World Cup Schedule 2014: Fixtures, TV Info, Locations and More Info

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World Cup Schedule 2014: Fixtures, TV Info, Locations and More Info
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The rosters are set. The training camps are wrapping up. The friendlies are behind us. The World Cup is here. 

Because you don't want to miss a single match, below you'll find information to ensure you'll catch every game from this year's tournament. This is your one-stop shop for World Cup info, folks.

And for fun, we'll also go through every group's intriguing player, whether that be the star most instrumental to his team's success or simply a talent so dynamic you won't be able to look away when the ball lands at his feet. 

Notes: All matches will be streamed live at WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN app. While the matchups aren't set for the knockout phase yet, you can find that full schedule at ESPN. The schedule below is for the group phase.

 

World Cup Schedule
Date Time (ET) Team 1 Team 2 Group TV Venue
Thursday, June 12 4 p.m. Brazil Croatia A ESPN Arena Corinthians
Friday, June 13 12 p.m. Mexico Cameroon A ESPN2 Estadio das Dunas
Friday, June 13 3 p.m. Spain Netherlands B ESPN Arena Fonte Nova
Friday, June 13 6 p.m. Chile Australia B ESPN2 Arena Pantanal
Saturday, June 14 12 p.m. Colombia Greece C ABC Estadio Mineirao
Saturday, June 14 3 p.m. Uruguay Costa Rica D ABC Estadio Castelao
Saturday, June 14 6 p.m. England Italy D ESPN Arena Amazonia
Saturday, June 14 9 p.m. Ivory Coast Japan C ESPN Arena Pernambuco
Sunday, June 15 12 p.m. Switzerland Ecuador E ABC Nacional
Sunday, June 15 3 p.m. France Honduras E ABC Estadio Beira-Rio
Sunday, June 15 6 p.m. Argentina Bosnia-Herzegovina F ESPN Estadio do Maracana
Monday, June 16 12 p.m. Germany Portugal G ESPN Arena Fonte Nova
Monday, June 16 3 p.m. Iran Nigeria F ESPN Arena da Baixada
Monday, June 16 6 p.m. Ghana United States G ESPN Estadio das Dunas
Tuesday, June 17 12 p.m. Belgium Algeria H ESPN Estadio Mineirao
Tuesday, June 17 3 p.m. Brazil Mexico A ESPN Estadio Castelao
Tuesday, June 17 6 p.m. Russia South Korea H ESPN Arena Pantanal
Wednesday, June 18 12 p.m. Australia Netherlands B ESPN Estadio Beira-Rio
Wednesday, June 18 3 p.m. Spain Chile B ESPN Estadio do Maracana
Wednesday, June 18 6 p.m. Cameroon Croatia A ESPN Arena Amazonia
Thursday, June 19 12 p.m. Colombia Ivory Coast C ESPN Nacional
Thursday, June 19 3 p.m. Uruguay England D ESPN Arena Corinthians
Thursday, June 19 6 p.m. Japan Greece C ESPN Estadio das Dunas
Friday, June 20 12 p.m. Italy Costa Rica D ESPN Arena Pernambuco
Friday, June 20 3 p.m. Switzerland France E ESPN Arena Fonte Nova
Friday, June 20 6 p.m. Honduras Ecuador E ESPN Arena da Baixada
Saturday, June 21 12 p.m. Argentina Iran F ESPN Estadio Mineirao
Saturday, June 21 3 p.m. Germany Ghana G ESPN Estadio Castelao
Saturday, June 21 6 p.m. Nigeria Bosnia-Herzegovina F ESPN Arena Pantanal
Sunday, June 22 12 p.m. Belgium Russia H ABC Estadio do Maracana
Sunday, June 22 3 p.m. South Korea Algeria H ABC Estadio Beira-Rio
Sunday, June 22 6 p.m. United States Portugal G ESPN Arena Amazonia
Monday, June 23 12 p.m. Australia Spain B ESPN2 Arena da Baixada
Monday, June 23 12 p.m. Netherlands Chile B ESPN Arena Corinthians
Monday, June 23 4 p.m. Croatia Mexico A ESPN Arena Pernambuco
Monday, June 23 4 p.m. Cameroon Brazil A ESPN2 Nacional
Tuesday, June 24 12 p.m. Italy Uruguay D ESPN Estadio das Dunas
Tuesday, June 24 12 p.m. Costa Rica England D ESPN2 Estadio Mineirao
Tuesday, June 24 4 p.m. Japan Colombia C ESPN Arena Pantanal
Tuesday, June 24 4 p.m. Greece Ivory Coast C ESPN2 Estadio Castelao
Wednesday, June 25 12 p.m. Nigeria Argentina F ESPN Estadio Beira-Rio
Wednesday, June 25 12 p.m. Bosnia-Herzegovina Iran F ESPN2 Arena Fonte Nova
Wednesday, June 25 4 p.m. Honduras Switzerland E ESPN2 Arena Amazonia
Wednesday, June 25 4 p.m. Ecuador France E ESPN Estadio do Maracana
Thursday, June 26 12 p.m. United States Germany G ESPN Arena Pernambuco
Thursday, June 26 12 p.m. Portugal Ghana G ESPN2 Nacional
Thursday, June 26 4 p.m South Korea Belgium H ESPN Arena Corinthians
Thursday, June 26 4 p.m. Algeria Russia H ESPN2 Arena da Baixada

ESPN

 

Group A: Luka Modric, MF, Croatia

Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Yes, you might have thought this selection would have been Brazil's Neymar, but truthfully, Brazil should win this group whether their big superstar is electrifying or not. But it's hard to imagine Croatia advancing out of this sneaky-tough group if Luka Modric doesn't play well.

