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World Cup games Monday on TV

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Group G: GERMANY vs. PORTUGAL

Where: Salvador. Time: 9 a.m. PDT.

TV: EPSN, Univision.

The buzz: Portugal has been mocked as "Cristiano Ronaldo and 10 other guys." They won't even be that if Ronaldo, the reigning world player of the year, is not at full strength. He's played just 65 minutes in the last three weeks because of tendinitis in his left knee. Germany lost midfielder Marco Reus to an ankle injury in its final tuneup game, but the roster is so deep, if everyone else is healthy, Reus may not be greatly missed.

Group G: U.S. vs. GHANA

Where: Natal. Time: 3 p.m. PDT.

TV: ESPN, Univision.

The buzz: Ghana eliminated the U.S. from the last two World Cups and the team has a chance to make the Americans' stay in Brazil a short one with a win Monday. Each team, in fact, is playing for its life in the opener, because the math says it will take at least a win and a tie to get out of group play — and with fourth-ranked Portugal and No. 2 Germany looming on the horizon, this game looks like the most winnable for both.

Group F: IRAN vs. NIGERIA

Where: Curitiba. Time: noon PDT.

TV: ESPN, Univision.

The buzz: Nigeria has never lost an international game to Iran, but the African team has little room for error Monday after losing left back Elderson Echiejile with a torn hamstring — and failing to win any of its three World Cup warm-ups. Iran, on the other hand, did not lose in its four pre-tournament friendlies — albeit against weak competition — playing Belarus and Montenegro to scoreless draws, tying Angola 1-1 and beating Trinidad and Tobago 2-0.

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