World Cup Schedule 2014: Vital Viewing Info for Best Group Matches in Brazil

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2014

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Neymar of Brazil (C) celebrates his second goal with Hernanes in the second half during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil promises to be one of the best in recent memory due to the sheer amount of top contenders. Any number of teams could potentially win this tournament, which makes every match hugely important.

As good as the knockout rounds are, it can be argued that no stage of the World Cup is more entertaining than the group round. Not only does it feature plenty of David vs. Goliath matchups, but it also pits some of the top soccer powers in the world against each other.

With so many excellent matches on the upcoming slate, here is the full viewing schedule for the 2014 World Cup, along with further analysis regarding the very best matches the group stage has to offer.

 

World Cup Schedule

2014 World Cup Schedule and TV Info
DateMatchupStart Time (ET)TVLive Stream
Thu, June 12Group A: Brazil vs. Croatia4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Fri, June 13Group A: Mexico vs. Cameroon12 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Fri, June 13Group B: Spain vs. Netherlands3 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Fri, June 13Group B: Chile vs. Australia6 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Sat, June 14Group C: Colombia vs. Greece12 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sat, June 14Group D: Uruguay vs. Costa Rica3 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sat, June 14Group D: England vs. Italy6 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sat, June 14Group C: Ivory Coast vs. Japan9 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sun, June 15Group E: Switzerland vs. Ecuador12 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sun, June 15Group E: France vs. Honduras3 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sun, June 15Group F: Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina6 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Mon, June 16Group G: Germany vs. Portugal12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Mon, June 16Group F: Iran vs. Nigeria3 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Mon, June 16Group G: Ghana vs. United States6 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, June 17Group H: Belgium vs. Algeria12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, June 17Group A: Brazil vs. Mexico3 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, June 17Group H: Russia vs. South Korea6 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Wed, June 18Group B: Australia vs. Netherlands12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Wed, June 18Group B: Spain vs. Chile3 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Wed, June 18Group A: Cameroon vs. Croatia6 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Thu, June 19Group C: Colombia vs. Ivory Coast12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Thu, June 19Group D: Uruguay vs. England3 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Thu, June 19Group C: Japan vs. Greece6 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Fri, June 20Group D: Italy vs. Costa Rica12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Fri, June 20Group E: Switzerland vs. France3 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Fri, June 20Group E: Honduras vs. Ecuador6 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sat, June 21Group F: Argentina vs. Iran12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sat, June 21Group G: Germany vs. Ghana3 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sat, June 21Group F: Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina6 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sun, June 22Group H: Belgium vs. Russia12 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sun, June 22Group H: South Korea vs. Algeria3 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sun, June 22Group G: United States vs. Portugal6 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Mon, June 23Group B: Netherlands vs. Chile12 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Mon, June 23Group B: Australia vs. Spain12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Mon, June 23Group A: Croatia vs. Mexico4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Mon, June 23Group A: Cameroon vs. Brazil4 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Tue, June 24Group D: Italy vs. Uruguay12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, June 24Group D: Costa Rica vs. England12 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Tue, June 24Group C: Japan vs. Colombia4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, June 24Group C: Greece vs. Ivory Coast4 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Wed, June 25Group F: Nigeria vs. Argentina12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Wed, June 25Group F: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran12 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Wed, June 25Group E: Ecuador vs. France4 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Wed, June 25Group E: Honduras vs. Switzerland4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Thu, June 26Group G: United States vs. Germany12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Thu, June 26Group G: Portugal vs. Ghana12 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Thu, June 26Group H: South Korea vs. Belgium4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Thu, June 26Group H: Algeria vs. Russia4 p.m.ESPN2WatchESPN
Sat, June 28Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up12 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sat, June 28Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up4 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sun, June 29Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sun, June 29Group D winner vs. Group C runner-up4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Mon, June 30Group E winner vs. Group F runner-up12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Mon, June 30Group G winner vs. Group H runner-up4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, July 1Group F winner vs. Group E runner-up12 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, July 1Group H winner vs. Group G runner-up4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sat, July 5Quarterfinal12 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
Sat, July 5Quarterfinal4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Tue, July 8Semifinal4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Wed, July 9Semifinal4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sat, July 12Third Place Game4 p.m.ESPNWatchESPN
Sun, July 13Final4 p.m.ABCWatchESPN
ABCNews.com

 

Top Group Matches to Watch

Germany vs. Portugal

Group G is considered by many to be the "group of death" in this year's World Cup, which is largely due to the presence of Germany and Portugal. Germany are considered to be among the top contenders to win the World Cup, while Portugal aren't far behind. They will meet to kick off Group G play in a match that should set the tone for the entire group.

