World Cup 2014: Your guide to Group A - Brazil; Croatia; Mexico; Cameroon

The lowdown on the teams in Group A

Fixtures (times BST):

June 12 Sao Paulo, 2100: Brazil v Croatia

June 13 Natal, 1700: Mexico v Cameroon

June 17 Fortaleza, 2000: Brazil v Mexico

June 18 Manaus, 2000: Cameroon v Croatia

June 23 Brasilia, 2100: Cameroon v Brazil

June 23 Recife, 2100: Croatia v Mexico

Brazil

How they qualified

Hosts

Key player

Oscar (Chelsea) The preferred playmaker under Jose Mourinho, Oscar will be crucial in making the Brazil attack click.

Dangerman

Neymar (Barcelona) Full of Brazilian flair and creativity, the Barcelona starlet will be in his element at the World Cup.

World Cup best

Five-times winners, most recently in Korea in 2002.

Premier League interest

Plenty – David Luiz, Lucas Leiva, Oscar, Ramires, Paulinho. QPR’s Julo Cesar could well feature too.

Most expensive

Neymar - £50m from Santos to Barcelona, 2013.

 

WORLD CUP 2014 INTERACTIVE GUIDE: The groups, fixtures, route to the final, venues and past winners

 

Croatia

How they qualified

Beat Iceland in play-off

Key player

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) The playmaker will be Croatia’s biggest attacking threat at Brazil next year. The Madrid midfielder has been a key figure for both Croatia and Real Madrid this year.

Dangerman

Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich) The Champions League winner was joint top scorer at Euro 2012 and will be looking to continue this form into Brazil next year. 

World Cup best

Third place (1998)

Premier League interest

Nikica Jelavic of Everton and Dejan Lovren of Southampton.

Most expensive

Luka Modric from Tottenham to Real Madrid for a fee in the region of £33 million, 2012.

Mexico

How they qualified

Beat New Zealand in play off

Key player

Giovani dos Santos (Villarreal) The former Mallorca midfielder has scored 6 goals in 13 appearances for Villarreal since his transfer from Mallorca in the summer of 2013.

Dangerman

Javier Hernandez (Manchester United) The striker has scored 35 goals in 57 appearances for Mexico.

World Cup best

Quarter Finals (1970, 1986)

Premier League interest

Hernandez.

Most expensive

Nery Castillo, from Olympiacos to Shakhtar Donetsk for a fee in the region on £15 million, 2007.

 

Cameroon

How they qualified

CAF Third Round Winners

World Cup best

Quarter-finals (1990)

Key player

Jean Makoun (Rennes) The solid Rennes midfielder will bring a wealth of experience to the World Cup with his 55 appearances for his country so far.

Dangerman

Samuel Eto’o (Chelsea) Despite a few years away in Russia, the talent of Eto’o cannot be underestimated. On form, the Cameroon striker can be one of the most clinical strikers in the game.

Premier League interest

Eto’o, and Norwich City’s Sebastien Bassong.

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