World Cup Groups 2014: Fixtures, TV Schedule and Latest Odds

Tim KeeneyContributor IJune 12, 2014

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Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

To steal from ESPN's most recent World Cup commercial, "every four years, the world has one time zone."

The World Cup transcends. It transcends work and school schedules, and really any other stupid commitment that might get in your way. It transcends whatever negative feelings some may have toward the sport. It transcends cultural differences, and for one month every four years, much of the world unites for the incomparable tournament. 

Missing any of the fixtures means missing a piece of sports history, so let's take a look at when and where to watch every pre-knockout stage match, along with a glance at the tournament odds and most compelling groups. 

 

Complete Group Play Schedule and Viewing Info

2014 World Cup Fixtures and TV Schedule
DateGroup A FixtureTimeVenueTV InfoLive Stream
June 12Brazil vs. Croatia9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETSao PauloITV1/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 13Mexico vs. Cameroon5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETNatalITV1/ESPN2ITV Website/ESPN Player
June 17Brazil vs. Mexico8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETFortalezaBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 18Cameroon vs. Croatia8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETManausITV1/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 23Cameroon vs. Brazil9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETBrasiliaITV(TBC)/ESPN2ITV Website/ESPN Player
June 23Croatia vs. Mexico9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETRecifeITV(TBC)/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
DateGroup B FixtureTimeVenueTV InfoLive Stream
June 13Spain vs. Netherlands8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETSalvadorBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 13Chile vs. Australia11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETCuiabaITV1/ESPN2ITV Website/ESPN Player
June 18Spain vs. Chile11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETRio de JaneiroBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 18Australia vs. Netherlands5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETPorto AlegreITV1/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 23Australia vs. Spain5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETCuritibaITV(TBC)/ESPN2ITV Website/ESPN Player
June 23Netherlands vs. Chile5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETSao PauloITV(TBC)/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
DateGroup C FixtureTime (ET)VenueTV InfoLive Stream
June 14Colombia vs. Greece5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETBelo HorizonteBBC1/ABCBBC Website/ABC Go
June 14Ivory Coast vs. Japan11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETRecifeITV1/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 19Colombia vs. Ivory Coast5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETBrasiliaBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 19Japan vs. Greece11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETNatalBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 24Japan vs. Colombia9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETCuiabaBBC(TBC)/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 24Greece vs. Ivory Coast9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETFortalezaBBC(TBC)/ESPN2BBC Website/ESPN Player
DateGroup D FixtureTime (ET)VenueTV InfoLive Stream
June 14Uruguay vs. Costa Rica8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETFortalezaITV1/ABCITV Website/ABC Go
June 14England vs. Italy11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETManausBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 19Uruguay vs. England8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETSao PauloITV1/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 20Italy vs. Costa Rica5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETRecifeBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 24Italy vs. Uruguay5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETNatalITV(TBC)/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 24Costa Rica vs. England5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETBelo HorizonteITV1/ESPN2ITV Website/ESPN Player
DateGroup E FixtureTime (ET)VenueTV InfoLive Stream
June 15Switzerland vs. Ecuador5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETBrasiliaITV1/ABCITV Website/ABC Go
June 15France vs. Honduras8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETPorto AlegreBBC1/ABCBBC Website/ABC Go
June 20Switzerland vs. France8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETSalvadorITV1/ESPNITV Website/ ESPN Player
June 20Honduras vs. Ecuador11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETCuritibaITV1/ESPNITV Website/ ESPN Player
June 25Honduras vs. Switzerland9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETManausBBC(TBC)/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 25Ecuador vs. France9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETRio de JaneiroBBC(TBC)/ESPN2BBC Website/ESPN Player
DateGroup F FixtureTime (ET)VenueTV InfoLive Stream
June 15Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETRio de JaneiroBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 16Iran vs. Nigeria8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETCuritibaBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 21Argentina vs. Iran5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETBelo HorizonteITV1/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 21Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETCuiabaBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 25Nigeria vs. Argentina5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETPorto AlegreITV(TBC)/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 25Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETSalvadorITV(TBC)/ESPN2ITV Website/ESPN Player
DateGroup G FixtureTime (ET)VenueTV InfoLive Stream
June 16Germany vs. Portugal5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETSalvadorITV1/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 16Ghana vs. United States11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETNatalBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 21Germany vs. Ghana8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETFortalezaBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 22United States vs. Portugal8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ETManausBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 26United States vs. Germany5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETRecifeBBC(TBC)/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 26Portugal vs. Ghana5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETBrasiliaBBC(TBC)/ESPN2BBC Website/ESPN Player
DateGroup H FixtureTime (ET)VenueTV InfoLive Stream
June 17Belgium vs. Algeria5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETBelo HorizonteITV1/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 17Russia vs. South Korea11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETCuiabaBBC1/ESPNBBC Website/ESPN Player
June 22Belgium vs. Russia11 p.m. BST/6 p.m. ETRio de JaneiroBBC1/ABCBBC Website/ABC Go
June 22South Korea vs. Algeria5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ETPorto AlegreITV1/ABCITV Website/ABC Go
June 26South Korea vs. Belgium9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETSao PauloITV(TBC)/ESPNITV Website/ESPN Player
June 26Algeria vs. Russia9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ETCuritibaITV(TBC)/ESPN2ITV Website/ESPN Player
FIFA.com

