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Brazil World Cup 2014: Warm-Up Fixture Schedule, Dates of Friendlies

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 03:  A general view of Brazuca and the FIFA World Cup Trophy at the Maracana before the adidas Brazuca launch at Parque Lage on December 3, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazuca is the Official Match Ball for the FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil. Tonight adidas revealed brazuca to the world in the stunning setting of Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro. The reveal was part of a spectacular light projection supported by global footballers Seedorf, Hernane and FIFA World Cup Winner Cafu. Hundreds of guests and celebrities were treated to this one off experience, which launched the Official FIFA World Cup Ball for Brazil 2014. For more information visit: news.adidas.com/worldcupOMB  (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images for adidas)
Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images
Stuart NewmanFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2014

With the big kick-off in Brazil edging ever closer, all 32 competing nations are looking to build momentum ahead of the Group Stage to make World Cup 2014 a tournament to remember.

Though the favourites have their tags for a reason, the form book can play a crucial role when it comes to Group matches, and over the decades we've seen in-form nations take incredible scalps in World Cup matches with their confidence flying high.

Here, we take a group-by-group look at how teams are looking to build up a head of steam ahead of the World Cup and look at which sides will arrive in Brazil in form.

Group A Warm-Up Fixtures
TeamOpponentDate
BrazilSerbiaJune 6
CameroonMoldovaJune 6
CroatiaAustraliaJune 6
MexicoBosnia and HerzegovinaJune 4
PortugalJune 7
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Group B Warm-Up Fixtures
TeamOpponentDate
AustraliaCroatiaJune 6
ChileNorthern IrelandJune 4
NetherlandsWalesJune 4
SpainEl SalvadorJune 7
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Group C Warm-Up Fixtures
TeamOpponentDate
ColombiaJordanJune 7
GreeceBoliviaJune 6
Ivory CoastEl SalvadorJune 4
JapanZambiaJune 6
Mail Online
Group D Warm-Up Fixtures
TeamOpponentDate
Costa RicaRepublic of IrelandJune 6
EnglandEcuadorJune 4
HondurasJune 7
ItalyLuxembourgJune 4
FlumineseJune 8
UruguaySloveniaJune 4
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Group E Warm-Up Fixtures
TeamOpponentDate
EcuadorEnglandJune 4
FranceJamaicaJune 8
HondurasEnglandJune 7
Costa RicaRepublic of IrelandJune 6
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Group F Warm-Up Fixtures
TeamOpponentDate
ArgentinaTrinidad & TobagoJune 4
SloveniaJune 7
Bosnia and HerzegovinaMexicoJune 4
IranTrinidad & TobagoJune 8
NigeriaUSAJune 7
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Group G Warm-Up Fixtures
TeamOpponentDate
GermanyArmeniaJune 6
GhanaSouth KoreaJune 9
PortugalMexicoJune 7
Republic of IrelandJune 10
USANigeriaJune 7
Mail Online
Group H Warm-Up Fixtures
TeamOpponentDate
AlgeriaRomaniaJune 4
BelgiumTunisiaJune 7
RussiaMoroccoJune 6
South KoreaGhanaJune 9
Mail Online

 

Brazil

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 05:  Brazilians players celebrates Neymar's goal during the International Friendly match between South Africa and Brazil at FNB Stadium on March 05, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Imag
Gallo Images/Getty Images

The host nation always seems to have a bit of luck on their side in a World Cup. In fact, 2010’s early exit for South Africa was the first time that the hosts hadn't progressed past the opening round in a World Cup—per BBC News.

Not that the star-studded Brazilians will need a lot of luck heading into this summer’s tournament, though, with the five-time winners in scintillating form.

According to Soccerway, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men have won their last eight matches on the spin, and with a friendly against Serbia still to come, they’ll likely head into the World Cup curtain-raiser with Croatia on a nine-match winning streak.

TERESOPOLIS, BRAZIL - JUNE 01: Head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari in action during a training session of the Brazilian national football team at the squad's Granja Comary training complex, in Teresopolis, 90 km from downtown Rio de Janeiro on June 01, 2014 in
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Matches against Mexico and Cameroon follow for the hosts, where the confidence and togetherness that they've acquired over the last year of internationals will surely see them through to the knockout stage.

 

England

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 30: Gary Cahill of England celebrates scoring their second goal with Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Danny Welbeck of England uring the international friendly match between England and Peru at Wembley Stadium on May 30, 2014 in Lo
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

While there are some that would argue that England’s 2014 World Cup squad is the worst to head to the summer tournament in decades, Roy Hodgson’s side will arrive in Brazil in strong form.

The Three Lions have lost just two of their last 14 matches, per SoccerWay, and none away from Wembley Stadium since November 2012.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 30:  Roy Hodgson, Manager of England looks on uring the international friendly match between England and Peru at Wembley Stadium on May 30, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Having confidence in the England camp can be the difference between a stellar campaign and the routine penalty shoot-out elimination, and manager Roy Hodgson insisted that everything is going to plan so far—per BBC Sport:

We've still got a lot of work to do. There are two more weeks before we play Italy, two more weeks of work to put in, two more weeks for players to keep their form, improve their form, knock on the door even louder and I'm looking forward to that. I would be lying if I said these two weeks have gone anything other than exactly as I wanted them to go. We'll see what the next two weeks bring.

England take on Ecuador and Honduras in friendlies in Miami on Wednesday and Saturday respectively, and they will look to complete a clean sweep of pre-World Cup victories, having beaten Peru 3-0 at Wembley on May 30.

Though taking on the highly rated Italians will be a different prospect, coming into the tournament with three wins out of three will be a big boost for Hodgson’s stars.

 

Belgium

JANERIK HENRIKSSON/Associated Press

Tipped to be dark horses for the World Cup, Belgium’s pre-tournament campaign will give them the perfect platform from which to build in the finals.

As Soccerway’s results show, Marc Wilmots’ side are unbeaten in their three warm-up matches so far and are likely to keep that record going against Tunisia on Saturday.

With a draw against the Ivory Coast and impressive victories against Luxembourg and Sweden, Belgium have displayed the credentials that have made the top sides look over their shoulders heading into the World Cup.

JANERIK HENRIKSSON / TT/Associated Press

In their last two matches, striker Romelu Lukaku has netted four times, including a fabulous strike against Sweden—as Coral revealed:

With favourable Group H opponents in Algeria, Russia and South Korea, the Belgians will be feeling invincible when they inevitably progress to the knockout stage.

The nation’s captain, Vincent Kompany, recently reflected on his side’s positivity, saying that they've come together as a unit for the World Cup—per the Daily Star, via Sky Sports:

If there's one thing to say about this squad it is that all the guys have such a great attitude and we're such a positive group. If any team deserves to do well at the World Cup based on team spirit, it's us. It is such a fantastic team to be involved in.

Though we've learned over the years that absolutely nothing is concrete in a World Cup campaign, heading into the tournament with a few wins under your belt can be all the difference.

Brazil, England and Belgium are three teams with the utmost belief in themselves as they look to make their mark on the biggest stage of them all.

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