USA v Portugal Preview

Group G | Sunday 22 June | Arena Amazonia, Manaus | 23:59




In their second match of the tournament, Portugal and USA meet in what is a huge fixture in the outcome of Group G after Portugal were annihilated by Germany while USA got their revenge for their 2010 World Cup exit after beating Ghana 2-1.

To Win (90mins)
USA 36/10
Draw 5/2
Portugal 15/20

USA

USA defeated Ghana 2-1 on Monday night in their opening game of the World Cup on the strength of goals from Clint Dempsey and John Anthony Brooks.

After going 1-0 up in the first minute after Dempsey's strike, the Americans conceded an equalizer in the 82nd minute.

Then, in a thrilling finish, the U.S. found the winner in the 86th minute on a header from Brooks. United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann can be given credit for a number of positives for the win over Ghana.

The U.S were brilliant in defence for much of the 90 minutes, with the midfield working hard to get behind the ball.

The fact that three players also were forced to leave the game with apparent muscle pulls left much to question as well.

Klinsmann pushed fitness in the USA’s World Cup preparation, but perhaps he overdid it, as Besler, Altidore and Bedoya all had to be pulled from the match due to non-contact injuries.

USA’s strength in numbers is their main positive but they do have technically gifted players, most notably Clint Dempsey who is one of the country’s most distinguished players.

The ex Fulham star scored the fifth fasted goal in World Cup history against Ghana and will be a key player if USA are to stand any chance of qualifying for the round of 16.

USA often make up for what they may lack in technical ability with cohesion and desire, and against an occasionally flaky Portugal, this could well be something to take into account.

PORTUGAL

Portugal were hammered 4-0 by Germany in their opening game, who approached the match with greater discipline and surety of execution.

Cristiano Ronaldo threatened for Portugal early in the game however once Mario Gotze was brought down for a penalty the game was Germany’s.

Like when he won the Golden Boot in South Africa, Thomas Muller surprised everyone with a hat-trick in a game that was expected to be close.

Portugal played more than 50 minutes with 10 men following Pepe's first-half dismissal for a headbutt on Muller.

The Portuguese also lost full-back Fabio Coentrao and Hugo Almeida to injuries and must now hope to produce positive results to qualify from the group.

Portugal’s fortunes will once again depend on the performance of Cristiano Ronaldo. He was relatively quiet against Germany and will be looking to try and prove his status as the best player in the world in their next two matches.

Although Germany were always favourites to come out on top against Portugal, the manner in which Die Mannschaft were able to take Bento's side apart will undoubtedly leave many wondering just where Ronaldo and co will finish in the group.

The nasty injury to Coentrao and the red card to Pepe will almost certainly destroy any hopes of a tight back-line throughout the competition and when partnered with yet another abject performance from Ronaldo one wonders if their start to this World Cup could have been any worse.

With the USA up next for Portugal and then a tricky final game against Ghana, we could well see the European side crash out of the tournament at the first round.

No matter what happens in the next two games, the uphill struggle for Bento's side starts here.

Betting PredictionPORTUGAL 36/10
USA have won the last two meetings against Portugal. The last victory was a 3-2 win in the 2002 World Cup in Japan. Portugal’s confidence will be down after their embarrassing defeat against Germany and if the U.S. can get the first goal, they could just as well go on to claim maximum points.  

Written by Wayde Dorkin for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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