FIFA World Cup

World Cup TV Schedule 2014: Fixtures, Coverage Info and Group Stage Predictions

Soccer fans from Belgium pose for a photo with a replica of a World Cup trophy on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. The World Cup soccer tournament starts Thursday. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press
Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2014

At long last, the wait is over, and 32 of the strongest nations in world football will battle each other over the course of the next several weeks for the right to call themselves 2014 World Cup champions.

Hosts Brazil are the favourites going into the tournament, but over the course of 90 minutes, anything can happen. The 2014 World Cup has one of the deepest fields we've ever seen, and more than just a handful of teams will like their chances of going all the way.

Read on for a full list of fixtures, TV coverage and live stream info, as well as early predictions for how the group stages will play out.

World Cup TV Schedule
DateMatchupStart Time (ET)TVLive Stream
Thu, June 12Group A: Brazil vs. Croatia4 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Fri, June 13Group A: Mexico vs. Cameroon12 p.m.ESPN2/ITVWatchESPN
Fri, June 13Group B: Spain vs. Netherlands3 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Fri, June 13Group B: Chile vs. Australia6 p.m.ESPN2/ITVWatchESPN
Sat, June 14Group C: Colombia vs. Greece12 p.m.ABC/BBC 1WatchESPN
Sat, June 14Group D: Uruguay vs. Costa Rica3 p.m.ABC/ITVWatchESPN
Sat, June 14Group D: England vs. Italy6 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Sat, June 14Group C: Ivory Coast vs. Japan9 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Sun, June 15Group E: Switzerland vs. Ecuador12 p.m.ABC/ITVWatchESPN
Sun, June 15Group E: France vs. Honduras3 p.m.ABC/BBC 1WatchESPN
Sun, June 15Group F: Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina6 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Mon, June 16Group G: Germany vs. Portugal12 p.m.ESPN/ ITVWatchESPN
Mon, June 16Group F: Iran vs. Nigeria3 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Mon, June 16Group G: Ghana vs. United States6 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Tue, June 17Group H: Belgium vs. Algeria12 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Tue, June 17Group A: Brazil vs. Mexico3 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Tue, June 17Group H: Russia vs. South Korea6 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Wed, June 18Group B: Australia vs. Netherlands12 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Wed, June 18Group B: Spain vs. Chile3 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Wed, June 18Group A: Cameroon vs. Croatia6 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Thu, June 19Group C: Colombia vs. Ivory Coast12 p.m.ESPN/ BBC 1WatchESPN
Thu, June 19Group D: Uruguay vs. England3 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Thu, June 19Group C: Japan vs. Greece6 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Fri, June 20Group D: Italy vs. Costa Rica12 p.m.ESPN/BBC1WatchESPN
Fri, June 20Group E: Switzerland vs. France3 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Fri, June 20Group E: Honduras vs. Ecuador6 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Sat, June 21Group F: Argentina vs. Iran12 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Sat, June 21Group G: Germany vs. Ghana3 p.m.ESPN/BBC1WatchESPN
Sat, June 21Group F: Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina6 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Sun, June 22Group H: Belgium vs. Russia12 p.m.ABC/BBC 1WatchESPN
Sun, June 22Group H: South Korea vs. Algeria3 p.m.ABC/ITVWatchESPN
Sun, June 22Group G: United States vs. Portugal6 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Mon, June 23Group B: Netherlands vs. Chile12 p.m.ESPN2/ ITV4WatchESPN
Mon, June 23Group B: Australia vs. Spain12 p.m.ESPN/ ITVWatchESPN
Mon, June 23Group A: Croatia vs. Mexico4 p.m.ESPN/ITV4WatchESPN
Mon, June 23Group A: Cameroon vs. Brazil4 p.m.ESPN2/ITVWatchESPN
Tue, June 24Group D: Italy vs. Uruguay12 p.m.ESPN/ITV4WatchESPN
Tue, June 24Group D: Costa Rica vs. England12 p.m.ESPN2/ITVWatchESPN
Tue, June 24Group C: Japan vs. Colombia4 p.m.ESPN/BBC 3WatchESPN
Tue, June 24Group C: Greece vs. Ivory Coast4 p.m.ESPN2/BBC 1WatchESPN
Wed, June 25Group F: Nigeria vs. Argentina12 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Wed, June 25Group F: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran12 p.m.ESPN2/BBC 1WatchESPN
Wed, June 25Group E: Ecuador vs. France4 p.m.ESPN2/BBC 3WatchESPN
Wed, June 25Group E: Honduras vs. Switzerland4 p.m.ESPN/BBC 3WatchESPN
Thu, June 26Group G: United States vs. Germany12 p.m.ESPN/BBC 1WatchESPN
Thu, June 26Group G: Portugal vs. Ghana12 p.m.ESPN2/ITVWatchESPN
Thu, June 26Group H: South Korea vs. Belgium4 p.m.ESPN/ITV4WatchESPN
Thu, June 26Group H: Algeria vs. Russia4 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Sat, June 28Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up12 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sat, June 28Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up4 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sun, June 29Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sun, June 29Group D winner vs. Group C runner-up4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Mon, June 30Group E winner vs. Group F runner-up12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Mon, June 30Group G winner vs. Group H runner-up4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, July 1Group F winner vs. Group E runner-up12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, July 1Group H winner vs. Group G runner-up4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sat, July 5Quarterfinal12 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sat, July 5Quarterfinal4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, July 8Semifinal4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Wed, July 9Semifinal4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sat, July 12Third Place Game4 p.m.ESPN/ITVWatchESPN
Sun, July 13Final4 p.m.ABC/BBC 1WatchESPN
Wheresthematch.com

