Assuming that construction on all of the requisite buildings is completed on time, the 2014 FIFA World Cup will begin on Thursday, and Newcastle fans will have plenty of action to be invested in. Four current players (and three more with very close ties to the team) will represent their nations in the month-long tournament.
France, represented by right back Mathieu Debuchy (probably) and midfielder Moussa Sissoko, as well as former players Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy, will be competing in Group E. All four players are expected to play significant roles, assuming clean bills of health. Cote d'Ivoire will feature Cheik Tiote at midfield, and they are competing in Group C. Group B's Netherlands team will carry goalkeeper Tim Krul, who is backing up Michel Vorm. Toon supporters will also likely be keeping tabs on long-time forward Shola Ameobi, who will be leading the Nigerian attack in Group F.
Group Stage Fixtures
All times are BST (UTC+1)
Spain - Netherlands, 2000
Iran - Nigeria, 2000
Australia - Netherlands, 1700
Colombia - Cote d'Ivoire, 1700
Switzerland - France, 2000
Nigeria - Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2300
Netherlands - Chile, 1700
Greece - Cote d'Ivoire, 2100
*This match is officially listed on the previous day due to the local start time.
The knockout stages will begin on 28 June. Look out for a possible Round of 16 clash between France and Nigeria, which would happen if one team won their group and the other finished second in theirs. I'm personally rooting for this.