The World Cup is just hours away from determining how the 32-team field will fit into eight groups destined for Brazil.
With the 2014 World Cup is still another six months away, some may question all of the pomp and circumstance.
However, the draw means you can stop with the hypothetical matchups in the group stage and begin focusing on the teams that are actually playing each other. You'll have months to break down each of your team's three opponents and all the pieces that need to fall into place in order for your country to lift the trophy at the end of the tournament.
There's also the anticipation stemming from what will be the most high-profile fixtures of the group stage.
This is the moment the World Cup begins becoming a real, tangible thing, and not something you really know nothing about.
When: Friday, Dec. 6, at 11 a.m. ET; 4 p.m. GMT
Where: Mata de Sao Joao, Bahia, Brazil
Watch: ESPN2 (US); Sky Sports 1 (UK)
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Whom Will Spain Draw?
After victories at the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup, Spain are going for their fourth major international title in a row. Should La Roja be the last country standing, it will be a monumental accomplishment and a major testament to the coaching ability of Vicente Del Bosque.
Of course, Spain can't win the World Cup if they don't advance out of the group.
They were a little bit lucky in 2010, as they drew Chile, Switzerland and Honduras. It was a tough group, but certainly not the most difficult, and Spain were able to finish top.
When you look at the four pots, there's almost no way the reigning champs will have an easy time in 2014. They could be looking at Chile, Ghana or the Ivory Coast from Pot 2. Meanwhile, Italy, Holland, England, France or Portugal could come out of Pot 4.
The deck is stacked against Spain making it four-for-four.
Who Will Comprise the Group(s) of Death?
Whether it's the World Cup or the Euros, much of the focus at this stage of an international tournament is on which teams are drawn into the dreaded "Group of Death." It's a phrase you could hear quite often on Friday.
The "Group of Death" is always entertaining for fans because they're often treated to competitive, star-studded fixtures at a stage in the tournament generally filled with lopsided results and few surprises.
The fixtures also have an added weight because you know two teams in the group won't be advancing, and one or both of those teams likely had aspirations of winning the whole thing.
Although 2010 lacked a real "Group of Death" from top to bottom, it was certainly something you saw at Euro 2012, when one group had Germany, Portugal, Holland and Denmark. England, France, Sweden and hosts Ukraine was also an enjoyable, competitive group.
The great thing about Friday's draw is that you could see multiple groups—as was the case at Euro 2012—that feature three or even four teams all capable of making a deep run in the tournament.
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