Recife, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - Germany and the United States enter their clash at the Arena Pernambuco on Thursday level atop Group G on four points apiece.
A draw would put both sides through to the knockout round, heightening speculation that they would collude to produce a dull stalemate to freeze out Ghana and Portugal.
But United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann absolved everyone of that notion immediately following the nation's heartbreaking draw against Portugal on Sunday, stating that the Americans would have a go at the three-time world champions.
"We want to recover fast and go at Germany and get three points and have seven points and in the driving seat for the round of 16," Klinsmann said. "Obviously it's a little more difficult after conceding that second goal and I'm sure that in four days we're going to see a very exciting match in Recife."
The Germans were flying high after opening their campaign with a convincing 4-0 defeat of Portugal, but they were pushed to the brink last time out by a stout Ghana side.
After taking the lead behind Mario Gotze's second-half opener, Ghana went ahead thanks to strikes from Jordan Ayew and Asamoah Gyan. But veteran striker Miroslav Klose entered the match as a substitute to nod Germany level with his 15th World Cup goal, tying him with Ronaldo for the most all-time.
Thomas Muller has enjoyed a stellar start to the tournament, netting a hat trick in Germany's drubbing of Portugal. The performance, along with his impressive scoring record in the World Cup, makes him a favorite to take home the Golden Boot award, but the Bayern Munich man was adamant that he'd prefer to take a different trophy home this summer.
"I won the Golden Boot four years ago and, to be honest, I wouldn't know where to put another one," Muller joked at a press conference. "It is never my goal to be the top scorer, but rather to be world champion. Of course, it's nice to see your name at the top, but that's no big deal. There is another title which is far more valuable."
At the moment, however, the United States is standing in Germany's way of achieving that goal. Both sides can still advance with a defeat, but it would come down to the score of the match, as well as the score of Ghana's meeting with Portugal.