This is it. The big one.
The USA’s World Cup dreams are on the line as they face Germany in Recife on Thursday.
A win or a draw will see Jurgen Klinsmann’s men through to the last 16 of the World Cup, however a heavy defeat could result in them being knocked out of tournament if either Portugal or Ghana win. The USA have made two changes with Geoff Cameron and Alejandro Bedoya both left out of the staring lineup as Brad Davis and Omar Gonzalez come into the lineup.
Portugal and Ghana battle it out in Brasilia to try and finish ahead of the U.S. but both are hoping for a miracle. Controversy has entrenched the Ghanaian camp as both Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng have been sent home for disciplinary actions.
Here are the lineups in full for both matches.
USA: Howard, Gonzalez, Bradley, Besler, Beasley, Dempsey (c), Jones, Davis, Beckerman, Zusi, Johnson
Germany: Neuer, Howedes, Hummels, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Podolski, Muller, Lahm (c), Mertesacker, Kroos, Boateng
Expectation: The USA will have to batten down the hatches in a rainy Recife if they’re going to advance to the last 16. Germany are so good going forward. Let’s hope the U.S. can get one early and hold on.
One blogger’s prediction: 2-0 to Germany. I just can’t see the Germans being shut out by the U.S. defense. I’m sorry, guys.
Portugal: Beto, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Miguel Veloso, William Carvalho, Ronaldo (c), Moutinho, Eder, Nani, Amorim, Pereira
Ghana: Dauda, Gyan (c), Atsu, Agyemang Badu, A. Ayew, Rabiu, Waris, Mensah, Asamoah, Boye, Afful
Expectation: This will be a thriller. Both teams need a win. They cannot draw. Expect to see plenty of goals.
One blogger’s prediction: .3-1 to Portugal. I think this is when Cristiano Ronaldo unleashes all of the pent up rage. Also, Ghana are in ruins right now.