Germany and Portugal will get their World Cup campaigns underway in Salvador on Monday looking to put behind them buildups to the competition blighted by fitness concerns.
However, it understood that the Ballon d'Or holder will feature from the onset on Monday as Portugal attempt to get their campaign off to a winning start.
Germany are currently on an 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions and breezed through their European qualification section for this summer's tournament, with nine wins and one draw leaving them eight points clear of second-place Sweden.
It was Sweden that Portugal met in the playoffs after finishing second in their own qualification group, but Ronaldo inspired his side to an incredible 3-2 win in the second leg.
Portugal have also been on a strong run of form, however, with their last defeat occurring last September, when they were beaten 3-1 by Brazil in a friendly.
Germany have doubts over the fitness of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira, meaning that Philipp Lahm should come into a central midfield role.
The loss of Marco Reus shortly before the tournament also opens up a spot in the attack, with Lukas Podolski the favourite to operate behind Thomas Muller, who should start ahead of Miroslav Klose.
Benedikt Howedes, meanwhile, is expected to get the nod at left-back ahead of Erik Durm.
Aside from Ronaldo, Portugal boss Bento has a clean bill of health for the clash. His back four is expected to include two Champions League winners Pepe and Fabio Coentrao.
Meanwhile, the early indications are that Hugo Almeida will start as the centre forward.
Possible starting lineups
Germany: Neuer; Boateng, Mertesacker, Hummels, Howedes; Lahm, Kroos; Gotze, Ozil, Podolski; Muller
Portugal: Patricio; Pereira, Pepe, Alves, Coentrao; Meireles, Veloso, Moutinho; Nani, Almeida, Ronaldo
When and where: The World Cup Group G match will kick off from the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador at noon ET.
Prediction: Germany could well still be attempting to fine tune their strategy in their opening game, while it is doubtful whether Ronaldo will yet be at 100 percent. And, with both teams unlikely to be too disappointed to walk away with an opening point ahead of games against group rivals the United States and Ghana, together with the conditions that will doubtless lead to tiring of legs late on, a draw could be on the cards.
Tag : World Cup