World Cup Bracket 2014: Full Tournament Schedule and Group Predictions

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVJune 12, 2014

New Zealand's Michael McGlinchey, left, fights for the ball with Mexico's Oribe Peralta in the World Cup Football qualifier at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford)  NEW ZEALAND OUT
Ross Setford/Associated Press

After four very long years of waiting, the 2014 World Cup has arrived.

The 32 nations competing in arguably the globe's biggest sporting event have descended upon Brazil to decide who will be crowned world champion. And while a few early favorites—Germany, Brazil, Spain and Argentina—have surfaced leading up to the action, anything is possible throughout the course of 90 minutes.

Before it can be narrowed down, though, each team will play its round-robin fixtures against every team in their respective groups to determine who will advance to the knockout stage.

Let's get right to it and take a look at every upcoming fixture, as well as some predictions for how each group will unfold.

2014 World Cup Full Schedule
DateMatchGroupTime (ET)VenueTV
June 12Brazil vs. CroatiaA4 p.m.Sao PauloESPN
June 13Mexico vs. CameroonA12 p.m.NatalESPN2
June 13Spain vs. NetherlandsB3 p.m.SalvadorESPN
June 13Chile vs. AustraliaB6 p.m.CuiabaESPN2
June 14Colombia vs. GreeceC12 p.m.Belo HorizonteABC
June 14Uruguay vs. Costa RicaD3 p.m.FortalezaABC
June 14Ivory Coast vs. JapanC6 p.m.RecifeESPN
June 14England vs. ItalyD6 p.m.ManausESPN
June 15Switzerland vs. EcuadorE12 p.m.BrasiliaABC
June 15France vs. HondurasE3 p.m.Porto AlegreABC
June 15Argentina vs. Bosnia-HerzegovinaF6 p.m.Rio De JaneiroESPN
June 16Germany vs. PortugalG12 p.m.SalvadorESPN
June 16Iran vs. NigeriaF3 p.m.CuritibaESPN
June 16Ghana vs. United StatesG6 p.m.NatalESPN
June 17Belgium vs. AlgeriaH12 p.m.Belo HorizonteESPN
June 17Brazil vs. MexicoA3 p.m.FortalezaESPN
June 17Russia vs. South KoreaH6 p.m.CuiabaESPN
June 18Australia vs. NetherlandsB12 p.m.Porto AlegreESPN
June 18Cameroon vs. CroatiaA3 p.m.ManausESPN
June 18Spain vs. ChileB6 p.m.Rio De JaneiroESPN
June 19Colombia vs. Ivory CoastC12 p.m.BrasiliaESPN
June 19Uruguay vs. EnglandD3 p.m.Sao PauloESPN
June 19Greece vs. JapanC6 p.m.NatalESPN
June 20Costa Rica vs. ItalyD12 p.m.RecifeESPN
June 20Switzerland vs. FranceE3 p.m.SalvadorESPN
June 20Ecuador vs. HondurasE6 p.m.CuritibaESPN
June 21Argentina vs. IranF12 p.m.Belo HorizonteESPN
June 21Germany vs. GhanaG3 p.m.FortalezaESPN
June 21Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. NigeriaF6 p.m.CuiabaESPN
June 22South Korea vs. AlgeriaH12 p.m.Porto AlegreABC
June 22United States vs. PortugalG3 p.m.ManausABC
June 22Belgium vs. RussiaH12 p.m.Rio De JaneiroESPN
June 23Australia vs. SpainB12 p.m.CuritibaESPN2
June 23Chile vs. NetherlandsB12 p.m.Sao PauloESPN
June 23Brazil vs. CameroonA4 p.m.BrasiliaESPN
June 23Croatia vs. MexicoA4 p.m.RecifeESPN2
June 24Italy vs. UruguayD12 p.m.NatalESPN
June 24Costa Rica vs. EnglandD12 p.m.Belo HorizonteESPN2
June 24Japan vs. ColombiaC4 p.m.CuiabaESPN
June 24Greece vs. Ivory CoastC4 p.m.FortalezaESPN2
June 25Nigeria vs. ArgentinaF12 p.m.Porto AlegreESPN
June 25Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. IranF12 p.m.SalvadorESPN2
June 25Honduras vs. SwitzerlandE4 p.m.ManausESPN2
June 25France vs. EcuadorE4 p.m.Rio De JaneiroESPN
June 26United States vs. GermanyG12 p.m.RecifeESPN
June 26Portugal vs. GhanaG12 p.m.BrasiliaESPN2
June 26South Korea vs. BelgiumH4 p.m.Sao PauloESPN
June 26Algeria vs. RussiaH4 p.m.CuritibaESPN2
June 28Round of 16: 1A vs. 2B-12 p.m.Belo HorizonteABC
June 28Round of 16: 1C vs. 2D-4 p.m.Rio De JaneiroABC
June 29Round of 16: 1B vs. 2A-12 p.m.FortazelaESPN
June 29Round of 16: 1D vs. 2C-4 p.m.RecifeESPN
June 30Round of 16: 1E vs. 2F-12 p.m.BrasiliaESPN
June 30Round of 16: 1G vs. 2H-4 p.m.Porto AlegreESPN
July 1Round of 16: 1F vs. 2E-12 p.m.Sao PauloESPN
July 1Round of 16: 1H vs. 2G-4 p.m.SalvadorESPN
July 4Quarterfinals-12 p.m.Rio De JaneiroESPN2
July 4Quarterfinals-4 p.m.FortazelaESPN
July 5Quarterfinals-12 p.m.BrasiliaABC
July 5Quarterfinals-4 p.m.SalvadorESPN
July 8Semifinals-4 p.m.Belo HorizonteESPN
July 9Semifinals-4 p.m.Sao PauloESPN
July 12Third-Place Match-4 p.m.BrasiliaESPN
July 13Final-3 p.m.Rio De JaneiroABC
FIFA.com
2014 World Cup Groups
Group AGroup BGroup CGroup D
BrazilSpainColombiaItaly
CroatiaNetherlandsGreeceUruguay
MexicoAustraliaJapanEngland
CameroonChileIvory CoastCosta Rica
Group EGroup FGroup GGroup H
FranceArgentinaGermanyBelgium
SwitzerlandBosnia-HerzegovinaPortugalRussia
HondurasIranUnited StatesAlgeria
EcuadorNigeriaGhanaSouth Korea
FIFA.com

