World Cup 2014 Day 5: Matchups, Preview, Match Talk, and Ghana-USA

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Seriously, when are we going to get a bad match? This is getting silly.

The World Cup continues to be amazing, and today is looking no different. Today we get Cristiano Ronaldo vs. the many stars of Germany, which is guaranteed to be a good time. Real Madrid's Portuguese superstar eternally has a point to prove, and this is a good occasion to prove it, as Germany are one of the favorites in the tournament.

Then there's Iran-Nigeria, considered one of the lesser matchups of the tournament, but one well worth keeping an eye on. The Iranian national team has some underrated talent on it, and while the Nigerians have been in rough form of late, they've taken Africa by storm in recent years with a combination of athleticism and smart tactics.

The last match of the day is one most of our readers have been waiting for: Ghana-USA. The United States was at a high point in the history of the nation's passion for the sport four years ago when Ghana knocked the US out of the last World Cup, but since then there's been an incredible growth of love for football in the country, or soccer, or whatever you want to call it. This is going to be fun.

The matches

Group Location Time (BST)
Germany vs. Portugal G Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador 5 p.m.
Iran vs. Nigeria F Arena da Baxaida, Curitiba 8 p.m.
Ghana v. United States G Arena das Dunas, Natal 11 p.m.


Any Napoli players involved?

No, actually. Group G is the only one without Napoli players in it (though there's definitely some players there they should try to get), and they have no Iranians or Nigerians on their roster. This will be one of the few days with no Napoli-related rooting interests.

Any transfer targets or rival players I'm probably interested in?

Besides lusting after the entire German roster, there are several players Napoli fans should watch. There's a number of talented players who could be available on the Ghana and Nigeria rosters, and Napoli have already tried (and failed) to get Ghana's Andre Ayew. Ashkan Dejagah is an Iranian who plays for recently-relegated Fulham in England, and is a hard-working wide player who can play up and down the right side of the pitch, and some on the left as well.

From the USA roster, the pickings for a club like Napoli are a bit slim. The most interesting players are John Anthony Brooks (center back), DeAndre Yedlin (right back), and Julian Green (winger), but all three are young and would need time to develop away on loan before being really ready to make a first-team impact in Naples. Brooks is the closest to being ready, and there have already been a number of rumors about him leaving Hertha Berlin this summer. Otherwise, the versatility of Fabian Johnson is interesting and he'll be available on a free, but it seems somewhat unlikely that he'd want to leave Germany.

How do I watch these games?

In Italy? You're on SkyGO or Sky Mondiale. In the US it's ESPN in English and Univision in Spanish, and both have online streaming platforms, while Canadians friends have CBC and the CBC Sports player. In the UK you can watch  ITV for the first match and BBC One for the rest of the day, or use the ITV or BBC players online. If you live elsewhere, check LiveSoccerTV for listings in your country.

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