World Cup 2014 Has A Cracking Set Of Fixtures On Opening Week

By Stowe Gregory
Witters Sport-USA Today Sports

The draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil has lined up a set of great opening matches for us to look forward to next summer. Despite fans all having their own nations to support, the main thing we all want from a World Cup is entertainment, and it looks like we will get that.

The five days from June 12 to 17 next year have some cracking fixtures. Brazil vs. Croatia is the opening game of the tournament. Brazil will be the most hyped-up you have possibly ever seen a footballing nation, with their entire nation not only passionate, but craving for World Cup glory once again. On home turf vs. a decent and fiery Croatia side, we can hope for a exciting start to the tournament.

But the highlight of those opening rounds takes place on day two: Spain vs. Netherlands. What a start we have in store here with the repeat of the 2010 World Cup Final. Their last encounter was a hot-blooded showdown, and you can be sure there is some revenge to be desired from both sides.

Fast forward a day later to the 14th, and it is another huge European matchup: England vs Italy in the Amazon rain forest. With humidity at 99 percent, the two sides will be out of their comfort zones. Even at that stage, it could be a vital result with Uruguay waiting as the other strong nation in the group.

Later that week, there are fixtures which don’t quite catch the eye as much at first, but are likely to provide some real competitive action. Iran vs. Nigeria, Switzerland vs. Ecuador are likely to be close games.

Late in opening week, we are in for another treat as Germany will take on Portugal. The Germans are by far one of the strongest nations of the 32 while Portugal posses Cristiano Ronaldo. It is that type of match you won’t want to miss. It will be followed that night by Ghana vs. USA too. That is a repeat of a 2010 group stage match. The USA have never beaten Ghana and with such a tough group, it is a must-win fixture.

Stowe Gregory is a Soccer and Sports writer for Follow him or tweet on Twitter @stowegregory. Or add to circles on Google+.


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