The United States women's team play France right under their noses at Hampden, while in Cardiff two Scots, Ifeoma Dieke and Kim Little, should be key components of the GB team which faces New Zealand.
The game at the Millennium Stadium will start the Games, two days ahead of the opening ceremony in London, while an hour later, at 5pm, USA take on France in what is likely to be one of the best matches of the entire women's tournament. It would not be a huge surprise if the teams meet again in next month's final.
Such have been the legitimate doubts about the wisdom of Scots participating in the GB football teams that public enthusiasm for both the men's and women's tournaments is muted, to put it mildly. Nevertheless, for Dieke and Little this is a huge opportunity; one which could finally get them some much-deserved recognition. A third Scot, Glasgow City's Jane Ross, is in the squad as back-up.
The draw has been extremely kind to the GB team, and reaching the quarter-finals is the least that should be expected of them. England are ranked ninth in the world, but boosted by Dieke in central defence and the ever-industrious midfielder Little, the team is even stronger. They will have one of the best players in the tournament in Kelly Smith and should be far too strong for New Zealand and Cameroon.
The latter, who only got into the tournament because Equatorial Guinea were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player, lost 2-0 to a much under-strength Scotland side earlier this month. The only disturbing aspect of this dream draw for the British side is the presence of Brazil – and Marta, the superstar of the women's game – but both sides should reach the quarter-finals without expending too much sweat.
Japan, who won last year's World Cup in Germany, get their campaign underway against Canada. It's not the easiest of openers as their opponents are ranked seventh in the world, and the group has another very strong team in Sweden. All three could qualify for the quarter finals as there are spots for two third-placed teams. The whipping girls are expected to be South Africa, another team Scotland beat without too much discomfort earlier this year.
Sharp-eyed readers will have noted there has been no mention of Germany, winners of the World Cup in 2003 and 2007 and bronze medallists at the last three Olympic Games. That's because they're not in the tournament, despite currently being ranked the second best team on the planet.
Did they fail to qualify? Not really. UEFA didn't hold a qualifying tournament and instead used last year's World Cup as their guide. The Germans were unexpectedly knocked out by Japan in the quarter-finals, leaving France and Sweden, who reached the semi-finals, as the European representatives at the Olympics.
Although her fellow Swedes have benefited, Scotland coach Anna Signeul does not believe the system is remotely fair. "There are only two places for Europe, which is the strongest continent," she pointed out. "There are teams that should have been here but aren't. You would hope that an Olympic tournament would consist of 16 teams instead of 12, and the four extra places given to Europe."
Germany's absence is yet another boost for the British side, who should be able to build up considerable momentum on home soil. But Signeul believes that the United States and Japan – last year's World Cup finalists – are the justified favourites, with France, Sweden, Brazil and Britain all capable of springing an upset.
She will watch today's game between the US and France, and said: "The spectators will be very surprised, because they will see fantastic technique, passing ability and speed of action. The evening game, between Colombia and North Korea, will also be interesting as a contrast between a team with outstanding individuals and one which is a really good passing team."
Signeul is maintaining a diplomatic silence on whether more of her side should have made the GB squad, but said: "I'm not surprised Ifeoma was named best player in the warm-up match against Sweden. She is playing the best football of her career. Kim is a remarkable talent who can have a big impact if she is in good shape."
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