2014 World Cup Draw Review and Schedule

Brasil1 Fifa_world_cup_org

Well how about that? The Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup has come and gone and has left many of us stunned once again.

Here are the groups for the World Cup, along with dates and times for all of the games.

Group A
Brazil
Croatia
Mexico
Cameroon

Schedule:
June 12 – Brazil vs. Croatia 4 pm ET Sao Paolo
June 13 – Mexico vs. Cameroon Noon ET Natal
June 17 – Brazil vs. Mexico 3 pm ET Fortaleza
June 18 – Cameroon vs. Croatia 6 pm ET Manaus
June 23 – Cameroon vs. Brazil 4 pm ET Brasilia
June 23 – Croatia vs. Mexico 4 pm ET Recife

Host nation Brazil got what many have to describe as a dream draw. Brazil will be heavy favorites to not only come through the group but also make a deep run in the tournament. Mexico will consider themselves lucky to be drawn alongside Croatia, Cameroon and Brazil and will feel they are primed to advance to the knockout rounds once again. Croatia and Cameron will also have aspirations of advancing and if one of these teams were to make it through, I’d put my money on Croatia.

Final Group Standings Prediction
1. Brazil
2. Croatia
3. Mexico
4. Cameroon

Group B
Spain
Netherlands
Chile
Australia

Schedule:
June 13 – Spain vs. Netherlands 3 pm ET Salvador
June 13 – Chile vs. Australia 6 pm ET Cuiaba
June 18 – Spain vs. Chile 3 pm ET Rio De Janeiro
June 18 – Australia vs. Netherlands Noon ET Porto Alegre
June 23 – Australia vs. Spain Noon ET Curitiba
June 23 – Netherlands vs. Chile Noon ET Sao Paolo

Group B sees a rematch of the 2010 World Cup Final right off the bat as Spain meets the Netherlands on June 13 in Salvador. This is also the first time in World Cup history that the final matchup from the previous World Cup Finals is re-played in the Group Stage of the next World Cup Finals. Australia is the cleat odd man out in this group as Chile, Netherlands and Spain will all be battling it out for the 2 spots in the Round of 16. Spain will be the favorite to advance giving their enormous success of recent years which leaves the Netherlands and Chile to fight it out for 2nd place.

Final Group Standings Prediction
1. Spain
2. Netherlands
3. Chile
4. Australia

Group C
Colombia
Greece
Ivory Coast
Japan

Schedule:
June 14 – Colombia vs. Greece Noon ET Belo Horizonte
June 14 – Ivory Coast vs. Japan 9 pm ET Recife
June 19 – Colombia vs. Ivory Coast Noon ET Brasilia
June 19 – Japan vs. Greece 6 pm ET Natal
June 24 – Japan vs. Colombia 4 pm ET Cuiaba
June 24 – Greece vs. Ivory Coast 4 pm ET Fortaleza

Colombia has to feel like they got off the hook with this draw. With the potential of a true Group of Death very likely for Colombia at the start of the draw, a group consisting of Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan is a best case scenario. It would be a true upset at this point to see anyone other than Colombia win the group.

Final Group Standings Prediction
1. Colombia
2. Ivory Coast
3. Greece
4. Japan

Group D
Uruguay
Costa Rica
England
Italy

Schedule:
June 14 – Uruguay vs. Costa Rica 3 pm ET Fortaleza
June 14 – England vs. Italy 6 pm ET Manaus
June 19 – Uruguay vs. England 3 pm ET Sao Paolo
June 20 – Italy vs. Costa Rica Noon ET Recife
June 24 – Italy vs. Uruguay Noon ET Natal
June 24 – Costa Rica vs. England Noon ET Belo Horizonte

Group D sees 2010 semi-finalists Uruguay paired alongside Costa Rica, England and Italy. It could be argued that these 4 teams can finish anywhere from 1st to 4th in the final group standings. Uruguay, England and Italy are all in the top 15 in the latest FIFA Rankings and will hope to have a deep run in Brazil. Given recent results, I would put Italy as the early favorites to come through on top of Group D.

