Brazil World Cup 2014 Groups
The tournament will run from Thursday June 12 with the opening match at the Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo until Sunday 13th July with the final at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
All the team details can be found below including team profiles, team shirts (including home and away shirts, shorts and socks), player ratings, FIFA rankings, coaches, predictions, betting odds, fixtures, results, and full squads.
Brazil Croatia Mexico Cameroon
A fairly easy group for the hosts Brazil. Mexico struggled in qualification, coming through a play off with New Zealand.
Brazil coach Scolari will be hoping to repeat his World Cup 2002 success, this time on home soil. He will look to the attacking talents of Neymar, Hulk, Fred, Oscar and Willian to bring the goals.
Croatia coach Niko Kovac will look to the quality of Real Madrid play maker Luka Modric, Sevilla's Ivan Rakitic, England-based stars Dejan Lovren, Niko Kranjcar and Nikica Jelavic and the experience of Vedran Corluka and Eduardo.
Cameroon still rely on striker Samuel Eto'o for firepower and squad members Assou-Ekotto, Alex Song, Pierre Webo and Joel Matip will be familiar to European fans.
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera, lacks experience outside Mexico and could well struggle with a squad that includes Javier Hernandez from Manchester United, ex-Fulham Carlos Salcido and ex-Spurs striker Giovani dos Santos now at Villareal.
Spain Netherlands Chile Australia
Holders Spain top the Fifa World Rankings and Vincente del Bosque can call on a vast array of talent, though the feeling is this tournament may see the end of Spain's dominance. Look out for Manchester City's trio of David Silva, Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas to make an impression and as always Xavi, Iniesta, Casillas, Fabregas - all world class players.
Louis van Gaal, heir apparent to the Manchester United job will rely on a core of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Klaas van Huntelaar to carry the team through a difficult group.
Chile have been a team on the rise with impressive friendly wins over England and narrow loses to Germany and Brazil. Arturo Vidal from Juve, Barca's Alexis Sanchez and Gary Medel are the main stars.
Australia look as if they will struggle at this level and made hard work of qualification in Asia. J-League striker Josh Kennedy and Tim Cahill will lead the attack in a squad made up of domestic A-League players and various nomads from Korea, Japan, Qatar, China, Russia, MLS, and the lower leagues of Germany and England.
Colombia Greece Ivory Coast Japan
Group C is a very open group that is difficult to predict. All four teams will have confidence they can progress.
Colombia will hope that Radamel Falcao will be fit to play but their star striker will surely not be fully recovered from his knee injury sustained while playing for Monaco. Carlos Bacca is a good back up striker along with Porto's Jackson Martinez. Monaco's James Rodriquez pulls the strings in midfield.
Euro 2004 champions Greece have changed their style slightly under Portuguese coach Fernando Sanchez - they are even more defensive! Greece can through the play-offs with a win over Romania. Giorgos Samaras, Giorgos Karagounis and Kostas Mitroglou will be familiar to fans in Britain.
Ivory Coast have some great attacking talent: Didier Drogba, Wilfred Bony and Yaya Toure not to mention Gervinho, revived at Roma after flopping at Arsenal. It's at the back and in goal that Ivory Coast look weak.
Japan will be hoping to repeat their form of World Cup 2010 in South Africa but have had problems at the back. Stars Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda have had less than spectacular club form. Yuto Nagatomo is "Mr. Consistency" at left back for Inter.
Uruguay Costa Rica England Italy
This is a very tough group indeed and another "Group of Death" after Group G. In fact with 3 teams in the in the top 10 of the last Fifa Rankings before the World Cup this is the real "Group of Death".
Uruguay have a stellar attack with Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan but are weak at the back with the exception of Atletico's centerback Diego Godin. Gaston Ramirez will be known to Premier League fans of Southampton.
Costa Rica coach is Jorge Luis Pinto from Colombia. His squad includes Keylor Navas from Levante in Spain, Bryan Ruiz from PSV and veteran Alvaro Saborio from Real Salt Lake. Pinto likes to play with two forwards positioned out wide supported by two wingers. Overall, Costa Rica will probably be squeezed by their more illustrious opponents who have all won a World Cup.
