The World Cup Group G duel between Ghana and the USA sees the renewal of what is somewhat bizarrely considered a footballing rivalry.
Kwesi Appiah’s men are 29/10 favourites to record their third straight victory over the Stars and Stripes, who are 9/5 for the win, with the draw priced up at 23/10.
What will be the third instalment in an enmity unfathomable to all bar, it turns out, the Americans, got us thinking about some of the game’s other more inexplicable rivalries.
Ghana v USA
That “soccer” is a relatively adolescent sport in a relatively adolescent nation makes it easier to understand why American fans consider this clash a rivalry after just two editions, with Ghana none the wiser.
It dates back to a winner-takes-second-round-spot contest in the groups at 2006, when the USA, by that time at their eighth World Cup, regarded themselves favourites against the debutant Black Stars.
A dodgy penalty gave the West Africans a 2-1 lead they were never to relinquish and Bruce Arena’s men were sent packing with their tails between their legs.
It was a feat Ghana were to repeat in the 2010 second round, when Asamoah Gyan’s extra-time strike sunk a US outfit still on the crest of a wave after Clint Dempsey’s injury-time winner against Algeria had sprung them from the groups.
Peterborough v Huddersfield
This Yorkshire/East Anglia antipathy is based upon the Football League’s own version of the infamous ‘Shame Of Gijon’, in which Germany and Austria conspired to play out a World Cup group-stage draw that ensured mutual qualification at the expense of the Algerians.
In this case Posh were the narked north Africans when Huddersfield and their White-Rose muckers Barnsley handily drew 2-2 to relegate them from the Championship in 2012/13 in a result which saved their own hides.
Crystal Palace v Brighton
What’s now a bitter decades-long rivalry grew out of a personal one between Palace boss Terry Venables and Albion counterpart Alan Mullery.
The clubs duked it out five times over the course of their promotion-chasing 1977 season, with a controversy-packed, three-replay FA Cup saga responsible for setting a lasting hatred in motion.
Millwall v Leeds
A ‘clasico’ of the terrace knuckle-dragging variety, it may not be as geographically remote as our titular mutual distaste, but, mired in a shared history of fan violence it’s infinitely more pointless.
Leicester v Derby and Nottingham Forest
The Foxes’ desire for relevance among their title-winning Midlands brethren is a little sad really.
A 2012/13 survey of football rivalries in England showed that they weren’t even considered County’s second-most hated foes.