Final Group Standings Prediction
1. Italy
2. Uruguay
3. England
4. Costa Rica

Group E
Switzerland
Ecuador
France
Honduras

Schedule:
June 15 – Switzerland vs. Ecuador Noon ET Brasilia
June 15 – France vs. Honduras 3 pm ET Porto Alegre
June 20 – Switzerland vs. France 3 pm ET Salvador
June 20 – Honduras vs. Ecuador 6 pm ET Curitiba
June 25 – Honduras vs. Switzerland 4 pm ET Manaus
June 25 – Ecuador vs. France 4 pm ET Rio De Janeiro

Group E is another very even group which sees struggling France meet Ecuador, Switzerland and Honduras. Based on their history, France will be the early favorite here but look for Ecuador and Switzerland to push them until the end. Honduras will be another team to look out for as they will try to advance past the Group Stage for the first time.

Final Group Standings Prediction
1. Switzerland
2. Ecuador
3. France
4. Honduras

Group F
Argentina
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Iran
Nigeria

Schedule:
June 15 – Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina 6 pm ET Rio De Janeiro
June 16 – Iran vs. Nigeria 3 pm ET Curitiba
June 21 – Argentina vs. Iran Noon ET Belo Horizonte
June 21 – Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina 6 pm ET Cuiaba
June 25 – Nigeria vs. Argentina Noon ET Porto Alegre
June 25 – Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran Noon pm ET Salvador

Argentina has to be flying high after getting away with what is definitely the weakest group at the 2014 World Cup. Argentina will feel like they will be able to fly through Bosnia, Nigeria and Iran on their way to another Round of 16 appearance. Beyond Argentina, Bosnia seems like the early favorite to advance to the next round given their recent rise in world soccer.

Final Group Standings Prediction
1. Argentina
2. Bosnia-Herzegovina
3. Nigeria
4. Iran

Group G
Germany
Portugal
Ghana
United States

Schedule:
June 16 – Germany vs. Portugal Noon pm ET Salvador
June 16 – Ghana vs. United States 6 pm ET Natal
June 21 – Germany vs. Ghana 3 pm ET Fortaleza
June 22 – United States vs. Portugal 6 pm ET Manaus
June 26 – United States vs. Germany Noon ET Recife
June 26 – Portugal vs. Ghana Noon ET Brasilia

The dreaded “Group of Death” there always has to be one and once again it involves the United States. Group G is the only group where all teams advanced to the knockout round in 2010 but only 2 will go that far in 2014. Germany is the clear favorite to win the group but beyond that it is really up in the air. Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo, the United States is coming off its most successful year in their history and Ghana has always been a tough opponent in World Cup Finals. Group G is the only group at the 2014 World Cup where all 4 teams are currently in the top 25 of the FIFA Rankings.

Final Group Standings Prediction
1. Germany
2. United States
3. Portugal
4. Ghana

Group H
Belgium
Algeria
Russia
South Korea

Schedule:
June 17 – Belgium vs. Algeria Noon ET Belo Horizonte
June 17 – Russia vs. South Korea 6 pm ET Cuiaba
June 22 – Belgium vs. Russia Noon pm ET Rio De Janeiro
June 22 – South Korea vs. Algeria 3 pm ET Porto Alegre
June 26 – South Korea vs. Belgium 4 pm ET Sao Paolo
June 26 – Algeria vs. Russia 4 pm ET Curitiba

Belgium is another team that has to be very pleased with their draw. Belgium has quickly risen among the elite international teams with its infusion of young talent and will be primed for a deep run in Brazil. Russia seem like the early favorites to be the 2nd team out of Group H but South Korea and Algeria will surely be out to surprise everyone.

Final Group Standings Prediction
1. Belgium
2. Russia
3. South Korea
4. Algeria

*Several of the match times have already been changed to avoid playing in the intense Brazilian summer heat, so we can only assume more changed will be coming before June so keep an eye out for updated kick-off times.

– Joe

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About Joe Giordano

I'm a full bred New Yorker, born and raised. I take massive pride in also calling myself Italian as my father was born in Palermo, Italy and moved to the US when he was 15. My biggest passion is sports, all kinds of sports. I'm an avid Inter and Manchester United supporter while also supporting the hometown NY Red Bulls, Jets, Mets and Islanders. Outside of sports I thoroughly enjoy crime shows, my favorite tv show right now has to be Dexter. I have a love for animals, cats and dogs alike. I'm also a music fanatic. I like pretty much every type of music but my favorites have to be classic rock (nothing better than some Led Zeppelin) and the blues.
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