The Portuguese will come face-to-face with the “Black Stars” of Ghana on Thursday at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia. Anything but three points for either team will see both nations sent home early. Portugal sits in dead last with one point and a goal differential of -4, so they will have to come out trying to get as many goals as possible. Ghana are not far ahead as they only sit ahead of Portugal on goal differential, which is currently at -1.  Both teams will be hoping that the US and Germany don’t end their match in a draw, as that will see both teams head home earlier than they would have wanted. Full outcome scenarios for Group G can be seen here

The task for Ghana, though tough, is not as hard as the task is for Portugal. Look for both teams to come out a bit conservatively to start, as going a goal down early would be disastrous for either side. As the game progresses, expect it to open up more and more as both teams will need to start taking chances.

Portugal will be hoping Ronaldo will be closer to full fitness as he has really had an underwhelming tournament thus far. The Real Madrid man loves the limelight, and there is no better opportunity than this to show the world that he should still be considered the world’s best player, despite him recently saying that it is almost impossible for his side to advance. A Selecao, will be getting a boost on their backline as Pepe will be back on the pitch after serving his one game suspension for a red card against Germany. 

The problem with Portugal is that you never know what team is going to show up. They could come out looking like the 4th best team in the world, but nothing that they have done yet has shown that. They’ve been slow, sloppy and sometimes just plain out dismal. As much as I want them to come out and show the world why they are considered to be one of the best teams in the tournament, I don’t think that they will be good enough against a very underrated Ghanaian side.

Ghana come into this one looking to make up for their opening game loss against the US. They were very good against Germany and looked deadly on the counter. Look for them to play into that tactic once more. Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan have been the star men for them thus far, and will need to surely provide some type of offense as the Ghanaian backline is most definitely their Achilles heal.

No one gives Ghana the respect they deserve, and it has always been that way. From the moment these groups were drawn, I, as a US and Germany fan was more worried about facing the “Black Stars” than I was about facing Portugal. They have class up and down their lineup and can hold possession well and counter with deadly ferocity. I think that if their defense holds up against Ronaldo, they will go on to win this game.

My prediction: Ghana wins 2-1

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada.lv:
Portugal:   Pick Em' (-200)   //    -105 Moneyline 
Ghana:  Pick Em' (+165)   //   +210 Moneyline
Draw +350