Got your wall chart pinned up? Sticker book nearly finished? Sweepstake sorted?
The start of the 2014 World Cup is creeping ever closer. So if you’ve yet to sort out any of the aforementioned pre-World Cup rituals, here at World Soccer Talk we’ve made things a little easier for you, by providing a full schedule on where all of our UK readers can catch the games.
So for those of you who will be cheering on England (maybe even against them!?), we’ve got you covered on where and when you view all of the group games at this summer’s showpiece. We’ve also got the lowdown on what to expect from the respective punditry teams that have been assembled by BBC and ITV, with some big names bound to put their opinions across this summer.
BBC’s World Cup Team
The unshakeably affable Gary Lineker will front the BBC’s coverage of the World Cup, with a stellar line-up of pundits set to provide a fascinating analytical edge throughout the competition.
Boasting big names like Rio Ferdinand and Thierry Henry amongst their guests, supporters can look forward to opinions from two players who are admittedly in the twilight of their careers, but familiar with the rigours of the today’s game and the demands of a modern day World Cup.
After the successful dynamic fashioned by Sky Sports in the recruitment of two successful, insightful and recently retired men in Gary Neville and then Jamie Carragher, the BBC will be hoping to strike a similar balance between the former Arsenal and Manchester United legends.
They’ll be joined seasoned BBC veterans Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen in front of the television cameras, whilst Robbie Savage, Chris Waddle and Brad Friedel will also lend their opinions over the course of the tournament.
ITV World Cup Team
Adrian Chiles will anchor ITV’s coverage of the competition and he’ll be joined by England international Andros Townsend in the studio. The Tottenham wide-man played a key role in the Three Lions’ qualification for Brazil, but injury curtailed his season early and subsequently ended his World Cup dream.
He’ll be able to provide a glimpse into what it’s like to be on the inside of Roy Hodgson’s dressing room, and ITV’s guest pundits—2006 World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, 1998 World Cup winner Patrick Vieira and Sunderland manager Gus Poyet—should also add an intriguing facet to their coverage.
They’ll join the ITV regulars, with the up-front views of former Manchester United man Roy Keane likely to prove typically divisive. Scotland manager Gordon Strachan and former England right-back Lee Dixon will also be part of the coverage.
All kick off times are noted in BST:
Brazil v Croatia (21:00, ITV)
Mexico v Cameroon (17:00, ITV)
Spain v Netherlands (20:00, BBC)
Chile v Australia (23:00, ITV)
Colombia v Greece (17:00, BBC)
Uruguay v Costa Rica (20:00, ITV)
England v Italy (23:00, BBC)
Ivory Coast v Japan (02:00, ITV)
Switzerland v Ecuador (17:00, ITV)
France v Honduras (20:00, BBC)
Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina (23:00, BBC)