Note: Complete match schedule courtesy of FIFA.com

 

Latest Odds

Odds to Win 2014 World Cup
CountryOdds
Brazil3-1
Argentina4-1
Germany5-1
Spain13-2
Belgium13-1
Colombia20-1
France22-1
England25-1
Italy25-1
Netherlands25-1
Uruguay25-1
Portugal30-1
Chile40-1
Russia75-1
Switzerland100-1
Ecuador120-1
Mexico130-1
Japan140-1
Ivory Coast150-1
USA160-1
Croatia200-1
Bosnia and Herzegovina210-1
Ghana240-1
Greece250-1
Nigeria250-1
Korea Republic400-1
Cameroon600-1
Australia650-1
Algeria1000-1
Costa Rica1000-1
Honduras1000-1
Iran1000-1
VegasInsider.com

Note: Complete Odds courtesy of Vegas Insider

 

Most Compelling Groups

Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia

Since the spectacle moved to 24 teams in 1982, only once has there been a rematch of the World Cup final during the following tournament, which came in 1986 and 1990 when West Germany and Argentina met in back-to-back finals. It has never happened since the change to 32 teams in 1998. 

With this group, we'll be assured of history. 

Granted, Spain and Netherlands have both shown some weaknesses since the the 2010 final. La Roja lost to Croatia and needed penalties to beat Portugal during the 2012 Euro Cup (although they eventually wont the tournament) and were defeated soundly by Brazil in the 2013 Confederations Cup final. Oranje, meanwhile, were trounced in the same Euro Cup, losing to Denmark, Germany and Portugal. 

Still, it would be wrong to overlook either side. 

Brazilian legend Pele recently dubbed Spain as his country's biggest obstacle (along with Germany), while Marcelo, via SocialRMadrid and Goal.com's Alec Fenn, reiterated that statement. 

The Dutch, comparatively, romped through World Cup qualifying, going 5-1-0 by an aggregate score of 21-3 in 2013. 

Spain is still dripping with talented playmakers in the midfield, and the Netherlands still feature world-class attacking talents like Robin Van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder. You are going to be hard-pressed to find a better group-stage match than this one. 

Oh, and one of them might not even make the knockout stages. Chile, led by Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez, is an extremely dangerous side, especially on South American soil. 

 

Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy

Group D features three very good teams with extensive World Cup history but also plenty of question marks. 

Uruguay's question mark—the health of Luis Suarez—is arguably the biggest of the tournament, but while the status of the reigning Premier League Player of the Year's knee could drastically shift this group, Oscar Tabarez's squad is plenty feared one way or another. 

England veteran Steven Gerrard, via The Guardian's Dominic Fifield, put it simply:

He is a fighter and come maybe the first or the second game in the World Cup, I am sure he will be ready and raring to go. But it’s not just all about Luis. Obviously he is outstanding but they’ve got other good players and a very good team, so we’ll look at different ways and options of how to deal with that and counteract that.

Indeed, the presence of Edinson Cavani (and possibly 2010 Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan) should help the Charruas remain dangerous up front, while being in South America will also prove to be beneficial. 

Italy, the favorite to take the group if Suarez is unable to make an impact, is coming off a dreadful 2010 showing. However, the Azzurri have experienced difference-makers in Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi, and they've looked better on the international level since the hiring of Cesare Prandelli.

Then you have England. The Three Lions have a lot of youth on the roster but are undeniably talented. 

All three squads, who have combined for seven World Cup titles, are easily among the best 16 nations in the world, but they won't all be advancing to the Round of 16 for the knockout stages. 

 

Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA

Let's start at the top. 

Germany is the deepest team in the world, as most other countries would gladly take Joachim Low's reserves, while Portgual features the reigning Ballon d'Or winner in Cristiano Ronaldo, a player capable of taking over a game by himself. 

On the "bottom," we have Ghana and United States, the unlikeliest of rivals. Ghana, an extremely physical side that is dangerous on the attack, have made it out of the group stages the last two tournaments, eliminating the Red, White and Blue both times. 

"I didn't even think about Germany and Portugal," midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah told Goal.com's Kent Mensah. "What came into my mind was, 'These USA people again?'"

Although Jurgen Klinsmann made headlines by not selecting American legend Landon Donovan to the squad, he still has an extremely talented midfield led by Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey and had his team playing extremely well during World Cup qualifying. 

Other than Germany failing to advance, there can be no surprises from this group. All four squads are talented enough to make a deep run in Brazil, entrenching this as the unequivocal Group of Death.