(Photo: REUTERS / Toru Hanai)
The USA will play Portugal in a massive World Cup 2014 Group G on Sunday. Portugal suffered a blowout loss to Germany in their opening game, and will look to resurrect their challenge for the World Cup by winning against the United States today. However, the USA finally defeated Ghana at the third time of asking, having been knocked out by them in the previous two World Cups. They know if they can just secure a draw today it would give them a fantastic chance of going through to the Last 16.
Today's big game between the USA and Portugal will kick off at 6 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the ESPN network.
Big news for the United States ahead of the game is that even though match winner Clint Dempsey broke his nose in the win over Ghana, he has been passed fit and will start today's crunch match with Portugal.
Defender Matt Besler will also be available, although USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann will likely be forced to start Aaron Johannsson to replace the injured Jozy Altidore.
For Portugal there have been big doubts around the fitness of star player Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of today's game. He has a serious injury to his left knee and has been seen training with it taped up all week. However, the pre-match reports claim that he has been passed fit and will line-up against the United States today in a must-win game for Portugal.
Many are wondering how Portugal will react today after their 0-4 humbling to Germany in their opening match. That is their heaviest ever loss at a World Cup Finals, and it will either have knocked the confidence from the team, or it will have given them greater resolve to react today.
Klinsmann has said of Portugal ahead of the game: "Now (Portugal) are going to come into Manaus pretty angry and I don't know how Ronaldo is going to perform when he is angry."
He added, "We need to show Portugal how good we are."
With the United States needing to play Germany in their last game, they will know only a win here today will guarantee their progression to the Last 16, although a draw would put them well-placed and with a fighting chance of making the knock out rounds.
The USA against Portugal will start at 6 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the ESPN network.