World Cup 2014 provides an early treat on Day 2 with a rematch of the 2010 tournament's final between Spain and the Netherlands.
In South Africa four years ago, it was Spain who prevailed, with Andres Iniesta's extra-time goal eventually proving the difference.
Coming into the tournament in Brazil, Vicente del Bosque's side are very much one of the favourites to win the whole thing, while the Oranje are not quite the force they once were.
However, when the two sides meet on Friday at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, it is likely to be a terrific encounter.
Read on for full viewing information as well as a preview of the World Cup clash.
Date: Friday, June 13
Time: 8 p.m. BST; 3 p.m. ET
TV Info: BBC One (UK), ESPN (US)
Dips In Form
While Spain are still one of the best teams in the world, they are not quite the indomitable powerhouse they were in 2010.
Though they reached the final of 2013's Confederations Cup, they were soundly beaten 3-0 by Brazil in a crushing defeat.
FULL TIME! Brazil have ended Spain's 3-year competitive unbeaten streak! 3-0 the score as they retain the Confederations Cup on home soil!— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) June 30, 2013
That occasion proved they are by no means unstoppable, and it should give Louis van Gaal the confidence to take the game to Spain.
However, La Roja still breezed through qualifying—dropping only four points in eight games—and with the likes of Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and David Silva in the side, they pose one of the more difficult threats in Brazil.
Spain also still sit atop the world rankings, per ESPN FC:
Last FIFA World Rankings before the World Cup: 1) Spain 2) Germany 3) Brazil 4) Portugal 5) Argentina 6) Switzerland pic.twitter.com/j2H1RMiWy7— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 5, 2014
Since the South Africa final, the Netherlands have endured a shocking Euro 2012 when they went out at the group stages, picking up no points as they lost to Germany, Portugal and Denmark.
But, like Spain, they were impressive in qualifying, winning nine of their 10 games, per UEFA.com, including an 8-1 thrashing of Hungary.
Robin van Persie breaks Dutch all-time scoring record with a hat-trick as Holland smash Hungary 8-1 http://t.co/WEhtxbQc2F— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) October 12, 2013
Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder continue to be a potent attacking trio and will be a constant goal threat on Friday.
Defeat Not An Option
The presence of an impressive Chile side in Group B makes this opener all the more fascinating, as neither side can afford to lose.
All three sides are likely to pick up maximum points against Australia, meaning it is a three-way battle for the two qualifying spots.
A loss on Friday for either side would all but guarantee the need to then win against Chile to qualify, which is a tall order for any team.
Manchester United's Van Persie has acknowledged that Spain are the better side in this encounter, but warned Del Bosque's men not to underestimate the Netherlands, per David McDonnell of The Mirror:
Do not underestimate us, even though Spain, including Diego Costa and David de Gea, my team-mate at Manchester United, are a great team. In my view they are the best team in the world. But we are also very good. Don't forget that.
Of course, we have to prove ourselves again [after Euro 2012]. But it's also a great challenge. We will therefore give it everything. Our focus is good and it has to be.
The Dutch will be out for revenge on Friday after the 2010 final, and sparks are likely to fly. Goals look almost guaranteed with the attacking talent on show, and both teams will be at full strength.
This Salvador encounter is one of the best of the entire group stages and is not to be missed, as both sides will look to come flying out of the blocks in Brazil.