The United States eyes a spot in the round-of-16, while Portugal is just trying to live for another day in the tournament. On Sunday at 6:00 p.m EST (8:00 a.m Sydney), USA and Portugal will duke it out on the pitch in a pivotal Group G match at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil.
After sneaking past Ghana 2-1 in the opener and eventually a 2-2 draw between Germany and Ghana last Saturday, the United States has to record three more points to advance into the next round of the World Cup, while a loss to Portugal could put them into a do-or-die territory with the Germans.
Portugal, on the other hand, is in a must win situation with the Yankees, after a 0-4 crushing at the hands of the Germans in the opener. Cristiano Ronaldo has to provide some magic for Portugal to stay in the competition.
The United States will be playing without Jozy Altidore, who is still struggling to stay fit because of a hamstring injury. Ronaldo's knee is still a suspect, but losing defenders Pepe (suspended with red card) and Fabio Coentrao could be fatal for the Portuguese side.
Many experts predicted an all-out tussle between USA and Portugal, who had been evenly matched in the last five affairs.
"United States coach Jürgen Klinsmann was in charge of his native Germany when they beat Portugal 3-1 in the 2006 World Cup's third-place play-off. Under the former Tottenham striker Clint Dempsey, the United States are a hard team to beat with huge experience throughout the side," the Telegraph football expert John Ley stated in his preview.
Klinsmann stressed the weather in Manaus won't be a factor at all, because they have already played under that kind of playing condition.
"I think we are very well prepared for this climate here in Manaus," he said at Saturday's news conference. "It's similar to climates in CONCACAF or Central America, or even if you go to Florida and play in Miami. It's similar to what we experience here. I think we are very well prepared for tomorrow."
Predicted Lineup and Formation
USA (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Howard; Johnson, Brooks, Cameron, Beasley; Beckerman, Bradley, Jones, Bedoya; Dempsey; Johansson. / Out: Altidore (hamstring).
Portugal (Possible, 4-3-3): Patricio; Pereira, Costa, Alves, Almeida; Veloso, Moutinho, Meireles; Ronaldo, Postiga, Nani. / Out: Pepe (suspended), Coentrao (groin).
USA vs. Portugal will kick-off at 6:00 p.m EST (8:00 a.m Sydney Time). The game can be watched via live stream on ESPN Watch, and for Spanish language Univision (Free in US and Mexico), while Radio streaming is available on ESPN Radio.
For stats, live score and latest commentary, ESPN FC provides the latest update of the World Cup fixture.