USA striker Jozy Altidore expects to come up against a central defender at the top of his game in former England captain John Terry in Saturday's FIFA World Cup™ clash.

Chelsea defender Terry lost the captaincy after much-publicised allegations about his private life and with Rio Ferdinand, his replacement as skipper, ruled out of the tournament through injury, he will be critical in shutting out the US attackers.

None will be more dangerous than Altidore, the 20-year-old who led their qualifying scoring chart. He said of Terry: "He's a great player and he reads the game well. It's going to be tough for whoever is going aginst him."

The American strikers will also have their work cut out trying to find a way past England's goalkeeper, says Tim Howard, the US number one and a Premier League veteran with Everton.

"They are very good," Howard said. "David James has played at the top for a long time. He has played in so many big games. To criticise him or any goalkeeper is easy but you have to look beyond that and see how he works."

If we give up too many wide free-kicks and direct free-kicks, we will probably get punished for it.

Tim Howard, USA goalkeeper

Robert Green and Joe Hart also earned Howard's praise, especially Green, of whom Howard said: "He's steady. I admire goalkeepers who aren't flashy but who get the job done every week."

From his end of the pitch, Howard has concerns over England's set pieces. "If we give up too many wide free-kicks and direct free-kicks, we will probably get punished for it. It's important we're solid in defence and not leave guys open one-on-one."

Altidore and Howard are among nine USA players who ply their trade in the Premier League. Altidore said of his time with Hull: "It has been good to learn a little about the players," while Howard has enjoyed his time with Manchester United and Everton.

"It has hardened me," he said. "I was criticised a lot when I was over there and I bounced back. I have taken my lumps and gotten over it. It has been a resolute journey."

Altidore has returned to training after a sprained ankle and is looking nforward to playing his part in their opening fixture in Group C. "We need to have a lot of movement and creativity," he added. "Hopefully we can have a lot of that at the right time and put on a good display."