 

Group A: Brazil and Croatia Advance

Felipe Dana/Associated Press

No team is under more pressure to perform than the hosts, who are looking to erase the demons from 64 years ago, when the team lost the final to Uruguay in front of a massive home crowd.

The nation has been looking forward to this tournament for years, and Luiz Felipe Scolari's squad is as talented as the one that brought home the trophy in 2002. Thiago Silva and David Luiz form arguably the best defensive pairing on the planet, and an attacking front of Hulk, Neymar and Fred will strike fear in the hearts of anyone.

The Croatians will be without Mario Mandzukic in their opener against Brazil, but their fate will be sealed in the head-to-heads against Mexico and Cameroon. Ivan Rakitic is in the best form of his life and Luka Modric just won the Champions League with Real Madrid.

This team is ready to explode in Brazil.

Mexico and Cameroon are both dangerous teams, but the 2012 Olympic champions have struggled over the past two years and have no momentum whatsoever going into the tournament. Cameroon even refused to board the plane, per The Guardian, and with too many distractions surrounding both teams, the edge goes to Croatia.

 

Group B: Spain and Chile Advance

CURITIBA, BRAZIL - JUNE 10:  (L-R) David Villa, Raul Albiol, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, Head coach Vicente Del Bosque and Koke of Spain look on during a Spain training session at the Centro de Entrenamiento do Caju on June 10, 2014 in Curitiba, Brazil.
David Ramos/Getty Images

The Netherlands are led by the trio of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder, and this group of veterans will ensure every match they play is a competitive one. The rest of the squad is relatively young and inexperienced, and the loss of Kevin Strootman has left the Dutch reeling.

Louis van Gaal's experiment with the 5-3-2 formation wasn't a success, and coming into the tournament lacking a true identity, the Dutch just have too much working against them to overcome either Spain or Chile.

La Roja are the defending champions and have shown nothing in the past year that would indicate they've regressed. Spanish teams hold the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, and Spain successfully defended their European title in 2012.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 10:  Arturo Vidal of Chile and Jesus Navas of Spain compete for the ball during the Spain v Chile international friendly at Stade de Geneve on September 10, 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.  (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Im
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Until someone defeats them in a tournament that actually matters (unlike the Confederations Cup), there's no reason to doubt them.

Chile are hungry for a result, and despite concerns over the health of midfield lynchpin Arturo Vidal, the squad are still wildly talented and very athletic. Alexis Sanchez is one of the world's most underrated wide men, and Mauricio Isla is out to prove his difficult spell at Juventus was caused by the Bianconeri's system, not the player.

Australia haven't won a competitive match since 2012, and while any team that makes it this far is deserving of respect, the Socceroos will need a miracle to survive the group stages.

 

Group C: Colombia and Japan Advance

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 14: Victor Ibarbo of Colombia runs with the ball during the international friendly match between Belgium and Colombia at King Badouin stadium on November 14, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Group C is one of the most balanced groups in the 2014 World Cup, featuring four teams who all have a realistic chance of making it past the group stages.

Greece have lacked a creative edge in their game since the turn of the year, and an over-reliance on veteran Giorgos Karagounis could hurt the team in Brazil's harsh climate. Defensively solid, the team is too dependent on flashes from Kostas Mitroglou to decide matches for them.

Ivory Coast are as talented as any of their rivals, and Yaya Toure's excellent 2013-14 season with Manchester City is reason to believe the African side have every chance of making the knockout stages. But Didier Drogba has age working against him, while youngsters like Serge Aurier lack the experience to compete at this level.

Colombia and Japan are both offensive-minded teams who have underrated technicians playing out wide, and both teams looked excellent going up against dark horses Belgium during preparations for the tournament. Attacking football should be rewarded, and we hope to see these two teams in the knockout stages.

