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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Tim Howard insists he’s ready to stop the likes of Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.
 
The USA are in a group with Germany, Portugal and Ghana at the World Cup in Brazil.
 
The Everton custodian, who racked up his 100th cap in the Americans’ final pre-tournament friendly, insists his country are in the best possible shape ahead of their tournament opener against the Black Stars on Monday.
 
He believes the way the group stage has panned out is of benefit to the Stars and Stripes.
 
He told evertontv: “The way our group is stacked up, we play Ghana first, then Portugal and Germany.
 
“I like the layout of the group, I think it works in our favour. I feel like if we can get three points in our first game, that really sets us off.”

Ozil and Ronaldo
 
The aforementioned stars in the German and Portuguese camps are just the tip of the iceberg but Howard insists he won’t be singling out specific threats in opposition sides.
 
And he expects his own teammates to do their own damage as well.
 
“The players in our group pose a huge threat to any goalkeeper,” he said. “The names are household names now and as a team we have to get the tactics right.
 
“You never try to stop one particular player; you have to stop a group of players.
 
“The World Cup is all about magic moments and I think we have players who can do that too.”

Tim Howard

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