China PR and Zambia.
Whether or not they can then rise to the large event within the subsequent knockout section is one other matter.
Will Canada win a medal for the third successive Olympics?
In 2012, they beat France 1-0 within the Bronze medal match in Coventry earlier than repeating the trick 4 years later in São Paulo, overcoming hosts Brazil 2-1.
Can Canada make it three successive Bronze Medals and even higher?
The Reds always must reside within the shadow of their neighbours from the south, the USA, who’re the dominant pressure in Ladies’s soccer.
However, Canada are a powerful workforce in their very own proper.
Though, they didn’t actually present that on the final World Cup, crashing out within the spherical of 16 to Sweden.
Their captain Christine Sinclair shall be wanting so as to add to her staggering 299 caps and 186 worldwide targets at this event.
She’s one in every of 5 gamers on this squad with 100+ caps alongside Sophie Schmidt (205), Desiree Scott (161), Erin McLeod (118) and Kadeisha Buchanan (103).
Ashley Lawrence, of Paris Saint-Germain, may be a part of them throughout this event, if all the pieces goes to plan, as she at present has 95.
It’s definitely an skilled squad so there may be excessive hopes that Canada will go away with some type of medal.
They kick off towards hosts Japan earlier than dealing with Chile after which Nice Britain in Group E.
A phrase for the hosts.
Japan are one in every of simply 4 nations to win the Ladies’s World Cup, lifting the trophy ten years in the past once they beat the USA on penalties in Frankfurt.
5 years later, the U.S. bought revenge, hammering Japan 5-2 within the ultimate at BC Place in Vancouver.
On the Olympics, Japan have one Silver Medal to their identify, gained in 2012 when in addition they misplaced to USA within the ultimate.
Then, amazingly, they did not qualify for Rio 2016, lacking out to Australia and China in Asian Olympic Qualification.
Fortunately, this time, Asako Takakura’s aspect didn’t have to fret about qualification.
Being the host nation brings added stress however this yr, sadly, they gained’t have the backing of a partizan house crowd.
What the Samurai Blue do have is celebrity strikers.
Mana Iwabuchi (Arsenal) has scored 36 targets for her nation whereas Yuika Sugasawa (Urawa Crimson Diamonds) and Yūka Momiki (OL Reign) have 24 and 14 to their identify respectively.
Japan face the 2 favourites of their group, GB and Canada, first earlier than dealing with Group E’s weakest outfit Chile in, what might be, an important third sport.
Will the house followers, watching from house, have one thing to cheer?
Gold Medal: United States.
Silver Medal: Netherlands.
Bronze Medal: Nice Britain.