The 2014 FIFA World Cup officially began on Thursday, as host country Brazil took on Croatia in a highly anticipated Group A contest.
Brazil became the first team to emerge victorious this year, and with the win, the standings quickly began to take shape. The excitement will only continue to grow as Day 2 of gets underway.
Group A will see more action on Friday when Mexico faces off against Cameroon in an attempt to keep pace with the 1-0 Brazil.
Also in the mix on Friday will be all four teams from Group B, as Spain takes on the Netherlands and Chile squares off against Australia.
Let's take a look at the World Cup's updated standings, followed by odds and predictions for Friday's contests.
2014 World Cup Standings
|2014 World Cup Standings (through Day 1)|
World Cup Day 2 Odds and Predictions
All World Cup odds courtesy of OddsShark.com.
Mexico vs. Cameroon
Mexico Odds: +110
Cameroon Odds: +280
This is an extremely important matchup for both teams, as Mexico and Cameroon will look to keep pace with the heavily favored Brazil.
Mexico is a team that could certainly do some damage. Although, it is currently going through some rather drastic changes.
Javier Hernandez, Mexico's third all-time leading scorer, will be coming in off the bench rather than contributing from this normal starting role. Guillermo Ochoa gets the nod in goal, as this team looks to overcome a poor showing during qualification.
Metro Sport noted Hernandez will be the team's super sub:
Cameroon will be relying on striker Samuel Eto'o in an effort to hand Mexico a loss on Friday. Always a threat, Eto'o should be a huge factor no matter which position he plays on the team's starting 11.
When it's all said and done, a goal from each team will be the result of this low-scoring affair.
Spain vs. Netherlands
Spain Odds: -125
Netherlands Odds: +440
This may be the most highly anticipated opening match of this year's World Cup.
Just four years ago, these two teams set a record for most yellow cards drawn in a World Cup Final. In the aftermath of the very physical contest, Spain emerged victorious by a score of 1-0.
The Dutch will look to avenge the loss on the legs of their three veteran strikers, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder.
Here's a look at a fantastic free-kick attempt from van Persie during training:
Although, Spain is considered one of the favorites heading into the World Cup. As defending champions, the team got off to a great start, winning six games and drawing two over its qualifying matches.
Spain's experience and high level of talent—especially if Diego Costa looks nicely recovered from his lingering hamstring injury—will allow the team to flourish on Friday.
Spain 2-1 Netherlands
Chile vs. Australia
Chile Odds: -218
Australia Odds: +791
Chile may be a sneaky contender in this year's World Cup.
The team features a bevy of very quick strikers. This high-octane offense features Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez.
This talented group is slated to face an Australian team that hasn't exactly made waves in international contests.
The Aussies do have some speed and are capable of threatening on fast breaks; however, the team struggled against inferior competition during World Cup qualifying.
Australia will attempt to prove it is a team worth fearing going forward, but that simply won't be the case on Friday.
Chile 2-0 Australia
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