Preview: Belgium v USA

2014-07-01 13:43

Cape Town - Belgium take on the United States in their round of 16 clash on Tuesday looking to make the quarter-finals of a World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Marc Wilmots' side have looked impressive during the opening stages of the tournament and are clear favourites to beat a less-fancied, but nonetheless spirited USA outfit in Salvador.

Follow the LIVE and interactive match commentary here.

The Red Devils were one of only four teams to gain passage to the knockout phase of the competition with a 100 per cent record, having claimed wins over Algeria, Russia and the Korea Republic to finish top of Group H.

Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Divock Origi all look set to be handed starting roles against the States, while Wilmots will have to decide whether to persevere with misfiring striker Romelu Lukaku, who is yet to find the back of the net in Brazil.

Wilmots is also sweating on the fitness of talismanic captain Vincent Komapany (groin) and fellow defender Thomas Vermaelen (hamstring) and will likely be forced to hand the duo late fitness tests ahead of the clash.

USA, meanwhile, progressed as Group H runners-up on the back of some gritty performances against Ghana, Germany and Portugal.

A 2-1 win over Ghana got Jurgen Klinsmann's up and running and the former Germany manager would have been gutted at failing to secure their qualification earlier after watching his side concede late on to draw 2-2 with Portugal.

A solid display in their final group game against tournament favourites Germany suggests the Yanks have it in them to provide an upset, a result that would delight many of their new-found support back home.

In team news, Klinsmann could welcome back Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore (hamstring), who limped off against the Black Stars, back into the starting line-up should he prove his fitness.

If not, Clint Dempsey will likely deputise in the lone strikers' role up front, a position in which he has scored twice so far in the tournament.

The match kicks off at 22:00 SA time.

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