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USA v Portugal: America to send dishevelled Seleccao spinning

| 22.06.2014

By defeating a strong Ghana side 2-1 in Group G, USA showed they have not come along to Brazil for the ride and will fancy their chances of sending a Portugal side seemingly in disarray, crashing out.

Just like neighbouring Spain, Portugal were on the end of a disastrous tonking in their opening game of the World Cup, losing 4-0 to Germany and with injuries and suspensions further scuppering their plans, the tournament is poised to lose another big gun.

Here are three selected punts for the clash.

USA to win @ 4/1

Jurgen Klinsmann’s side beating the Black Stars in their opening game was no fluke.

The German manager oversaw a commanding qualification campaign where the US finished top of the pile ahead of Mexico and Costa Rica, while it’s now four straight victories and eight in their last 12 ahead of this game.

Meanwhile, not only did A Seleccao receive a demoralising pasting off Germany, but they’ve lost two of their top defenders for this clash, their best player is unquestionably unfit, and they still haven’t produced a striker worth their salt on the world stage in a decade.

Real Madrid teammates Pepe and Fabio Coentrao are suspended and injured respectively, while there are major doubts over whether Cristiano Ronaldo is fit to play any part.

USA to score over 1.5 goals @ 13/5

This looks a sizzling price on paper given what occurred in the sides’ opening Group G encounters and especially as Paulo Bento will be stripped of one half of his first-choice defence for Portugal.

Team USA have done plenty of scoring in recent times too, netting exactly twice in all of their last five games. Ker-ching!

Aron Johannsson to score any time @ 7/2

He may not be a household name, but the man who came onto replace Jozi Altidore afer his hamstring tweaked only 23 minutes into the game against Ghana, should be set for a start this time around.

The Icelandic-born 23-year-old striker racked up an impressive tally of 18 goals for Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar this season, helping his cub reach the last eight of the Europa League in the process.

Johannsson also notched in a pre-tournament friendly against Azerbaijan, one of two goals in 10 caps so far.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.