MANAUS, Brazil (SportingAlert) — Clint Dempsey will lead the attack for USA in the absence of the injured Jozy Altidore in Sunday night’s World Cup Group G game against Portugal at Arena da Amazonia.
Graham Zusi has been drafted into the starting lineup and is expected to be the main attacking support to Dempsey as USA looks for the three points that would qualify them to the World Cup last 16.
Michael Bradley, Alejandro Bedoya, Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman all start in the midfield as head coach Jurgen Klinsmann looks to stifle the attacking options for Portugal.
As expected, Cristiano Ronaldo starts for Portugal, who are looking to bounce back from the embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Germany in their opening World Cup group game.
Nani and Hélder Postiga also start in the attack, as Portugal goes into the game without the suspend Pepe and injured Fabio Coentrao.
However, Bruno Alves is fit to start and he will be partnered at center-back by Ricardo Costa. André Almeida and Joao Pereira are the full-backs.
Portugal must avoid defeat to have any chance of qualifying for the World Cup knockout phase, while a win for the U.S. will see them going top of Group G and into the last 16.
USA v Portugal
USA: Howard, Johnson, Cameron, Besler, Beasley, Bedoya, Beckerman, Jones, Bradley, Zusi, Dempsey. Subs: Guzan, Yedlin, Gonzalez, Brooks, Johannsson, Diskerud, Davis, Green, Wondolowski, Chandler, Rimando
Portugal: Beto, Joao Pereira, Bruno Alves, Ricardo Costa, Andre Almeida, Joao Moutinho, Veloso, Meireles, Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo. Subs: Eduardo, William Carvalho, Vieirinha, Eder, Luis Neto, Rafa, Varela, Ruben Amorim, Rui Patricio
Referee: Nestor Pittana (Argentina)