Last Updated: 28/08/12 9:39pm
Jose Maria Olazabal: Under no illusions about the size of the task that lies ahead for his European team
European captain Jose Maria Olazabal believes this year's Ryder Cup match is too close to call, but concedes his side will have to be at their very best to emerge triumphant.
On Monday the Spaniard confirmed his 12-man line-up after selecting England's Ian Poulter and rookie Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts as his wildcard picks.
However, Olazabal is under no illusions about the size of the task that lies ahead at Medinah next month.
"I've always said that I don't see any favourites in this Ryder Cup," he said. "Both teams are very strong. The US team is always strong and we are going to have to play really well.
"We are playing away. They are going to have the crowd advantage. They are going to set up the course to their liking."
Olazabal's counterpart Davis Love has another week to decide his four wildcard selections, but things only became more complicated for him at the weekend.
Until the first of the FedEx Cup play-off events, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan appeared near-certainties, with the other spot looking likely to go to either Rickie Fowler or Dustin Johnson - two more players involved in the defeat at Celtic Manor two years ago.
But then Nick Watney and Brandt Snedeker finished first and second at The Barclays and another impressive performance in Boston starting on Friday could now make all the difference.
What is counting against Watney and Snedeker is that Love already has three rookies on his side in US Open champion Webb Simpson, last year's USPGA winner Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner.
Olazabal, on the other hand, has 11 players with cup experience plus this year's Volvo World Match Play champion Colsaerts, who only three years ago was ranked 1,305th in the game.
The 29-year-old - the first Belgian to appear in the match - has been preferred to Ireland's Padraig Harrington, a member of the last six sides but with only two wins in his last 13 cup games.
"I would not have understood if I hadn't been chosen, but as much as I thought I was going to be you can't help but think that maybe he wants other things," said a relieved Colsaerts, Europe's biggest hitter last season and this.
Asked what Colsaerts would feel like on the first tee, Poulter replied: "I'm not sure if you can put it into words to be honest.
"I think Nicolas will feel the excitement that everybody and anybody that has played Ryder Cup has ever felt before.
"That is a lot of intense pressure, a lot of excitement and I think Nicolas is going to do an incredible job handling that and delivering with the rest of the guys on the team."
Butch Harmon says US captain Davis Love III has a wealth of options for his Ryder Cup picks.
Bernard Gallacher believes Jose Maria Olazabal made the right decision in omitting Padraig Harrington from his Ryder Cup side.
Davis Love III wants a "hot player" to break into the USA's Ryder Cup team, says Simon Veness.