World Cup Groups 2014: Highlighting Most Exciting Matchups Revealed in Draw

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2013

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 11:  Carles Puyol of Spain challenges Robin Van Persie of the Netherlands during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final match between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City Stadium on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

The draw for the 2014 World Cup created some great matchups in the group stage.

Why do they do this to us six months before it starts? That is just too long to wait now that we know we'll get a rematch of the last World Cup final in the competition's second day!

Spain and Netherlands were both selected for Group B and both will begin their 2014 bids in Brazil against each other. That match managed to crack my list below and although that match is the first to grab headlines, it isn't the only one I'm anxiously awaiting. 

Have a look at the groups and bracket, then I'll highlight the three matches that have me the most excited.  

Image via Bleacher Report

Image via Bleacher Report


Top Matches

Spain vs. Netherlands, Group B

When: June 13 at 3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BST 

What a brutal group this is. There is little margin for error but huge potential for error.

It is hard to believe, but out of Spain, Netherlands and world No. 3 Chile, only two will be able to advance to the knockout stage.

On top of that, when Spain triumphed 1-0 in extra time at the last World Cup, it was not the most friendly affair. Tensions are going to be high between these two teams, no matter the setting. In this setting, it will be off the charts.

Spain remain talented, poised and dangerous. Their possession game and outstanding midfield make it difficult for any opposition to get good scoring looks. However, Dutch striker Robin van Persie can create a score out of almost any situation. 

This will be an entertaining, close and intense match. 


Italy vs. Uruguay, Group D

When: June 24 at 12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BST

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 30:  Gianluigi Buffon of Italy celebrates with his team-mates after saving the penalty of Walter Gargano of Uruguay to clinch victory in a shootout during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 3rd Place match between Uruguay and
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Group D doesn't have the sex appeal of Group B, but this is a treacherous set of teams as well. Uruguay, Italy and England are all in the top 13 in the world and Costa Rica are no slouch with a 31st ranking.

Uruguay are the highest ranked of the teams at sixth, but Italy are at seven and climbing.

This will be the last match of the group stage for both teams. If they both win the first two, their advancement will likely not be dependent on the outcome of this match. If England, or even Costa Rica, can steal a point or three, this match could be a win-or-go-home proposition. 

No matter what, it should be fun. 

Uruguay have a potent offensive attack with Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan helping the prodigious Luis Suarez. Uruguay can score on anyone. There is no question Italy can hang with the firepower, though. It was just this past June in the Confederations Cup that the two battled to a 2-2 draw. 

It is safe to expect another tooth-and-nail encounter this time around.


Germany vs. United States, Group G

When: June 26 at 12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BST

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 09:  Eddie Johnson, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Aron Johannsson, and Landon Donovan tease Damarcus Beasley after Beasley let the ball drop on a juggling drill during a training session for the US Men's National Soccer Team in advance
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Entering this World Cup with perhaps their best team ever, the hopes of the USMNT were on high. Those hopes suffered a bit of a knock during the draw.

The Americans were grouped with No. 2 Germany, No. 5 Portugal and No. 24 Ghana. Although the 14th-ranked Americans are ahead of Ghana in the rankings, this is the same Ghana squad that has beaten them in the past two World Cups.

At any rate, this will be the final match of the group stage for the Americans and Germans. There is a strong chance that if the Americans are going to advance to the group stage that they will have to upset the Germans.

Although the Germans possess a talented and complete team, you have to imagine if there is an effective strategy for the Americans to utilize in this matchup that Jurgen Klinsmann will have it figured out. 

Klinsmann was a player and a coach for the German national team. 

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Now he will be tasked with trying to take down his former team in what will almost assuredly be the biggest match to that point in his USMNT career.