Does the Canadian women’s soccer team have “home field advantage” against Great Britain?

Here's a novel one: Will Canada's women's soccer team actually feel more comfortable than Great Britain's during Olympic quarter final action, today?

The coach of the British women's soccer team thinks Canada has a type of home field advantage when the two nations collide on the pitch in Coventry.

Not that the crowd of over 32 thousand that's expected will be anything other than pro British, for the most part. For the very, very most part.

That's not what Hope Powell, coach of the British side is saying.

Just that Canada has an advantage in that they've already played two games at the city Of Coventry Stadium during these Olympics (losing to Japan, 2-1 and beating South Africa, 3-0) while the host nation hasn't played a single minute there. Heavy rains forced officials to cancel each team's training session at the stadium last night, relocating them both to nearby Warwick University.

Powell isn't squeezing sour grapes on this one and revealed that there would be no official complaint lodged with organizers. She seemed perfectly reasonable about the situation, when she spoke with The Guardian about the decision to move practices away from the Coventry field:

"These people have a job to do that: make decisions. They try and make decisions in the best interest of the game. If they are saying the pitch can't take a training session because it is likely to cut up which will affect the surface for tomorrow (Friday), I'm quite comfortable with it. We will train away from the stadium and then come back and have a look. I'm not going to make it an issue."

Still, with no practice session allowed prior to the big game between 9th ranked Britain and 7th ranked Canada, the notion is that Canada will have a greater comfort with playing on that field than the de facto home team will. Certainly Powell wonders about it:

"Does it give Canada an advantage? They have played on the surface twice. We are coming back after training for a familiarisation period to have a look around the place."

"But the girls are hopefully professional enough to just get on with the job and so it won't be a distraction to us."

An interesting advantage that Canada might not have counted on. One that most assuredly will see a raucous crowd trying to negate in favour of the real home side, when the two teams collide, a berth in the Olympic semi finals on the line.

Canada's Melissa Tancredi, who's scored four goals in three games so far, isn't worried about the task of playing in front of a hostile crowd, telling Sun Media:

"I think a sell-out crowd is awesome, you live for that stuff as an athlete. It doesn't matter who they are cheering for, as long as they are not heckling us too bad."

"We have played in some hostile crowds in Mexico, so we've been there. We're a veteran team for the most part and I think we'll deal well with it."

Some would say the chickens have come home to roost for the Brits. After his team suffered a 1-o loss to Great Britain in a qualifying match on Tuesday, Brazilian coach Jorge Barcellos called a transportation screw up - one that saw the Brazilian side stranded roadside for 5 hours and forced to alter their pre-game workout regimen - "a disgrace."

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