The deep-lying midfielder and Real Madrid standout is the creative force on this Croatia team, and their success begins and ends with his work in the middle of the pitch. In a group devoid of any weak teams—Mexico and Cameroon are no pushovers—Modric will be the key figure in deciding which team advances alongside Brazil.

 

Group B: Whoever Plays Forward For Spain

Vague, yes, but the key to this group will likely be whether Spain gets anything out of the forward position or not. Diego Costa remains uncertain to play, though if he is at 100 percent or close, he'll likely lead the line.

But what happens if he can't go? Will the Spaniards return to the false-nine strategy they've employed in the past with Cesc Fabregas? Will they trust one of the other forwards on the roster?

This is a Spanish side that was humbled by Brazil in the Confederations Cup. The days of tiki-taka dominance might be coming to an end, so having Costa roaming in the box would be a huge bonus for Spain and make their attack far more versatile.

Spain, the Netherlands and Chile are all capable of winning this group, but all three have question marks. The Dutch have lost Rafael van der Vaart and Kevin Strootman in the midfield. Outside of Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, does Chile possess the firepower of the other two top contenders?

But the group will likely be decided by the forward play of Spain. If they get production out of the position, they should win this group without too much incident. 

 

Group C: Yaya Toure, MF, Ivory Coast

Even if Radamel Falcao was playing for Colombia, he still wouldn't be the most important player in this group.

No, that distinction belongs to Yaya Toure. 

The midfield anchor on a team full of dangerous attackers, Toure is the straw that stirs the Ivory Coast drink. He is coming off of an epic season for Manchester City that saw him score 20 goals and add nine assists in 35 Premier League performances. 

A man who can play any role in central midfield, he is at his best marauding forward and linking up the play from the defense to attack. He's a physical, athletic presence in the middle of the pitch who can play a pretty pass but also is a threat to score from distance. One of the more well-rounded players in the world today, Toure will be the key figure in a Group C devoid of weak teams.

 

Group D: Mario Balotelli, F, Italy

Andrea Pirlo and Steven Gerrard are leaders. Luis Suarez is just better, plain and simple. Edinson Cavani has more self-control. Daniel Sturridge is more in-form. Wayne Rooney has the reputation.

But no player in Group D will influence his team's success quite like Mario Balotelli will do so for Italy.

When Balotelli is sulking, slumping or stuck on the bench, Italy are a very good defensive team with an experienced midfield, but a club that struggles to really provide a cutting edge on the attack. When Balotelli is in form, however, Italy are incredibly difficult to beat.

If Balotelli is at his best, Italy will win this group. If he's a non-factor, however, the Italians will face a struggle to advance out of their group.

 

Group E: Antoine Griezmann, LW, France

France should win this group without much drama, but the man to watch in the process is Antoine Griezmann now that Franck Ribery will be missing the tournament. How he replaces the fiery left-winger will be key to France's chances in this year's World Cup.

Griezmann isn't chopped liver, mind you, and has played quite well for France down the left flank. Depending on whom you ask, he's a superior option to Loic Remy in that role and has the talent to be one of the breakout stars on the international stage in Brazil.

Ribery's loss is a big one. Griezmann could go a long way to softening the blow.

 

Group F: Lionel Messi, F, Argentina

Duh.

Lionel Messi is a once-in-a-lifetime talent, a brilliant finisher, a man who could dribble past a defender if both were trapped in a phone booth. His game is all about precision, poetry, artistry. He can turn on a dime and rip off a powerful shot in a smaller space than that. 

No team has a more dangerous attack than Argentina, but no player is more important to that attack than Messi. He'll set up his teammates as well, yes, but don't be surprised if Messi lights up the score sheet at this World Cup.

 

Group G: Cristiano Ronaldo, LW, Portugal

If Messi is a poem, Cristiano Ronaldo is heavy metal.

Where Messi is about precision and touch, Ronaldo is about power, speed and athleticism (not that he's lacking in the touch department, mind you). His runs down the left wing are the stuff of legend, his shots from distance or set pieces the stuff of nightmares for opposing keepers. He can score in every way, from every angle, at any time. 

For comparison's sake, Ronaldo is the LeBron James of footy (Messi would probably best be described as Larry Bird, for what it's worth). While Germany have the most talent in this group, Portugal have the best player. 

 

Group H: Eden Hazard, LW, Belgium

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

On a team loaded with stars—from Vincent Kompany to Dries Mertens to Romelu Lukaku, to name a few—Eden Hazard stands out. The Chelsea star is one of the top left-wingers in the world today, with a bullishness on the ball, a brilliant touch and the ability to finish from distance. 

But it is his low center of gravity on the ball that makes him so fun to watch. Keep an eye on him when he is surrounded by defenders or challenged on the ball—you simply can't bully him away from it. That skill often allows him time to plot a course around a defender or his teammates time to join him in the attack. 

There are high hopes for Belgium in this year's World Cup, and they will be expected to cruise through this group. Their chances, without question, begin with Hazard's performance.

 

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