Your daily World Cup tip sheet for who’s playing when, and what to watch for. We'll deliver a new briefing the evening before every game day, highlighting the can't-miss match and which players to watch.
Match of the day: U.S. vs. Portugal
Injuries have been the big story ahead of this Group G
match, headlined by Ronaldo’s troublesome left knee. There
are reports that the Portuguese star will pull out of the
tournament over the tendinitis, which would be a crushing
blow to a side trying to get back on track after getting
steamrolled by Germany. The Selecção are also facing
questions on defence, with left back Fabio Coentrao out of
the tournament with a thigh injury and Pepe serving a
suspension for his red card in the opener. The Americans
are banged up at forward, with Jozy Altidore nursing a
hamstring strain and Clint Dempsey vowing to play on
despite having his nose rearranged by a wayward kick to the
face in the team’s win over Ghana.
Player to watch: USA’s Clint Dempsey
Will he wear a mask to protect his damaged beak? Can he go 90 minutes with only one working nostril? The U.S. needs his attacking prowess, which was on full display when he scored a beauty just 29 seconds into the Ghana match. Also noteworthy: the Seattle Sounders FC star released the first single from his upcoming rap album The Redux last week. You can hear It’s Poppin here.
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