It's a misfortune that all sides look to avoid in order to get the best start possible in any World Cup endeavours, but with a healthy assortment of national talent participating, the Group of Death is a known inevitability.
As is the case every four years, 2014 has thrown up a selection of groups that look far tighter than others, with three and even four teams with a very viable chance of qualifying from some.
Here, it's the bigger absences we're going to concentrate on, identifying which substantial talents may not make it to the round of 16 thanks to the quality of their first-phase foes.
Niko Kovac is still relatively new in his role as Croatia coach, and with hosts Brazil likely to emerge as Group A victors, it seems probable that they, along with Mexico and Cameroon, will be vying for second spot.
Injuries have been a slight obstacle in the side's path in recent months, but the suspension of Mario Mandzukic, as ESPN's Gabriele Marcotti points out, will be a big blow for the Croats when they take on Brazil in their group opener:
@KBobanovic at 5pm in Recife, the climate will favor Mexico. 4. All it takes is Brazil beating Croatia (who won't have Mandzukic) by a..— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) May 26, 2014
It may be a blessing in disguise that the Selecao are Croatia's first fixture, however, considering they may not be able to beat Brazil with or without the Bayern Munich striker, leaving him free to have a bigger impact on the more winnable matches.
That being said, Croatia, a side being billed by some as one of Europe's "ones to watch," will struggle in the heat that Mexico and Cameroon will be more comfortable with, and any key injuries could see a lack of depth in certain positions stunt their progress.
Will the Netherlands advance from Group B?
Louis van Gaal will be determined to avoid another disappointment on par with the Netherlands' pointless Euro 2012 campaign, but the Oranje enter this summer's World Cup with a similarly frail look to their back line.
Their Group B tests against Chile and Spain won't be any small challenge, either, although the promise of playing Australia this time around gives Netherlands good reason to believe they'll at least not finish bottom of the pool.
The European giants will still be looked upon as major contenders to perhaps even top the quartet. However, Sky Sports' South American correspondent Paulo Freitas supposes that the competition could benefit Chile in the end, while Argentina-based Dan Colasimone thinks the climate sees things run in favour of Jorge Sampaoli's men:
@KnoxyNI I think they can, the fact Spain and Netherlands are the main favorites in the group should help Chile too, less pressure, etc..— Paulo Freitas (@Cynegeticus) March 27, 2014
Having never won a World Cup, the Netherlands will be as eager as ever to succeed in Brazil, but the side could have used an easier beginning, and an early exit is far from impossible.
At the last World Cup, England just about managed to claim a spot in the round of 16, finishing level on points with the United States, second in their group overall, with Algeria and Slovenia the two teams exiting.
The Three Lions have progressed under Roy Hodgson, one would argue, but the competition is rife in Group D with Italy and Uruguay waiting in the wings; Costa Rica sit as an outfit with far lower expectations.
This England squad is largely inexperienced as the manager looks to bring through a new generation of stars, but beIN Sports' Tancredi Palmeri is of the impression that they could very well come first of the bunch:
Thinking more and more that England will be 1st in Group Stage— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) June 2, 2014
Both the Azzurri and the Celeste will be extremely difficult examinations to overcome—particularly the latter in the South American heat—and it's plausible that another Three Lions tournament ends with a premature whimper.