If one of the two sides lose, they will be in a precarious position, as it will leave them vulnerable to be surpassed by either the United States or Ghana. Germany will be favored in this match due largely to their depth throughout the lineup. The Germans have plenty of excellent attackers, including Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze. Perhaps most importantly, though, they have one of the world's best goalkeepers in Manuel Neuer.

Portugal have plenty of talent as well, but there is no doubt that world-class striker Cristiano Ronaldo is the biggest key to the side's success. Ronaldo has been dealing with some injuries as of late, however, and he left training early Thursday with a knee ailment, according to NBC Sports Soccer:

Ronaldo's status for the match against Germany is somewhat in question, but even if he plays he may not be himself. If Ronaldo is unable to move forward with speed and confidence, Portugal will have a very difficult time in this match.

If he is healthy, though, this could be the best match of the entire tournament.

 

Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Due largely to the presence of Lionel Messi, Argentina are considered a major threat to win the 2014 World Cup on their home continent of South America. Most seem to believe that La Albiceleste will waltz through what looks like a fairly easy group on the surface, but the Argentinians won't be able to beat a team like Bosnia and Herzegovina without putting forth maximum effort.

The Bosnians were spectacular in qualifying to reach their first-ever World Cup, and they may have enough firepower to give Argentina some trouble. The striker combination of Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic is as dynamic as any in the entire tournament, so Bosnia may be able to keep pace with the explosive Argentinians.

One person who firmly believes Bosnia have a shot against Argentina is Bosnia and Herzegovina winger Izet Hajrovic, according to Ryan Benson of Goal.com:

Physically we are ready. We played great in the preparatory matches against the Ivory Coast and Mexico so we expect to be (great) in Sunday's encounter with Argentina. We're doing well and I believe we are at (the level of) and maybe even better than Argentina. The normal thing is to have a bit of stage fright because we play the first game ever at the World Cup finals. However, it will be great motivation.
Everyone expects to play and get a result, supporters say we will and this will get us our place in the second round.

A Bosnia win over Argentina would be considered a major upset, but Bosnia don't seem to see it that way. Regardless of the result, this will most definitely be an exciting affair with plenty of attacking.

 

Uruguay vs. England

If Group G isn't the toughest group in the entire World Cup, then that distinction belongs to Group D. It features three former World Cup champions in Uruguay, England and Italy, as well as Costa Rica. Since the top three teams are expected to beat up on the over-matched CONCACAF side, the results between will be key.

Uruguay and England will each have a match under their belts when they play, and their match could very well determine the fate of the group as a whole. Another thing that will have a major impact on the group, though, is the health of Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. The Liverpool star tied the EPL single-season record with 31 goals this past season and is the biggest key to La Celeste's success in Brazil.

Suarez underwent knee surgery a few weeks ago, and it is unknown when he will be ready to return to action. According to SuperSport Blitz, Suarez is making progress in his recovery:

Per Sky Sports, Suarez himself conveyed in a video on Twitter that he is improving as well.

"Hello to everyone, I wanted to tell you that my knee is getting better. I feel very good, I have to go day by day, but everything is on the right way," Suarez said. "I wanted to thank you all for the support I received during this week and now my mind is focused on the World Cup."

If Suarez is not fit to play against England, things certainly shift in Three Lions' favor. England have plenty of attacking flair in their own right with Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge leading the charge, so it would be difficult for Edinson Cavani to do it all virtually on his own without help from Suarez.

The hope is that Suarez will be able to play in that match, because it will be an extremely compelling one if both teams are at full strength.

 

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