USA open up their World Cup campaign with a match against Ghana, which given the strength of opposition in their group is one they can ill-afford to lose.
With Germany and Portugal lurking in what could very well be the hardest group in the competition, both sides will be desperate to secure a vital win.
Ghana are considered by some to be the best African team in the competition and will be hoping to at least match their impressive showing from the 2010 competition when the arm of Luis Suarez and a missed penalty denied them a semi-final place.
Black Stars’ manager James Kwesi Appiah can call upon a reasonably experienced squad, with Gyan, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Kwadwo Asamoah and Michael Essien all at his disposal as Ghana look to negotiate their way out of a devilish group.
Meanwhile USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann has shown he is not afraid to make the hard decisions omitting Landon Donovan in favour of younger, more mobile options.
Consequently Klinsmann, will be looking for Clint Dempsey to lead the way with hopes of a breakout performance from AZ Alkmaar forward Aron Johannsson.
KICK-OFF: Monday, 11pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
USA 1 (Donovan) Ghana 2 (Boateng, Gyan), World Cup, June 2010
Ghana 2(Dramani, Appiah) USA 1(Dempsey), World Cup, June 2006
This is the third straight World Cup in which both sides are facing each other
Ghana are the third African nation to make it to the World Cup quarter-finals – after Cameroon and Senegal. If it was not for Luis Suarez’s handball, they would have become the first African country to qualify to the semi-finals.
If former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan scores twice in Brazil, then he will surpass Cameroon legend Roger Milla and become the top African goalscorer in the World Cup with six goals.
USA’s best appearance in the World Cup was in 1930 where the Stars and Stripes finished third.
Ghana scored 25 goals in the preliminary round, which is the most any African nation managed to net in the qualifiers.
United States: Group G team profile
United States: Group G team profile
1/5 How they qualified
Things did not start well for the United States as they suffered an opening defeat from fellow World Cup participants Honduras. However, the Americans fought back and reached the top of the six-team group, four points ahead of Costa Rica in second place. This time though, the Stars and Stripes will be lacking the services of their star player Landon Donovan who was axed from the World Cup roster. The US have also shown some problems in defence and the continuous change of players builds concerns and doubts about whether the players will be able to work together against the likes of Germany, Portugal and Ghana.
Jurgen Klinsmann is a World Cup legend and has led the United States to some historical wins against notable teams, such as his native Germany. The Tottenham veteran is a very serious and strict manager that is not afraid to take tough decisions, such as leaving the most successful American footballer behind.
3/5 Star player
Clint Dempsey will undoubtedly be the leader at the United States’ frontline and his Premier League experience could lead to some very important goals. With 189 appearances under his belt for Fulham and another 29 for Spurs, the 31-year-old forward will be considered America’s target man and can provide many dangers thanks to his confidence and brilliant finishing skills.
4/5 Emerging talent
Aron Johannsson could be the man that attracts the attention now that Landon Donovan has been ruled out. The 23-year-old knows how to deal with competition, as he was part of Alkmaar’s journey to the Europa League quarter finals, and knows how to find the ball thanks to his impressive positioning
5/5 How they will line up: (4-3-3)
Guzan; Cameron, Gonzalez, Beasley, Besler; Jones, Bradley, Zusi; Dempsey, Altidore, Johannsson
Ghana to win: 8.5
USA to win: 2.1
TV: Live on BBC One at 11pmReuse content