Top five epic clashes at the FIFA World Cup you can't miss!

Jun 12, 2014, 08:40 IST | Ashwin Ferro

As the FIFA World Cup 2014 begins in Brazil today, we give you five of the most mouth-watering World Cup preliminary clashes that you just cannot afford to miss...

June 13 (Fri) Spain vs Holland
Andres IniestaA repeat of the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa. Just that one would not expect Holland to put up a jaded show as they did four years ago. Spain's Andres Iniesta, who took the Cup away from the Oranje with his strike then, will again be the playmaker to watch!

Spain 4 wins; 13 goals
1 draw
Holland 4 wins; 10 goals

June 14 (Sat) England vs Italy
Mario BalotelliBeing England's first match of this World Cup, the build-up to the game will be exciting as hell. Add to this, the involvement of Italy's maverick striker Mario Balotelli and the game promises to be a sure-shot firecracker.

England 8 wins; 30 goals
7 draws
Italy 9 wins; 27 goals

June 16 (Mon) Germany vs Portugal
Mesut OzilGermany have historically dominated the Portuguese given their 9-3 head-to-head lead. However, Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is on a high having recently won the Champions League with Real Madrid. German striker Mesut Ozil is in top form too.

Germany 9 wins; 25 goals
5 draws
Portugal 3 wins; 16 goals

June 19 (Thur) England vs Uruguay
Steven GerrardEurope vs South America or physicality vs flair battle is one to be lapped up. Throw in another maverick striker Luis Suarez and it will only add to the excitement. More so as he is up against his Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard who leads the Englishmen.

England 3 wins; 10 goals
3 draws
Uruguay 4 wins; 13 goals

June 24 (Tue) Italy vs Uruguay
Diego ForlanTouted as the battle of the mavericks — Balotelli vs Suarez — the clash is also the last league match for both teams and their fate in the tournament could depend on it. Veteran forward Diego Forlan is known to excel in such pressure-cooker situations.

Italy 2 wins; 7 goals
4 draws
Uruguay 2 wins; 7 goals

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