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hockey medal markets - women

Netherlands - as with their men's team, the Dutch ladies have yet to drop a point. They are defending champions and took the silver in Athens. Apart from a 3-0 victory over Belgium (bottom of the group) on opening day, they have only won their matches by a single goal indicating low margin for error on the day. Their penalty corner conversion rate is rubbish at this level - 1/8 against Belgium, 0/10 against China - so it's their field play which needs to get them over the line. A risk at odds-on for the title I reckon...

Argentina - bronze medallists at the last two Olympics, silver in Sydney, this will be the last chance for the great Luciana Aymar to get her hands on Olympic gold before she retires. Apart from the shock 0-1 result against bottom-placed USA in the group stage, this team have been very solid, with three wins and a draw, conceding no more than one goal per game. In the final match, they needed a draw or better against Australia, and they locked the game down to a drab 0-0 result to proceed to the next round. 12 goals for sounds pretty good, unless you see that they flogged South Africa 7-0 in the first game. Their games won't be adventurous or high scoring, making a single loss always an option.

Great Britain - the better hope of the home sides with a winnable match ahead of them. The GB team will create chances, they can score from the field and from penalty corners, but in the semis they face a team with a rigid defence. Home support will be enormous and may just tip the match in their favour.

New Zealand - no surprise to see this side in the semis, they have been better than the Hockeyroos for a few years now, under the leadership of legendary Aussie striker Mark Hager. The female Black Sticks had their chances against Argentina in their only group defeat but went down 2-1. They beat Australia, drew with Germany (all that was required to get through to the semis) and covered the rest comfortably (while the victory over the US was only 3-2, it was 20 shots against two for the match). Not hopeless, they've earned their spot here and the Dutch girls won't be able to take them lightly.

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I reckon GB could take the gold here, Argentina haven't flattered and the Dutch aren't been teams with ease as yet. 4.5 for the gold is nice enough in a field of four, but I'll go harder on laying Argentina to win in normal time tonight.

1pt GB to win gold 4.5
Lay Argentina at odds-on (around 1.9-1.95 expected) risking 1.5pts

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