By Chris Rowland.
The final preview has the cliched, fabled Group of Death (though England’s is pretty tough) of Germany, Portugal, Ghana (let’s see if anyone can mention them without mentioning Suarez’s handball. Just a note to all of them who do – it wasn’t Suarez who missed the resultant penalty, it was Asamoah Gyan) and USA. Group G is its official name.
Finally there’s the much-fancied Belgians In Group H, though the absence of Benteke and possible injury to Lukaku drastically reduces their firepower. Capello’s Russia, Algeria and South Korea complete the line-up
As ever – you’ll have the hang of this by now- the winners of Group G will play the runners-up in Group H and vice versa in the Second Round.
So that’s it. Previews done, sweepstake done. It’s the opening ceremony and the hosts v Croatia tonight, and maybe a spot of protesting and tear gas too. Let the competition commence.
This preview is for subscribers only.