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World Cup 2014: Groups Fixtures, Standings and Latest Odds Before Day 2

Netherlands' Arjen Robben during a training session the day before the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands at the Arena Ponte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Wong Maye-E/Associated Press
Tim KeeneyContributor IJune 13, 2014

Just one match in, it's already clear we are in store for a scintillating World Cup. 

It was unfortunate that Brazil vs. Croatia was ultimately stooped in controversy after the hosts were wrongly awarded a match-deciding penalty, but the deserving team came away with three points nonetheless, and it was still a thrilling back-and-forth match for the most part. 

Should we get 63 more like the opener—just less penalties, please—it's going to be a magical month of soccer. 

 

Upcoming Fixtures

2014 World Cup Schedule
Group ALocal TimeTime (ET)Time (BST)
MatchDate
Brazil vs. Croatia (Brazil wins 3-1)Thursday, June 124 p.m.4 p.m.9 p.m.
Mexico vs. CameroonFriday, June 131 p.m.Noon5 p.m.
Group B
Spain vs. NetherlandsFriday, June 134 p.m.3 p.m.8 p.m.
Chile vs. AustraliaFriday, June 136 p.m.6 p.m.11 p.m.
Group C
Colombia vs. GreeceSaturday, June 141 p.m.Noon5 p.m.
Ivory Coast vs. JapanSaturday, June 1410 p.m.9 p.m.2 a.m. (June 15)
Group D
Uruguay vs. Costa RicaSaturday, June 144 p.m.3 p.m.8 p.m.
England vs. ItalySaturday, June 146 p.m.6 p.m.11 p.m.
Group E
Switzerland vs. EcuadorSunday, June 151 p.m.Noon5 p.m.
France vs. HondurasSunday, June 154 p.m.3 p.m.8 p.m.
Group F
Argentina vs. Bosnia-HerzegovinaSunday, June 157 p.m.6 p.m.11 p.m.
Iran vs. NigeriaMonday, June 164 p.m.3 p.m.8 p.m.
Group G
Germany vs. PortugalMonday, June 161 p.m.Noon5 p.m.
United States vs. GhanaMonday, June 167 p.m.6 p.m.11 p.m.
Group H
Belgium vs. AlgeriaTuesday, June 171 p.m.Noon5 p.m.
Russia vs. South KoreaTuesday, June 176 p.m.6 p.m.11 p.m.
FIFA.com

 

Updated Standings

2014 World Cup Standings
Group A
TeamPWDLPtsPts
Brazil110033
Mexico000000
Cameroon000000
Croatia100100
Group B
TeamPWDLPtsPts
Spain000000
Netherlands000000
Chile000000
Australia000000
Group C
TeamPWDLPtsPts
Colombia000000
Greece000000
Ivory Coast000000
Japan000000
Group D
TeamPWDLPtsPts
Uruguay000000
Costa Rica000000
England000000
Italy000000
Group E
TeamPWDLPtsPts
Switzerland000000
Ecuador000000
France000000
Honduras000000
Group F
TeamPWDLPtsPts
Argentina000000
Bosnia and Herzegovina000000
Iran000000
Nigeria000000
Group G
TeamPWDLPtsPts
Germany000000
Portugal000000
Ghana000000
United States000000
Group H
TeamPWDLPtsPts
Belgium000000
Algeria000000
Russia000000
Korea Republic000000
FIFA.com

 

Updated Odds

2014 World Cup Odds
CountryOdds
Brazil3-1
Germany5-1
Argentina9-2
Spain7-1
Belgium14-1
France20-1
Uruguay22-1
Italy22-1
Netherlands25-1
Colombia25-1
England28-1
Portugal28-1
Chile40-1
Russia66-1
Mexico100-1
United States100-1
Switzerland100-1
Ecuador125-1
Ivory Coast125-1
Croatia150-1
Japan150-1
Bosnia-Herzegovina200-1
Ghana200-1
Greece200-1
Nigeria250-1
South Korea300-1
Australia500-1
Cameroon500-1
Algeria1000-1
Costa Rica1000-1
Honduras1500-1
Iran1500-1
OddsShark.com

 

A rematch of the last World Cup final, Spain vs. Netherlands stands as the obvious headliner of Friday's fixtures.

Disappointing showing at the 2013 Confederations Cup aside, La Roja remain as arguably the most talented side in the world. 

With a midfield of Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets and Xavi, they can hold possession for as long as they want. As ZonalMarking.net's Michael Cox noted, just watching Spain knock the ball around in training is mesmerizing: 

They are also strong in defense, with a reliable center-back pairing in Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, along with the ever-dangerous Jordi Alba, who provides width, pace and another option in attack from the left. 

Finding a true out-and-out striker may be Vicente del Bosque's biggest worry, but when your biggest worry is picking between Diego Costa, Fernando Torres and David Villa (or going with a false nine like Cesc Fabregas), it's hard to complain.

Throw in world-class players like Juan Mata, Koke and Santi Cazorla providing depth off the bench should Del Bosque need to change things up, and a repeat title is undoubtedly obtainable, even with Brazil, Argentina and Germany all serving as major obstacles. 

On the other side, this Netherlands group may not be as good as the 2010 version—or at least as experienced—but Oranje have the pieces to beat Spain. Most notably, Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder, who make up one of the best attacking trios in the world. 

Del Bosque, via ESPN's Dermot Corrigan, put it simply:

Holland have in charge a real football man, who I respect a lot. He conserves a lot of the essence of Dutch football, particularly with the players up front. The team has changed a lot in four years. But they are a team with a 'school' and a tradition. They always play well in World Cups.

The Netherlands have a load of international inexperience on defense and in the central midfield, but a move to a defensive, counter-attacking style could give Spain some problems. While it's not exactly the "Dutch way," it maximizes their potential to grab a point or three. 

Either way, it's an incredibly intriguing matchup, and as Bleacher Report's Cian Fahey argued, it has been hard not to look ahead in anticipation of this matchup:

Of course, that's hardly all Friday has to offer. Mexico takes on Cameroon in a must-win match for El Tri, while Chile, arguably the most enthralling attacking team in the world, will press forward for 90 minutes and be a must-watch against Australia. 

 

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