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World Cup Schedule 2014: Breaking Down Matchups You Won't Want to Miss

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World Cup Schedule 2014: Breaking Down Matchups You Won't Want to Miss
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No, folks, it isn't too soon to start budgeting your time for June and ensuring you'll be free during some of the most intriguing matchups that the group stage has to offer.

As those ESPN commercials like to remind us: "It's not crazy. It's sports."

And this isn't just sports, it's the World Cup.

So if you already have your planner out and are preparing to schedule a few "sick days" during the World Cup, start your planning here with the full tournament schedule. There's nothing more important than a little early planning, right?

 

Group A
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
1 June 12 at 4 p.m. Sao Paulo Brazil vs. Croatia
2 June 13 at noon Natal Mexico vs. Cameroon
17 June 17 at 3 p.m. Fortaleza Brazil vs. Mexico
18 June 18 at 3 p.m. Manaus Cameroon vs. Croatia
33 June 23 at 4 p.m. Brasilia Cameroon vs. Brazil
34 June 23 at 4 p.m. Recife Croatia vs. Mexico

 

Group B
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
3 June 13 at 3 p.m. Salvador Spain vs. Netherlands
4 June 13 at 6 p.m. Cuiaba Chile vs. Australia
19 June 18 at 6 p.m. Rio de Janeiro Spain vs. Chile
20 June 18 at noon Porto Alegre Australia vs. Netherlands
35 June 23 at noon Curitiba Australia vs. Spain
36 June 23 at noon Sao Paulo Netherlands vs. Chile

 

Without question, the trio of Spain, Chile and the Netherlands makes this one of the most intriguing groups in the entire World Cup and you won't want to miss a single match between the three.

Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

While Spain will be expected to win this group, the major battle will be between the Dutch and Chileans. Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben lead a talented Holland squad, albeit one in a bit of a transitional phase to the younger talents available, while Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez headline a Chile squad that is far more talented than they're often given credit for.

And, of course, you won't want to miss the rematch of the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. This group is going to be a lot of fun.

 

Group C
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
5 June 14 at noon Belo Horizonte Colombia vs. Greece
6 June 14 at 6 p.m. Recife Ivory Coast vs. Japan
21 June 19 at noon Brasilia Colombia vs. Ivory Coast
22 June 19 at 6 p.m. Natal Japan vs. Greece
37 June 24 at 4 p.m. Cuiaba Japan vs. Colombia
38 June 24 at 4 p.m. Fortaleza Greece vs. Ivory Coast

 

Group D
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
7 June 14 at 3 p.m. Fortaleza Uruguay vs. Costa Rica
8 June 14 at 9 p.m. Manaus England vs. Italy
23 June 19 at 3 p.m. Sao Paulo Uruguay vs. England
24 June 20 at noon Recife Costa Rica vs. Italy
39 June 24 at noon Natal Italy vs. Uruguay
40 June 24 at noon Belo Horizonte Costa Rica vs. England

 

Few groups are more unpredictable than Group D. Uruguay are probably the slight favorites thanks to a talented attack force led by Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, but they run hot and cold, and are unpredictable.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Italy are the most experienced and decorated of the bunch, but they lack a serious offensive punch when Mario Balotelli isn't on top of his game or keeping his cool. And then there is England, with just enough talent to advance out of this group and just enough of a history of disappointing to make you temper your expectations for them. 

Any one of these three teams could win this group and the games between the trio will be truly hard to predict. You won't want to miss any Group D action.

 

Group E
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
9 June 15 at noon Brasilia Switzerland vs. Ecuador
10 June 15 at 3 p.m. Porto Alegre France vs. Honduras
25 June 20 at 3 p.m. Salvador Switzerland vs. France
26 June 20 at 6 p.m. Curitiba Honduras vs. Ecuador
41 June 25 at 4 p.m. Manaus Honduras vs. Switzerland
42 June 25 at 4 p.m. Rio de Janeiro Ecuador vs. France

 

Group F
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
11 June 15 at 6 p.m. Rio de Janeiro Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 June 16 at 3 p.m. Curitiba Iran vs. Nigeria
27 June 21 at noon Belo Horizonte Argentina vs. Iran
28 June 21 at 6 p.m. Cuiaba Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina
43 June 25 at noon Porto Alegre Nigeria vs. Argentina
44 June 25 at noon Salvador Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran

 

Group G
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
13 June 16 at noon Salvador Germany vs. Portugal
14 June 16 at 6 p.m. Natal Ghana vs. United States
29 June 21 at 3 p.m. Fortaleza Germany vs. Ghana
30 June 22 at 3 p.m. Manaus United States vs. Portugal
45 June 26 at noon Recife United States vs. Germany
46 June 26 at noon Brasilia Portugal vs. Ghana

 

Truly, there won't be a bad game in Group G, as both the United States and Ghana are solid teams. But the real point of excitement in this group will be the matchup between Germany and Portugal. 

The Germans are insanely deep and talented, led by Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm amongst others. They are one of the favorites to win this tournament, as their disciplined, counter-attacking style and big, strong athletes across the pitch make them truly formidable.

Martin Rose/Getty Images

But Portugal have Cristiano Ronaldo, who is more than capable of beating any opponent on his own. Joao Moutinho is a boss in the midfield and Nani has just enough potential brilliance in him to give opponents reason for pause. 

Like Germany, Portugal are solid defensively and make you work to move the ball through the midfield. Their problem, of course, has traditionally been finding someone other than Ronaldo to score goals. But when CR7 gets going, it doesn't really matter.

Can Ronaldo take down the mighty Germans? Oh man, it's going to be fun to find out.

 

Group H
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
15 June 17 at noon Belo Horizonte Belgium vs. Algeria
16 June 17 at 6 p.m. Cuiaba Russia vs. Korea Republic
31 June 22 at 6 p.m. Rio de Janeiro Belgium vs. Russia
32 June 22 at noon Porto Alegre Korea Republic vs. Algeria
47 June 26 at 4 p.m. Sao Paulo Korea Republic vs. Belgium
48 June 26 at 4 p.m. Curitiba Algeria vs. Russia

 

Round of 16
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
49 June 28 at noon Belo Horizonte 1A vs. 2B
50 June 28 at 4 p.m. Rio de Janeiro 1C vs. 2D
51 June 29 at noon Fortaleza 1B vs. 2A
52 June 29 at 4 p.m. Recife 1D vs. 2C
53 June 30 at noon Brasilia 1E vs. 2F
54 June 30 at 4 p.m. Porto Alegre 1G vs. 2H
55 July 1 at noon Sao Paulo 1F vs. 2E
56 July 1 at 4 p.m. Salvador 1H vs. 2G

 

Quarterfinals
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
57 July 4 at 4 p.m. Fortaleza W49 vs. W50
58 July 4 at noon Rio de Janeiro W53 vs. W54
59 July 5 at 4 p.m. Salvador W51 vs. W52
60 July 5 at noon Brasilia W55 vs. W56

 

Semifinals and Final
Match Date and Time (ET) Venue Game
61 July 8 at 4 p.m. Belo Horizonte W57 vs. W58
62 July 9 at 4 p.m. Sao Paulo W59 vs. W60
64 July 13 at 3 p.m. Rio de Janeiro W61 vs. W62

 

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