Neymar Felipe Anderson Brazil
Brazil forwards Neymar and Felipe Anderson look quite chilled out as they go into a training session, August 3, 2016Reuters

The women's football teams kicked things off at the Rio Olympics 2016 on Wednesday, two days before the opening ceremony, and, on the eve of the grand opening, it will be the men's teams' turn, led by Brazil and Neymar, to create interest and entertain.

Thursday is men's football day, with Iraq vs Denmark the first of eight matches scheduled. Of those games, Brazil vs South Africa is the most important, from a home crowd's perspective, as the Selecao look to clinch the one major title missing from their extensive collection.

Brazil have named a strong squad for their home Olympics, with Neymar preferred for this tournament over the Copa America Centenario. Having suffered disappointment from a personal level, when injury ruled him out early, and a team level at the 2014 Brazil World Cup, Neymar will be keen to etch his and his team's names in history with a gold medal at the Olympics.

South Africa are not one of the powerhouse teams that usually stands out in football, so Brazil, provided they keep complacency at bay, should be able to come away with a victory in their Olympic opener.

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Apart from Brazil vs South Africa, there are quite a few other intriguing matches, with Mexico vs Germany, Argentina vs Portugal and Nigeria vs Japan all set to give the fans plenty to smile about.

Argentina are always a force in the junior ranks – the Olympic football tournament is an U-23 event – and while there are no star names like a Neymar, or a Lionel Messi, in their ranks, the South Americans, who will, no doubt, be given a hostile reception from the Brazilian fans, will fancy their chances of standing up on that podium come the end of the tournament.

The European heavyweights Portugal and Germany will also be on show on Thursday, and like Argentina, they will know they have the capabilities of going far at the Rio Olympics. With Portugal being a strong side as well, the match against Argentina should be a really entertaining one.

Rio Olympics 2016 schedule: August 4.

Football: Men's first round: Group A: Iraq vs Denmark (1 p.m. local time, 5 p.m. BST, 9.30 p.m. IST) at Mane Garrincha Stadium, Brasilia.

Group D: Honduras vs Algeria (3 p.m. local time, 7 p.m. BST, 11.30 p.m. IST) at Olympic Stadium, Rio de Janeiro.

Group A: Brazil vs South Africa (4 p.m. local time, 8 p.m. BST, 12.30 a.m. IST) at Mane Garrincha Stadium, Brasilia.

Group C: Mexico vs Germany (5 p.m. local time, 9 p.m. BST, 1.30 a.m. IST) at Fonte Nova Arena, Salvador.

Group D: Portugal vs Argentina (6 p.m. local time, 10 p.m. BST, 2.30 a.m. IST) at Olympic Stadium, Rio de Janeiro.

Group B: Sweden vs Colombia (7 p.m. local time, 11 p.m. BST, 3.30 a.m. IST) at Amazonia Arena, Manaus.

Group C: Fiji vs South Korea (8 p.m. local time, 12 a.m. BST, 4.30 a.m. IST) at Fonte Nova Arena, Salvador.

Group B: Nigeria vs Japan (10 p.m. local time, 2 a.m. BST, 6.30 a.m. IST) at Amazonia Arena, Manaus.