Portugal are looking to exorcise their demons from last week after getting thrashed 4-0 by Germany but concerns have been raised regarding the team’s captain Cristiano Ronaldo. The former Manchester United forward has been dealing with a knee injury for quite a few weeks and rumours suggest that he has not overcome it. Nevertheless, Paulo Bento’s side deny all speculation which means that the Real Madrid ace could be set for action.
However, the Portuguese side will be missing the services of left-back Fabio Coentrao who was ruled out of the World Cup after sustaining a thigh injury at the group opener. Furthermore, Real Madrid centre-back Pepe is suspended after being sent off over a headbutt on Thomas Muller.
The atmosphere is more positive at the American side as Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad managed to beat Ghana in their first match. A good result could make them a serious contender for the Round of 16 but they will have to do so without Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore who suffered a hamstring strain last week.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 11pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
USA 3 (O’Brien, Costa og, McBride) Portugal 2 (Beto, Agoos og), World Cup, June 2002
USA 1 (Wegerle) Portugal 0, International Friendly, June 1992
Portugal 1 (Domingos) USA 0, International Friendly, December 1990
USA striker Clint Dempsey has scored in three straight World Cups.
The Americans have scored more than one goal in three out of their last 12 matches.
The Stars and Stripes have only picked up two clean sheets in their past 24 World Cup matches.
Last week Portugal conceded four goals at a World Cup match for the first time ever
Monaco midfielder Joao Moutinho produced 10 assists at the European qualifiers – which is more than anyone else.
USA to win: 4.1
Portugal to win: 3.4
TV: Live on BBC One at 11pm