Reigning champions Spain kick off their 2014 World Cup campaign with a repeat of the 2010 final against the Netherlands on Day 2.
Along with La Roja's tasty encounter, Mexico get going in Group A against Cameroon, and Chile and Australia face off in Group B.
Friday is when things really get going in Brazil, the football coming thick and fast, as it will for the next four weeks.
Read on for a full schedule of Day 2 as well as a few predictions as to how things will pan out in the first full day of action in South America.
|World Cup 2014: Day 2 Fixtures|
|June 13||12 p.m./5 p.m.||A||Mexico vs. Cameroon||3-1|
|June 13||3 p.m./8 p.m.||B||Spain vs. Netherlands||2-1|
|June 13||6 p.m./11 p.m.||B||Chile vs. Australia||3-0|
Spain To Prevail Over Netherlands
Although the unbeatable aura surrounding Spain has seemingly dimmed somewhat in recent times, they are still a quality side indeed, as they are still the No.1 team in the world, per ESPN FC:
They are serial winners—as proved by their World Cup 2010 triumph and two Euro victories in 2008 and 2012—and should be hugely motivated to add a fourth consecutive major title to their haul.
Spain have goalscorers throughout the squad, per Squawka, and with the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Iker Casillas, they have huge experience which should serve them well against the Netherlands.
They also look likely to be at full strength as striker Diego Costa is fit to return to action, per Sky Sports:
It is a tricky opener for Vicente del Bosque's side—certainly more difficult than when they lost their first game to Switzerland in 2010—but they should be counted as favourites.
The Netherlands will no doubt bag a goal as Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben are a tough duo to handle, but Spain look to have too much quality to miss out on an opening win at Salvador's Arena Fonte Nova.
Winning Starts For Mexico and Chile
Mexico have not had the best preparations for this summer's World Cup, but they should have enough to see off Cameroon comfortably.
Miguel Herrera's side struggled through qualifying and had to play New Zealand in a playoff, which they comfortably won.
They also come to Brazil off the back of 1-0 defeats to Portugal and Bosnia-Herzegovina, but Cameroon lie 36 places below Mexico in the world rankings, per FIFA, and El Tri should prevail in Natal.
Much-tipped Chile have a relatively easy start to their campaign as they face Group B underdogs Australia in Cuiaba on Friday.
The Chileans finished third in CONMEBOL qualifying, picking up an impressive nine wins from 16 games, per Eurosport.
Alexis Sanchez is a player of real quality and should be able to exploit the Australian defence effectively. Arturo Vidal is a doubt, but even if he doesn't play, Chile should run out convincing winners.
A winning start in a World Cup can provide momentum for the rest of the tournament, and that is what all sides will be looking for if they want to go deep into the tournament.
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