One ‘Group of Death’ team rose up to take down their tormenters in what could become a World Cup-defining win while another team not only lost its opener, but did so in horrific fashion while losing a player in the process.
Now, because of the aforementioned events, Sunday’s second round meeting between the United States and Portugal has taken on a whole new meaning for both clubs. (Click here to see full #USMNT 2014 World Cup betting odds)
Updated Group Of Death Odds:
With injury concerns, U,S. World Cup squad turns attention to Portugal http://t.co/OJGi9K57Wa
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) June 18, 2014
FIFA World Cup Group G Match Odds USA Vs. Portugal
With the U.S. men’s unexpected 2-1 win over Ghana on Monday night, combined with Portugal’s 4-0 stinker of a loss to Germany, the entire dynamics surrounding the round two meeting between the two nations has changed drastically.
First and foremost, the U.S. men drastically altered their chances of advancing out of the first round.
The United States’ World Cup win increased their chances of advancing out of group play from a pre-tournament 33percent to a now, far more favorable 63 percent.
Conversely, Portugal’s stunning collapse against Germany put them up against the ropes in a big way, particularly seeing as how they still will have to face a very quick and athletic Ghana club. Portugal lowered its chances of advancing from a whopping 76 percent to just 23 percent.
Despite their wildly polar opposite outcomes in their openers, most analysts expect Portugal to bounce back and beat the U.S. but I’m not so sure.
In five meetings against Portugal all-time, the U.S. has managed to record an impressive 2-2-1 record against a nation where soccer reigns supreme.
Portugal is led by the world’s most acclaimed player Cristiano Ronaldo and they have several other outstanding players on their roster, but they will also be without one of their best defenders in center back Pepe after the star was suspended for this match.
The key performer on Real Madrid’s UEFA championship club received a straight red card for head-butting German superstar forward Thomas Muller in the 38th minute.
Portugal also may have lost left back Fabio Coentrao, another key player for Real Madrid, for their match against the U.S. after the starter went down with an undetermined injury against Germany. Coentrao had to be carried off the field and immediately to the locker room.
Now, the U.S. could also be without their top player after forward Jozy Altidore came up lame with a hamstring injury in their opener. Nevertheless, the way Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and John Brooks are playing, it looks like they can keep up with any team in the world right now.
Altidore MRI exam late yesterday. Dempsey broken nose, option to wear mask, probably won't; he's Deuce. Besler evaluation later. #usmnt
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) June 17, 2014
In the end, I hate going against the U.S. men, but I dont think they can win without Jozy Altidore. Also, Portugal is desperate and they do have the best player on the planet playing for them (sometimes, when he shows up, and I believe he will show up). I’m going to take Portugal for the narrow one-goal win, but I like the way the U.S. men are playing as a collective unit and I genuinely believe they can nab a tie in this one.
Additionally, I like three goals to be scored in this match. Both teams reached that figure in their openers and believe they will do so again in this matchup.
My Pick: Portugal 2 USA 1
Over 2½ Goals
Disclaimer: If Jozy Altidore plays, I will flip my pick and go with a 2-1 USA victory.