We have starting team news as United States meet Portugal in this Group B clash. A loss for Portugal will see them knocked out of this year’s World Cup, while the States will be looking for a 2nd win at this years World cup. Kick-off from Arena Amazônia, Manaus is at 11.00.
Portugal got their campaign off to a disastrous start with 4-0 loss to Germany. The turning point in the game was arguably the red card to Real Madrid defender Pepe who was involved in an altercation with Thomas Muller. Muller went on to steal the show in a fine individual performance netting the only hatrick at this years World Cup finals. Uinted States won their opening game against Ghana in what was a surprise result especially considering the Ghanians performance against Germany. Former Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey scored an early goal for the States before Andre Ayew leveled. Defender John Brookes scored the winner for USA with a late header.
Dempsey proved his credentials with Fulham in the Premier League in the 11/12 season hitting 17 goals. Dempsey is back playing in his native country and has experienced the last 2 World Cups for the States. Dempsey scored against Ghana in the 2006 World Cup and also against England in the 2010 edition. He is now captain and with London Donovan’s omission his experience will be even more crucial. Dempsey scored a fine individual goal in against Ghana demonstrating his ability his dribbling ability. The States will look to him again to produce some quality for Jurgen Klinsman’s side in the attacking third.
Ronaldo has enjoyed a remarkable season at Real Madrid winning the Champions league and Cop Del Rey titles. The current ballon d’or winner has scored 49 goals in 111 caps for Portugal. The former Manchester United attacker will be playing in his 3rd World Cup and will be hoping to add to his goal tally of only 2 goals. Ronaldo may not be fully fit with recent knee trouble but his presence is vital for this Portugal team. He managed 7 shots in their opening game the most of any player and he wil be hoping he can score his first goal of this year’s World Cup
The United States have went with the following side and are expected to use a 4-5-1 formation.
United States: Howard, Bradley, Besler, Beasley, Dempsey (c), Bedoya, Jones, Beckerman, Zusi, Cameron, Johnson
Portugal are without defender Pepe who is suspended and Fabio Contraeo through injury
Portugal:Beto, Bruno Alves, Veloso, Ronaldo (c), Moutinho, Costa, Meireles, Nani, A. Almeida, Pereira, Postiga
The States were relatively lucky to win their opening game with a last minute header against Ghana. Ronaldo will of course be vital to Portugal but with the Real Madrid star not fully fit they will need more from Nani, Moutinho and Raul Meireles.The USA are a technically limited team but are organized and difficult to break it may take Portugal a while to do so but I think they will eventually get the goals they need to win. I expect Portugal to win this one possibly on a 2-0 scoreline.Portugal to win by 2 is 7/2 in what looks an appealing bet with boylesports