Every four years, we're treated to one of the most thrilling spectacles in all of sports—the FIFA World Cup.
Spain enters this year's tournament as defending champions in Group B. Interestingly enough, the 2010 World Cup runner-up Netherlands joins Spain in the group.
Needless to say, we're sure to see some drama and intensity unfold early in the group stage of the tournament—giving us all the more reason to ensure not a moment of action is missed.
After all, 2014 could provide more breathtaking moments like the ones in this tweet from ITV Football:
With the World Cup's opening game just under two weeks away, let's take a look at the tournament's full schedule and overview each of the eight groups.
2014 World Cup Schedule
|Thu., June 12||Brazil vs. Croatia||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Fri., June 13||Mexico vs. Cameroon||11:30 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Fri., June 13||Spain vs. Netherlands||2:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Fri., June 13||Chile vs. Australia||5:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Sat., June 14||Colombia vs. Greece||11:30 a.m.||ABC|
|Sat., June 14||Uruguay vs. Costa Rica||2:30 p.m.||ABC|
|Sat., June 14||England vs. Italy||5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sat., June 14||Ivory Coast vs. Japan||8:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sun. June 15||Switzerland vs. Ecuador||11:30 a.m.||ABC|
|Sun. June 15||France vs. Honduras||2:30 p.m.||ABC|
|Sun. June 15||Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina||5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Mon., June 16||Germany vs. Portugal||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Mon., June 16||Iran vs. Nigeria||2:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Mon., June 16||Ghana vs. United States||5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Tue., June 17||Belgium vs. Algeria||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Tue., June 17||Brazil vs. Mexico||2:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Tue., June 17||Russia vs. South Korea||5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Wed., June 18||Australia vs. Netherlands||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Wed., June 18||Spain vs. Chile||2:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Wed., June 18||Cameroon vs. Croatia||5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Thu., June 19||Colombia vs. Ivory Coast||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Thu., June 19||Uruguay vs. England||2:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Thu., June 19||Japan vs. Greece||5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Fri., June 20||Italy vs. Costa Rica||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Fri., June 20||Switzerland vs. France||2:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Fri., June 20||Honduras vs. Ecuador||5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sat., June 21||Argentina vs. Iran||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Sat., June 21||Germany vs. Ghana||2:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sat., June 21||Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina||5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sun., June 22||Belgium vs. Russia||11:30 a.m.||ABC|
|Sun., June 22||South Korea vs. Algeria||2:30 p.m.||ABC|
|Sun., June 22||United States vs. Portugal||5:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Mon., June 23||Netherlands vs. Chile||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Mon., June 23||Australia vs. Spain||11:30 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Mon., June 23||Croatia vs. Mexico||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Mon., June 23||Cameroon vs. Brazil||3:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Tue., June 24||Italy vs. Uruguay||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Tue., June 24||Costa Rica vs. England||11:30 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Tue., June 24||Japan vs. Colombia||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Tue., June 24||Greece vs. Ivory Coast||3:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Wed., June 25||Nigeria vs. Argentina||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Wed., June 25||Bosnia-Herzegovina||11:30 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Wed., June 25||Ecuador vs. France||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Wed., June 25||Honduras vs. Switzerland||3:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Thu., June 26||United States vs. Germany||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Thu., June 26||Portugal vs. Ghana||11:30 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Thu., June 26||South Korea vs. Belgium||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Thu., June 26||Algeria vs. Russia||3:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Sat., June 28||Round of 16, 1A vs. 2B||11:30 a.m.||ABC|
|Sat., June 28||Round of 16, 1C vs. 2D||3:30 p.m.||ABC|
|Sun., June 29||Round of 16, 1B vs. 2A||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Sun., June 29||Round of 16, 1D vs. 2C||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Mon., June 30||Round of 16, 1E vs. 2F||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Mon., June 30||Round of 16, 1G vs. 2H||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Tue., July 1||Round of 16, 1F vs. 2E||11:30 a.m.||ESPN|
|Tue., July 1||Round of 16, 1H vs. 2G||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Fri., July 4||Quarterfinals||11:30 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Fri., July 4||Quarterfinals||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sat., July 5||Quarterfinals||11:30 a.m.||ESPN2|
|Sat., July 5||Quarterfinals||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Tue., July 8||Semifinals||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Wed., July 9||Semifinals||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sat., July 12||Third-Place Match||3:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Sun., July 13||Final||2:30 p.m.||ABC|
2014 World Cup Groups
|Group||Team 1||Team 2||Team 3||Team 4|
Brazil headlines Group A but will be heavily tested in the World Cup's opening match. With a great deal of pressure on the host country, Croatia should provide an exciting opponent to open up the tournament.
Group B should be very enticing, as we'll see a rematch of the World Cup Final from four years ago when Spain takes on the Netherlands. Spain figures to be the favorite here; however, SportsCenter tweeted one very interesting storyline to watch for:
Spain's Diego Costa has a muscle tear in his right leg, which raises doubts he will make World Cup squad. » pic.twitter.com/KTJdvjCzmx— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 27, 2014
Japan and the Ivory Coast are two emerging teams in Group C; although, Colombia and Greece could be highly unpredictable. It may take some time before a clear-cut favorite emerges here.
In Group D, we have plenty of talent. Costa Rica appears to be a very strong team, but the offensive prowess of Uruguay can't be discounted. Italy and England are known to step up in a big way during the World Cup as well, leaving this group very much up for grabs.
Switzerland and France should provide a great deal of excitement in Group E. Both teams feature a large amount of experience, and a head-to-head match could decide which country comes out on top.
Here's a look at France's team this year, courtesy of a tweet from Bleacher Report Football:
Argentina looks poised to run away with things in Group F. The team features a bevy of offensive talent, and it should be far too much for the remaining teams to handle. The most intriguing aspect of this group could be the fight for second place.
The United States has the daunting task of falling into Group G. Germany and Portugal are both powerhouses in their own right, and Ghana can never be overlooked. Needless to say, the Americans are big underdogs to advance.
One big storyline from the United States is the absence of Landon Donovan. Sports Illustrated tweeted the fallout:
Landon Donovan: I thought I was not just in the World Cup 23, but in contention to start http://t.co/8gyn3kRxok— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 25, 2014
Group H could be a two-horse race between Russia and Belgium. Both have solid teams but must overcome playing in a far different environment in Brazil. South Korea has surprised before, reaching the semifinals in 2002, and may be a dark horse here.