FIFA World Cup

World Cup 2014: TV Schedule, Live Stream Info and Preview for Brazil Tournament

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 11:  Nigel De Jong of the Netherlands tackles Xabi Alonso of Spain 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 Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2014

The past four years have all been building to this. Stars will become legends, and one team will etch its name forever into the very fabric of the game itself. Such is the impact of the World Cup.

Most fans have grown accustomed to tuning out in the group stage of knockout tournaments. There aren't many surprises, and the teams that everybody expects to advance do just that.

Where's the drama?

This year, though, features one of the deepest fields in the last decade. Even the reigning champions might not make it out of the group stage.

Below is the full schedule of fixtures to come in the group stage, followed by four of the most intriguing matches over the next few weeks.

Group A TV Schedule
DateMatchupTimeTV InfoLive Stream
June 12Brazil vs. Croatia4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BSTESPN/ITV 1Watch ESPN/ITV Player
June 13Mexico vs. Cameroon12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN2/ITV 1Watch ESPN/ITV Player
June 17Brazil vs. Mexico3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 18Cameroon vs. Croatia6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 23Croatia vs. Mexico4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 23Cameroon vs. Brazil4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BSTESPN2/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
FIFA.com
Group B TV Schedule
DateMatchupTimeTV InfoLive Stream
June 13Spain vs. Netherlands3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 13Chile vs. Australia6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BSTESPN2/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 18Australia vs. Netherlands12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 18Spain vs. Chile3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 23Australia vs. Spain12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN2/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 23Netherlands vs. Chile12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
FIFA.com
Group C TV Schdule
DateMatchupTimeTV InfoLive Stream
June 14Colombia vs. Greece12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTABC/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 14Cote d'Ivoire vs. Japan9 p.m. ET/2 a.m. BST (June 15)ESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 19Colombia vs. Cote d'Ivoire12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 19Japan vs. Greece6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 24Japan vs. Colombia4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 24Greece vs. Cote d'Ivoire4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BSTESPN2/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
FIFA.com
Group D TV Schedule
DateMatchupTimeTV InfoLive Stream
June 14Uruguay vs. Costa Rica3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BSTABC/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 14England vs. Italy6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 19Uruguay vs. England3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 20Italy vs. Costa Rica12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 24Italy vs. Uruguay12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 24Costa Rica vs. England12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN2/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
FIFA.com
Group E TV Schedule
DateMatchupTimeTV InfoLive Stream
June 15Switzerland vs. Ecuador12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTABC/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 15France vs. Honduras3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BSTABC/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 20Switzerland vs. France3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 20Honduras vs. Ecuador6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 25Honduras vs. Switzerland4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BSTESPN2/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 25Ecuador vs. France4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
FIFA.com
Group F TV Schedule
DateMatchupTimeTV InfoLive Stream
June 15Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 16Iran vs. Nigeria3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 21Argentina vs. Iran12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 21Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 25Nigeria vs. Argentina12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 25Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN2/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
FIFA.com
Group G TV Schedule
DateMatchupTimeTV InfoLive Stream
June 16Germany vs. Portugal12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 16Ghana vs. United States6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 21Germany vs. Ghana3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 22United States vs. Portugal6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 26United States vs. Germany12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 26Portugal vs. Ghana12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN2/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
FIFA.com
Group H TV Schedule
DateMatchupTimeTV InfoLive Stream
June 17Belgium vs. Algeria12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 17Russia vs. Korea Republic6 p.m. ET/11 p.m. BSTESPN/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 22Belgium vs. Russia12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BSTABC/BBCWatch ESPN/BBC iPlayer
June 22Korea Republic vs. Algeria3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BSTABC/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 26Korea Republic vs. Belgium4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BSTESPN/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
June 26Algeria vs. Russia4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BSTESPN2/ITVWatch ESPN/ITV Player
FIFA.com

 

Group Stage Matches to Watch

Spain vs. Netherlands

Admittedly, this match is losing some luster with all of the injuries to the Dutch midfield. First came Kevin Strootman's torn ACL. Then one of his potential replacements, Rafael van der Vaart, injured his calf:

Louis van Gaal has tried to bring something resembling Total Football back to the Netherlands national team, but between the inexperienced back line and undermanned midfield, he may have to be more pragmatic against Spain.

Plenty of questions surround Spain. Can they possibly win another major international tournament? How much will Diego Costa's injury affect the attack? Will Vicente del Bosque make enough changes to a style that's becoming outmoded?

As we saw in the 2010 World Cup final, a matchup between Spain and the Netherlands might not be pretty to watch, but it will be one of the most dramatic matches of the group stage.

 

England vs. Italy

It feels like Italy aren't getting the amount of credit they deserve. The Azzurri have to be considered one of the favorites to win. They were runners-up at Euro 2012 and have experience playing in the Brazilian heat from the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Italy have a great early test in the group stage against England. While the Three Lions have little chance of lifting the World Cup trophy, they are a talented squad who could finish top of the group.

One of the storylines to watch with England is how Roy Hodgson fits both Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney into the attack. Sturridge is on the better run of form and deserves a place in the starting lineup, but that could clash with Rooney, who's sometimes struggled when paired with another striker.

Although the Manchester United forward has long been a sacred cow for the national team, Hodgson intimated that he wouldn't be afraid to drop Rooney if it would help the team.

"I'd like to think that, as someone who has been a manager for a long time, I have the capacity to make the decisions that are necessary," he said, per Dominic Fifield of The Guardian.

While Italy and England's match at Euro 2012 was a drab affair, their rematch at the World Cup should be an intriguing tactical battle.

 

Germany vs. Portugal

Can one man triumph against the strength of the whole?

It would be far too reductive to call Portugal a one-man team, but their fate does rest heavily on the performance of Cristiano Ronaldo. He's their talisman, and given their lack of a consistent No. 9, he'll likely be the primary goalscorer.

Germany, on the other hand, are one of the most balanced teams in the competition. Joachim Low has an abundance of stars from which to choose, but Die Mannschaft's hopes don't depend much on any one player above the others.

Between injuries and Bayern Munich's lackluster finish to the end of the season, though, Germany have some problems that may wreck their World Cup.

This match will serve as a nice barometer for where both teams stand. We'll see whether Ronaldo will get the support necessary for Portugal to make a deep run and if Germany have taken the next step toward becoming a great team rather than a very good one.

 

Belgium vs. Russia

Few teams have been more hyped up over the last few months than Belgium. They've gone from trendy dark horse to a team expected to make a semifinal run.

The Red Devils' toughest game of the group stage will come against Russia on June 22.

While the Russians were an attack-minded side under Guus Hiddink, and still were for the most part under Dick Advocaat, Fabio Capello has brought a far more pragmatic approach. As a result, Russia will be a very hard team to break down.

Capello spoke about how he thinks all of the talk about Belgium has left the Russians overlooked, per Sport Express (via FIFA.com):

Everybody is saying that Belgium are the favourites in our group, but I feel that it's Russia who are the true favourites.

I'm pleased with the draw. But I'm pleased even more with the fact that we will play in Cuiaba, Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro. We were lucky from the logistics point of view as we have avoided playing in the northeast of Brazil where the weather is so hot and humid in summer.

Belgium have the players necessary to make a deep run, but their inexperience at international tournaments may prove a major problem.

If Belgium can get three points against Russia, it bodes well for their chances in the knockout stages.

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