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World Cup Schedule 2014: Full List of Dates and Start Times for All Fixtures

Host nation Brazil enters the World Cup as favorites.
Host nation Brazil enters the World Cup as favorites.Andre Penner/Associated Press
Sterling XieCorrespondent IIJune 12, 2014

The first South American World Cup since 1978 promises to provide one of the tightest competitions in years.  With an abundance of superstars such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar trying to establish an international legacy, there will be no shortage of storylines throughout the month-long tournament.

The group stages will surely present some unexpected contenders.  Groups B, D and G appear particularly stacked, meaning that some pre-tournament favorites could suffer an early exit, while dark-horses such as Belgium and Colombia could make deep runs with more favorable draws.  For those looking to catch the 64 matches, check out all the important dates and TV listings for the preliminary and knockout rounds:

2014 World Cup Schedule
DateTime (ET)GroupMatchTV
June 124 p.m.ABrazil vs. CroatiaESPN
June 1312 p.m.AMexico vs. CameroonESPN2
June 133 p.m.BSpain vs. NetherlandsESPN
June 136 p.m.BChile vs. AustraliaESPN2
June 1412 p.m.CColombia vs. GreeceABC
June 143 p.m.DUruguay vs. Costa RicaABC
June 146 p.m.DEngland vs. ItalyESPN
June 149 p.m.CIvory Coast vs. JapanESPN
June 1512 p.m.ESwitzerland vs. EcuadorABC
June 153 p.m.EFrance vs. HondurasABC
June 156 p.m.FArgentina vs. Bosnia-H.ESPN
June 1612 p.m.GGermany vs. PortugalESPN
June 163 p.m.FIran vs. NigeriaESPN
June 166 p.m.GGhana vs. USAESPN
June 1712 p.m.HBelgium vs. AlgeriaESPN
June 173 p.m.ABrazil vs. MexicoESPN
June 176 p.m.HRussia vs. South KoreaESPN
June 1812 p.m.BAustralia vs. NetherlandsESPN
June 183 p.m.BSpain vs. Chile ESPN
June 186 p.m.ACameroon vs. CroatiaESPN
June 1912 p.m.CColombia vs. Ivory CoastESPN
June 193 p.m.DUruguay vs. EnglandESPN
June 196 p.m.CJapan vs. GreeceESPN
June 2012 p.m.DItaly vs. Costa RicaESPN
June 203 p.m.ESwitzerland vs. FranceESPN
June 206 p.m.EHonduras vs. EcuadorESPN
June 2112 p.m.FArgentina vs. IranESPN
June 213 p.m.GGermany vs. GhanaESPN
June 216 p.m.FNigeria vs. Bosnia-H.ESPN
June 2212 p.m.HBelgium vs. RussiaABC
June 223 p.m.HSouth Korea vs. AlgeriaABC
June 226 p.m.GUSA vs. PortugalESPN
June 2312 p.m.BNetherlands vs. ChileESPN
June 2312 p.m.BAustralia vs. SpainESPN2
June 234 p.m.ACroatia vs. MexicoESPN
June 234 p.m.ACameroon vs. BrazilESPN2
June 2412 p.m.DItaly vs. UruguayESPN
June 2412 p.m.DCosta Rica vs. EnglandESPN2
June 244 p.m.CJapan vs. ColombiaESPN
June 244 p.m.CGreece vs. Ivory CoastESPN2
June 2512 p.m.FNigeria vs. ArgentinaESPN
June 2512 p.m.FBosnia-H. vs. IranESPN2
June 254 p.m.EEcuador vs. FranceESPN
June 254 p.m.EHonduras vs. SwitzerlandESPN2
June 2612 p.m.GUnited States vs. GermanyESPN
June 2612 p.m.GPortugal vs. GhanaESPN2
June 264 p.m.HSouth Korea vs. BelgiumESPN
June 264 p.m.HAlgeria vs. RussiaESPN2
June 2812 p.m.R of 161A vs. 2B (Match 49)ABC
June 284 p.m.R of 161C vs. 2D (Match 50)ABC
June 2912 p.m.R of 161B vs. 2A (Match 51)ESPN
June 294 p.m.R of 161D vs. 2C (Match 52)ESPN
June 3012 p.m.R of 161E vs. 2F (Match 53)ESPN
June 304 p.m.R of 161G vs. 2H (Match 54)ESPN
July 112 p.m.R of 161F vs. 2E (Match 55)ESPN
July 14 p.m.R of 161H vs. 2G (Match 56)ESPN
July 412 p.m.QuarterW53 vs. W54 (Match 57)ESPN2
July 44 p.m.QuarterW49 VS. W50 (Match 58)ESPN
July 512 p.m.QuarterW55 vs. W56 (Match 59)ABC
July 54 p.m.QuarterW51 vs. W52 (Match 60)ESPN
July 84 p.m.SemisW57 vs. W58 (Match 61)ESPN
July 94 p.m.SemisW59 vs. W60 (Match 62)ESPN
July 124 p.m.3rdL61 vs. L62ESPN
July 133 p.m.TitleW61 vs. W62ABC
FIFA.com

While defending champion Spain has dominated international competition since 2008, La Roja are no longer the prohibitive favorites to repeat on foreign soil.  There is no lineup that can match the pedigree of their Starting XI, but with so much of the old guard returning in 2014, legitimate questions exist about Spain's long-term viability.

Nevertheless, Spain still have enough talent to remain among the small handful of top contenders, particularly in the midfield.  The trio of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas is still arguably the best unit in the tournament.  Moreover, Spain have an impressive defensive streak in do-or-die contests of major international tournaments:

In fairness, that does not include Spain's 3-0 loss in the final of the 2013 Confederations Cup.  Brazil, the team who gave Spain the unexpected drubbing, are the hosts and the favorites to hoist their sixth World Cup.  Though many only see them as slight favorites, statistical analysis suggests a much more promising outlook:

The Brazilians are far from indomitable.  There are questions about depth at centre forward and midfielder, where the likes of Fred, Paulinho and Luis Gustavo will need to prove their championship-caliber worth. Still, playing their signature brand of aesthetically beautiful futbol in front of their home fans, Brazil must be considered the favorite.

Closer to home, the U.S. squad faces depressed expectations despite reaching the knockout stages in two of their past three World Cup appearances.  Drawn into the "Group of Death" with Germany, Portugal and Ghana, the Americans face a stiff challenge that will highlight how much progress their program has truly made.

USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann recently made waves by suggesting that winning the World Cup was impossible, per the New York Times' Sam Borden.  However, as SI.com's Brian Straus suggests, the American outlook should not be measured through an all-or-nothing scope, but rather through incremental signs:

Progress is measured in increments and gray areas and results evaluated through the lens of history. It takes a long, long time to build the foundation that produces a world champion. It took Spain 80 years.

Listen, and you’ll hear managers across the globe set the quarterfinals as a goal or claim that their mandate is simply to show well. Mid-major teams don’t enter the NCAA basketball tournament claiming they’re going to win – they take each game as it comes, play to their strengths and hope they’re the next George Mason or Butler.

The USA possess strength up the middle in Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey, as well as a top-notch goalkeeper in Everton's Tim Howard.  More than the talent disparity between themselves and the European squads in their group, an underrated factor could be the amount of travel the U.S. face in their three group stage matches:

With so many circumstances conspiring against them, home fans might expect the Americans to fold much as they did in the 2006 tournament.  Ultimately, if the U.S. bucks that pessimism and emerges as more than a footnote in a star-laden competition, it might finally be the sign that the program remains on the ascent.

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