 

Notable Predictions

Germany, Portugal to Escape Group of Death

Featuring four teams that made it out of the group stage in the 2010 World Cup, Group G has been pegged as the "group of death" ever since the fateful draw took place.

But simply by glancing at the list of teams in Group G and their respective rosters, there's absolutely no doubt as to which two national teams are best suited to escape it still alive—Germany and Portugal.

Germany is a shoo-in favorite to make the semifinals with a stacked roster and plenty of weapons, but Portugal has a commodity no one else can match—Cristiano Ronaldo—and some complementary pieces that can mesh well at times.

The Portuguese may get off on the wrong foot, as they will face Germany in their opener, but with Ronaldo playing some of the best football of his career heading into Brazil, he won't let his squad be knocked out by the likes of the U.S. and Ghana. The talent gap is simply too large for Portugal's attack not to come through at least a few times.

Meanwhile, Germany may not even draw a game en route to the knockout stage, and a positive result against Portugal in the opener will be the start of a deep run.

 

England to Stumble, Fall Victim to Tough Group

The English have long been due a thrilling run deep into the World Cup, but once again, this year isn't shaping up to be the year for Roy Hodgson and company.

Group G may be the group of death, but Group D boasts the three best teams of any foursome, as England join Italy and Uruguay in the group. Costa Rica rounds it out. 

The English come into Brazil touting a noticeably young roster that is sure to undergo some growing pains, and it hasn't left hopes too high back home for the national team. According to Reuters (via The Guardian), even the British government has put a low ceiling on the team's upcoming performances.

Meanwhile, Italy is coming off a Euro 2012 final run that shows the squad (still) isn't too old and that the infusion of now 23-year-old striker Mario Balotelli can take it to the next level.

On the other end of the spectrum, Uruguay made the World Cup semifinals in 2010. Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani have blossomed into world-class attackers, and Diego Forlan—the hero from four years ago—is still chugging along.

Facing Italy in their opener, the Three Lions won't quite be up to par with their opponents early on, and that will put them at a disadvantage in the group with Uruguay likely to coast past Costa Rica. From that point on, it's an uphill battle for Hodgson's crew. 

 

Belgium Will Win Group over Russia

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 15:  Eden Hazard of Belgium looks on prior to the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group A match between Belgium and Wales at King Baudouin Stadium on October 15, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Im
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

With Group D and Group G filled with standout national teams, that leaves groups with notably less intrigue like Group H—where Belgium, Russia, Algeria and South Korea will vie for two round-of-16 spots.

Although it isn't heavy on international intrigue like some other nations, Belgium is loaded with star players who are no strangers to competing against world-class players from the other nations, and they'll take that mentality into the group stage.

Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku both have been tearing up the pitch in England, and they've been building up for this chance to shine on the international stage. Vincent Kompany leads a defense that can afford to fly around a bit more thanks to the Manchester City defender's reliability. 

Russia will be the big test for Belgium, but that doesn't come until the latter's second match in Brazil. The Belgium squad will face Algeria first, which didn't score a single goal in its 2010 World Cup appearance, and building confidence from that will allow Belgium to slip past Russia and take out South Korea to dominate Group H.