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2014 World Cup, opening ceremony and Brazil vs. Croatia: Open thread

Happy World Cup day, CFC! Let's talk about the football. And Pitbull!

Warren Little

Hey there everyone, there's some sportsball on today. Brazil take on Croatia in the opening game of the World Cup, but the match is preceded by an opening ceremony. That ceremony might have some cool Brazilian performers, but it's mostly Pitbull. Dale!

This is your open thread. Expect what you see below to appear in our World Cup threads for every day of the tournament. They'll be a helpful guide for you, and the rest of them will be up early AM ET, early afternoon in Europe.

The games

Brazil vs. Croatia - 4 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. UK: Good news! The Sao Paulo transit strike is over. Bad news! The temporary seating in the Corinthians Arena hasn't been tested at full capacity. As far as the actual match, it's going to be fun. I'm expecting Croatia to make it hard on Brazil by keeping the ball well.

Any Spurs players involved?

Just one today. Paulinho should start for Brazil and he's a key player for them. He's the box-to-box midfielder in their kinda 4-2-3-1, kinda 4-3-3 formation. Luiz Gustavo holds behind him while Oscar plays as the most advanced central midfielder. Sandro, unfortunately, missed out due to a lack of fitness and lost form this year.

How about former Spurs?

As you probably know, Croatia has a few. Luka Modric is arguably one of our greatest ever players, while Vedran Corluka had a nice spell at the club. Both will start. Sadly, Niko Kranjcar had to withdraw from the team due to an injury. Also, former Spurs loanee Stipe Pletikosa will start in goal. And, uhh, does Willian count?

Any transfer targets or rival players I'm probably interested in?

Chelsea trio Oscar, Willian and Ramires both play for Brazil, with Oscar starting and Ramires backing up Paulinho. Suck on that, Chelsea! Willian should be a key sub, and could eventually take over for Hulk if the Zenit man has a bad first game or two.

As far as transfer targets, one of our biggest ones will be starting in defense for Croatia. Keep an eye on Southampton man Dejan Lovren, who should be the left central defender next to Corluka. We've also been linked to Bernard, a potential super sub for Brazil.

How do I watch these games?

In the United States, you can watch on ESPN in English and Univision in Spanish. Both of those networks also show the game online on their streaming platform. The same goes for the UK, where you can watch the game on ITV or the ITV Player, and Canada, where you can watch on CBC and the CBC Sports player. Check LiveSoccerTV for listings in your country.