 

Group D: Italy and Uruguay Advance

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 31:  Antonio Cassano of Italy in action during the International Friendly match between Italy and Ireland at Craven Cottage on May 30, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Group D is another three-horse race, with Costa Rica showing little during preparations to suggest they have what it takes to hang with star teams like Italy, England or Uruguay. Joel Campbell is the spark this team needs, but asking such a young player to be great in three straight matches is too much.

Italy have struggled in the last few months, but the Azzurri play their best football with their backs against the wall. Several young players are being integrated into the team, but the veteran quality of Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon should be enough to get them to the knockout stages.

Uruguay have been consistently strong in recent years and feature a deadly attacking duo in Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez. Playing close to home can only help, and in this case, the home-field advantage just sees them edging out the Three Lions.

The English team is one of the best we've seen in the last decade, but a tough draw means youngsters like Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge need to grow up fast for this team to make a run. They very well could, but the odds are against them.

 

Group E: France and Ecuador Advance

Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

Switzerland are one of my favourite teams to watch, and their brand of robust, organised football makes them a difficult opponent for any team. But Josip Drmic was relied on too much to score during preparations, and the 21-year-old simply lacks big-game experience.

Honduras are one of the weaker teams that made it to this tournament, and they could be in for quite the shock. The team has played with a physical edge in recent months, but a real battle against the French or Ecuador could end very badly.

Les Bleus pack a serious punch in the physical department, and Paul Pogba will toy with any midfielder that gets too personal with the youngster. The loss of Franck Ribery will hurt, but there's too much talent for this team to miss out on the next round.

Whatever Ecuador may lack in talent, they make up for with passion and fire. The team is better technically than people give them credit for, but it's their relentless marking that will see them past the favoured Swiss squad.

 

Group F: Argentina and Nigeria Advance

Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

Argentina are one of the heavy favourites coming into the World Cup, and rightly so. A front line of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel di Maria and Sergio Aguero just might be the best attacking unit the team has ever assembled.

Questions remain on the defensive side of the ball, but in a relatively easy group, that defence won't be facing too many issues.

Nigeria edge out Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran because of one thing—experience. The Europeans will be making their debut on the world's stage, and while Bosnia have an excellent squad, the Super Eagles have a tremendous advantage in that they've seen it all before.

Iran make up for a lack of world-class talent with arguably the best chemistry of any team in this tournament. Their defensive prowess is impressive, but stars often make the difference on this level, and that is the one thing Iran don't have.

 

Group G: Germany and Portugal Advance

Michael Probst/Associated Press

Of all the groups, this is the one with the greatest potential for an upset. Germany might just have the most talented squad in the world, but injuries and bad form have struck Die Mannschaft like no other.

Joachim Loew is facing a real challenge in Brazil, and even if the team doesn't make it all the way to the final, it could be his finest performance as a manager just yet.

Portugal are not a one-man team, but you can't deny Cristiano Ronaldo puts the squad on a whole different level. His health will largely determine Portugal's fate in this tournament, but even without their superstar, they should be able to make it past Ghana.

HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 01:  Clint Dempsey #8 of the United States is congratulated by teammate Jozy Altidore #17 after Dempsey scored in the second half against Turkey during an international friendly match at Red Bull Arena on June 1, 2014 in Harrison, New
Elsa/Getty Images

The U.S. have done everything they can in preparation for this World Cup. The team is playing solid, organised football and the results have been great. But Group G is every team's nightmare, and while I predict a valiant effort from this team, they'll end up just short.

Ghana have the talent to make a deep run in this tournament, but like the Mexican team, momentum is not on their side. An emotional win over rivals U.S. could change that, but until that happens, Germany and Portugal will be favoured to take the top spots in this group.

 

Group H: Belgium and Russia Advance

Yves Logghe/Associated Press

Going into the tournament on the back of a number of excellent performances in their friendlies, Algeria are one of the strongest candidates to pull off an epic upset.

The Russians lost captain Roman Shirokov to injury just before the start of the tournament, and no one knows how the team will react to his absence. But talent-wise, Fabio Capello has a number of pieces to work with, and Russia should be able to overcome the loss of their captain.

Korea Republic are young and hungry, but their preparations for the tournament were close to disastrous. This team has unlimited potential, but they don't look ready to test themselves against some of the best squads the game has to offer.

People have been waiting for Belgium's golden generation to finally mature, and it looks like they have. The Red Devils tend to lose focus against weaker opponents and this can lead to lethal mental errors, but on talent alone, this is perhaps the one team all favourites will wish to avoid in the knockout stages.

 

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