The biggest football tournament in the world is set to get underway again and will showcase some of the biggest international teams on the planet, boasting a wealth of talent that spans across various domestic leagues including some of the best known leagues in the game, such as the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and the German Bundesliga.
With the competition already seeing the elimination of international sides that were unable to make the grade to qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil this summer, all heads are turning towards the 32 nations that are in with a chance of lifting the most coveted trophy in football.
Hosted by the most successful country in the history of the tournament, the conditions looks set to be a huge test for many nations as the weather looks to produce a humidity level that many players are unlikely to have experienced, meaning that host nation Brazil and their South American neighbors could well benefit from their experience of what squads should be looking to be forced to endure throughout the group stages and beyond.[box class=”sb_orange” title=”Upcoming FIFA World Cup Match Predictions”]The FIFA World Cup is finally here and we have compiled some expert picks for the early games going on in Brazil this year. We will continually keep this section updated with World Cup picks throughout the entire event, so bookmark Picks.org today!
2014 World Cup Final Picks and Analysis:
Our pick for the 2014 World Cup Final is in for Germany vs Argentina!!! Good luck!![/box]
The 2014 World Cup Finals Schedule
The World Cup looks set to kick off in June with the host nation Brazil taking to the field against the first of their group opponents but with eight groups of four countries all getting ready to make a bid for glory, there is plenty of football action on show.
With the group stages drawn at random, groups offer a huge variety of talent throughout the upcoming fixtures, seeing some of the very best international sides doing battle for one of the two places within their group that will allow them to advance into the last sixteen phase of the competition, at which point the nations will be fighting for their life in an elimination format that you can be sure is set to bring the best out of all nations that have advanced through the initial group phase.
The action kicks off with the group phase starting June 12th with action then leading into the knockout phase of the contest that will see the first of last sixteen nations beginning their push to reach the final 28th June.
The nations that are able to battle their way through the knockout stage of the tournament will be then given the chance to battle for the solid gold trophy on 13th July, where the winner of the final will be crowned the champions of the world, a title that they will hold for four years until they are forced to contest their title in the next FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Brazil 2014 Stadiums and Locations
Following the announcement that the World Cup was to be played in Brazil this year, there was a lot of concern about the conditions that the newly appointed host nations would be able to provide in terms of their stadia, however Brazil have stepped up to the plate and invested heavily to ensure that they can make the tournament as magical as possible.
The way in which the tournament is to be played means that there are various locations across Brazil that will be hosting the fixtures within their stadiums, meaning that some of the stadia will boast bigger capacity levels than others, so below we have a list of all of the stadiums and their capacity levels.
World Cup 2014 Groups
Brazil (Hosts) – Croatia – Mexico – Cameroon
Group A holds the host nation who have also been priced on average at 3/1 to win the tournament on home soil alongside their status as being the favourites to win the four nation group, however the competition seems to focused towards which of the other three nations will be able to secure their place within the last sixteen of the tournament with opinion seeming to be split towards which of the remaining three countries will be able to do enough to seal the second place finish to advance.
Spain – Netherlands – Chile – Australia
Group B holds a wealth of international talent and is the starting point of current world champions Spain who have been on a string of good tournaments after winning both the World Cup in 2010 and following their success at this level with their capture of the Euro 2012 title.
Australia are considered to be the least favoured nation to advance from the ground due to bookies believing that both Chile and The Netherlands have more ability throughout their squad but the form of some of the Dutch nationals looks likely to push them towards the knockout phase.
Columbia – Greece – Cote d’Ivoire – Japan
Group C seems to offer a real chance for any of the members to be able to make their claim towards a qualifying position with Africa based Cote d’Ivoire thought to present a large threat to the remaining three nations thanks to their strength and aerial ability, but could that opinion be set to fail with Japan emerging as a well-rehearsed side and Greece looking to channel their own Euro 04 success?
Uruguay – Costa Rica – England – Italy
Group D presents a group that is sure to offer a tight battle as England, Uruguay and Italy all make a bid to secure their place in one of the two advancing positions but Costa Rica look like they could be used as a deciding factor after all… Depending on which of the nations can record the biggest win against them.
Switzerland – Ecuador – France – Honduras
France are again set to line up against the Swiss, a nation that they have a wealth of history against on the international scene and with the bookies clearly pricing them as the most likely to win the group, which of the three remaining nations will be able to do enough to secure the second place finish and avoid an early exit from the tournament?
Argentina – Bosnia-Herzegovina – Iran – Nigeria
South Americans Argentina are set to lead the pursuit for the top spot in Group F but with Bosnia in fine form and showing throughout the qualifiers that they possess the ability to make their opponents suffer if given a sight of goal, will there be a shock winner of the group?
Nigeria have shown that they possess pace and strength to de-rail some of the biggest nations in the game, so could they be set to try to take one of the advancing positions from the two nations that the bookies believe could be battling for the first place finish?
Germany – Portugal – Ghana – USA
Group G is another of the highlights of the group phase with Germany and Portugal set to lock horns once again as both nations look to secure the coveted top spot but with Ghana showing that they can compete in the bigger games previously, will the group play out as the bookies believe or will there be a little more drama to come from the underdogs in the group?
Belgium – Algeria – Russia – Korea Republic
Belgium may not be one of the first names that you would have thought about when trying to predict which nation would be able to compete to win World Cup 2014 this summer but their squad contains some of the best players in the world this year and that has led to bookies making them one of their outside favorites to de-rail a South American victory this year.
With the likely qualifiers looking like Belgium and Russia, Korea and Algeria have nothing to lose and everything to gain as they take to the field little expectation for them… However that could make them dangerous.