Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal’s best player, was seen waering a brace at practice signaling that the his knee tendinosis is bothering him a little more than he led on.
The Group of Death seems to be taking its toll on the players within it. Both the U.S. and Portugal are heading into Sunday’s match having to deal with a host of injuries. The U.S. will be missing one of their best goal scorers in Jozy Altidore, and Clint Dempsey will be playing through a broken nose. However, if Ronaldo doesn’t play or is limited at all, it seems as if the U.S. will have the upper hand.
In Portugal’s last match against Germany, the lost their best defender Pepe to a red card when he head-butted Germany’s Thomas Muller. Another defender Bruno Alves missed practice on Friday due to an injury.
The U.S. needed to play well and get a couple of good breaks to advance to the knockout stage of the World Cup and they have gotten both of those things thus far. If they can capitalize on the injuries of Portugal the U.S. will advance to the knockout stage if Germany beats Ghana.