Spain v Japan Olympic preview as La Roja aim for gold in Tokyo

Luis de la Fuente’s Spain side will be pushing for a first Olympic football gold medal since 1992 in the next 24 hours.

La Roja secured a first ever gold in men’s football in Barcelona in 1992 with a silver medal in Sydney in 2000 and an impressive showing in recent weeks has put them through to the last four in Tokyo.

De la Fuente’s impressive side take on host nation Japan with a final slot up against the winners of Mexico’s showdown with Brazil if they can get through.

Despite being favourites to finish amongst the medal spots, Spain face a battle ahead, and 188BET have the best available markets on who can clinch Olympic glory this summer.

We take a look at the big calls facing de la Fuente in his quest for gold.

GOALKEEPER/DEFENCE

Unai Simon

Athletic Bilbao stopper Unai Simon has been ever present in goal with five consecutive starts on the back of an eye catching role in La Roja’s run to the Euro 2020 semi finals.

Pau Torres and Eric Garcia have been a regular feature for Spain with four starts from five games and should remain as de la Fuente’s first choice pair.

At full back there is some speculation over who will start against Japan with Oscar Mingueza still finding his way back to full fitness.

Juan Miranda offers a more defensively sound option at left back with Marc Cucurella in line to start if de la Fuente wants a more attacking minded choice.

MIDFIELD

Pedri

Marathon man Pedri will once again be called upon by his country after steamrollering his way from the Euros to the Olympics.

Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi will playing the anchoring role in the midfield trio but the third starting spot is up for grabs following Dani Ceballos’ tournament ending injury.

The absence of their captain has impacted Spain’s plans with Mikel Merino and Carlos Soler battling for the last starting place against the Japanese.

ATTACK

Rafa Mir

Spain managed just one goal in their first two group games as Mikel Oyarzabal’s penalty off the bench secured a crucial 1-0 win over rivals Australia.

However. a hat trick in the 5-3 semi final win over Ivory Coast has unexpectedly catapulted Wolves striker Rafa Mir into the limelight as Spain’s main goal scoring threat.

Mir’s confident swaggering style has increased transfer interest in the 24-year-old with reports from Marca linking him with a summer move to either Atletico Madrid or Barcelona as part of a cut price deal.

Tags 2020 Olympics Carlos Soler Eric Garcia Japan Juan Miranda La Roja Luis de la Fuente Marc Cucurella Martin Zubimendi Mikel Merino Mikel Oyarzabal Pau Torres Pedri Rafa Mir Spain Unai Simon