England's squad consists of 22 players from the Premier League and Fraser Forster from Celtic in the Scottish Premier League. Coach Roy Hodgson has gone with a young group including Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling. There is no room for veteran Ashley Cole. On South America soil it is difficult to see England doing well and expectation is low.
Cesare Prandelli's squad includes the talents of Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile, Juve's Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo and Roma's Daniele de Rossi. Mario Balotelli is the team's wild card, though he had a poor season with a poor AC Milan side.
Switzerland Ecuador France Honduras
Group E looks wide open with France looking favorites to progress.
Switzerland won European qualifying group E and have former Premier League defenders Reto Zweigler (ex-Spurs) and Philippe Senderos (ex-Arsenal) in their squad.
Quality is supplied by Juve's Stephan Lichtsteiner, Napoli duo Gokhan Inler and Valon Behrami and Bayern's Xherdan Shaqiri.
Ecuador rely on Manchester United's Antonio Valencia who had a poor season under David Moyes. Ecuador have the advantage of playing on their home continent and may edge in to second place in the group.
France have an array of great players at their disposal drawn from Europe's top leagues and should progress easily under coach Didier Deschamps. There are nine players from the Premier League in the French squad, eight from the French league, three from La Liga in Spain and one each from Serie A (Paul Pogba) and the Bundesliga (Franck Ribery).
Honduras, under coach Luis Suarez, claimed third place in qualifying from the Concacaf region and though they impress going forward tend to leak goals at the back. Players with Premier League experience include Wilson Palacios and Maynor Figueroa.
|Bosnia & H.|
Argentina, blessed with the attacking skills of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuan and Angel di Maria could find no room for Juve's Carlos Teves, which shows the talent available to coach Alex Sabella. Argentina should breeze through this group and are one of the bookies' favorites to win the World Cup.
Bosnia & Herzegovina are making their first appearance at a major tournament and have some excellent players: Edin Dzeko at Manchester City, Vedad Ibisevic at Stuttgart, Senan Lulic at Lazio and Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.
Iran, under coach Carlos Queiroz, did well to qualify after missing out in 2010, but lack quality with the Portuguese having to rely on mostly domestic talent. Ashkan Dejagah and Reza Ghoochannejhad play in England with Fulham and Charlton respectively. Unlikely to progress from the group.
Nigeria have a solid but unspectacular squad and their game against Bosnia may determine who joins Argentina in the knockout stages. UK-based players include John Obi Mikel (Chelsea), Peter Odemwingie (Stoke City), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United) and Victor Moses (Liverpool).
Germany Portugal Ghana USA
A very tough group indeed. Is this the "Group of Death?" Certainly with four very strong teams in contention. Fifa rankings would have the two European teams progressing but that is not a given by any means.
Germany have an experienced squad but look light on forwards. Who is going to score the goals created by the midfield talents of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil? Maybe that wonderful midfield will score the goals on their own.
Portugal relied on captain and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to bring them through a play-off with Sweden. Other standout players are the Real Madrid defenders Fabio Coentrao and Pepe.
Ghana have a number of famous veterans such as Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien (both AC Milan) and Asamoah Gyan (now in the UAE). The best of the younger talent is Afriyie Acquah at Parma.
The USA, competing in their 10th World Cup, can call on the experience of Landon Donovan (subsequently left off the squad) and Clint Dempsey but look short of fire power upfront, where Chris Wondolowski may get his chance. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be looking for hard work, organization and team spirit to carry them through the group.
Belgium Algeria Russia South Korea
A tight group with all four teams in with a real chance of progression.
Belgium have produced their best team since World Cup 2002 with an excellent goalkeeper in Thibaut Coutois, an inspirational captain in Vincent Kompany and real talent in the feet of Eden Hazard and Adnan Januzaj. Add some good forwards in Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas and Belgium should be favorites to progress.
Algeria draw their squad from various leagues in Europe with only four home-based players in the provisional squad. Could spring a surprise with a youthful and talented team.
Fabio Capello is back at the World Cup, this time with Russia, and all the final squad play their football in Russia mostly with the big Moscow clubs. It is hard to see Russia going far in the tournament with team preparations focussed more on the next World Cup, which they host.