USA vs. Portugal: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and 2014 World Cup Preview

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USA vs. Portugal: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and 2014 World Cup Preview
Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

Group G has taken on a guise that not all will have expected after the first round of action, with Portugal now playing catch-up on the United States prior to their Sunday meeting.

An 86th-minute John Brooks header gave Jurgen Klinsmann's men one of the most memorable victories in their history last week, triumphing 2-1 over Ghana while the Portuguese slumped to a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of an impressive German side.

Should Paulo Bento wish to see his team make it into the round of 16, this weekend's fixture is of crucial importance, where nothing but three points will do.

Read on for all viewing information and preview of Sunday's clutch collision.

 

Date: Sunday, June 22

Time: 11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ET

Live Stream: BBC Sport website (UK), ESPN Player (U.S., subscription required)

TV Info: BBC One (UK), ESPN (U.S., subscription required)

 

Key Players To Watch

USA: Chris Wondolowski

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The official USMNT Twitter account confirmed last week that striker Jozy Altidore would be absent for this weekend's fixture against Portugal, giving Klinsmann a dilemma in whom to field up front:

U.S. international Eddie Johnson, who was omitted from this summer's World Cup squad, believes that San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski deserves his place as Altidore's replacement:

Should "Wondo" beat Aron Johannsson (or any other candidates) to the starting berth, he can be hopeful of scoring against a Portuguese defence that, at times, looked awful against Germany.

That isn't to understate the efficiency of Joachim Low's attack of course, but the United States' attackers can shed all apprehension going forward in their search of back-to-back World Cup wins, and Wondolowski needs to be as confident as any if he plays.

 

Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo

Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

In a tournament such as this, it's difficult to find a fixture where Cristiano Ronaldo won't be looked upon as the main man in Portugal's framework, critical to any success they might have this summer.

Contrary to any fears over the forward's flagging fitness, The Associated Press shows that Ronaldo is in full training ahead of Sunday's game:

Ghana boasted a selection of offensive dangers such as Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew, but that opening fixture won't have brought up an opponent in Ronaldo's realm of quality, it almost goes without saying.

Ronaldo's success undoubtedly relies on his teammates lending him the helping hand he needs just as much as it does on the opposition allowing him to express himself. The Real Madrid attacker was isolated succinctly by Germany's midfield last week, and it told in the scoreline.

 

Key Battle

Jermaine Jones vs. Joao Moutinho

Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

He's never been known as the most active and energetic of anchoring midfielders, but Jermaine Jones' injection of dogged, nonstop running was critical to the United States' triumph in the first round of group-stage action.

Ex-Arsenal and Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba expresses this exact notion, praising the American's performance in Natal:

That being said, Portugal's Joao Moutinho could certainly be called a playmaking talent superior to anything the Ghanaian squad possesses among its ranks.

With that in mind, Moutinho will be the man looking to pull the strings of Bento's attack, while Jones' reputation as a quelling presence makes for an enticing head-to-head of differing central skill sets.

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