France vs Croatia
World Cup 2018 Final
Date: Sunday, 15 July 2018
Kick-Off at 16:00 UK / 17:00 CET
Venue: Stadion Luzhniki, Moscow.
It all came down to a single match as France and Croatia take all the glory of featuring the most important contest football can offer.
Will Les Bleus take their second World Cup silverware in third final or will Croatia complete the dream run and lift the magical trophy in maiden appearance in the last game of the event?
Stay tuned as Sunday brings us the very last action of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
France and Croatia take on each other in the replay of the 1998 semi-final when Les Bleus won after a comeback.
Croatia came back from one-goal deficit in all of three knockout-stake games to reach their first ever World Cup final.
France have been there twice in the past, winning the title on their soil in 1998 and falling to Italy 2006 in Germany.
France vs Croatia Match Preview
What a route it was for the Croats to reach the Moscow glory. They were forced into penalty shootout series against both Denmark and Russia before, passed both thrilling tests successfully, and went on to complete the magnificent comeback after another stunning 120 minutes against the Three Lions on Wednesday.
It was now or never for the golden generation of Croatian footballers, guided by La Liga stars Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric, empowered by the all-time warrior Mario Mandzukic, and completed with super capable wingers Ivan Perisic and Andrej Kramaric.
The head coach Zlatko Dalic instilled the winning mentality into the heads of these players making them look like a team impossible to beat as Croatia came back from a goal deficit in each of three knockout stage matches against remarkable opponents such as Denmark, Russia and England.
Remember, they did it all after cruising through one of the toughest groups, beating Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland to clinch nine points there.
Can they complete a marvellous run with a success in one last game, biggest than any their nation has ever seen in the past? Can they survive the final France test on Sunday at the same Luzhniki Stadium?
As much as they might attract sympathies all over the globe, we have to be realistic and say the Blazers head into this as pretty clear underdogs.
France look powerful, they entered the tournament being one of main contenders to go all the way and they entirely justified the tag without being prolific in most of their affairs. Didier Deschamps has it all in his ranks.
He has the amazing defensive line with Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti as centre-backs, he has the best midfield destructors in the game on the likes of N’golo Kante and Blaise Matuidi, and finally he has the pace, speed and strength up front with Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud.
France vs Croatia Team News and Predicted Line-ups
France Team News
- Didier Deschamps does not have any problems with injured players ahead of the final against Croatia.
- Blaise Matuidi returned from suspension to feature the semi-final against Belgium.
- We can expect the same starting XI Deschamps used in the match against the Red Devils.
France Predicted Starting Eleven (4-2-3-1)
Lloris – Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez – Kante, Pogba – Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi – Giroud.
Croatia Team News
- Sime Vrsaljko was allegedly struggling with fitness before the semi-final against England, but he went on to feature the 120 minutes without problems.
- Marcelo Brozovic was introduced back into the starting line-up on the expense of Hoffenheim forward Andrej Kramaric.
- Croatia looked very well on the pitch in the 4-1-4-1 formation and we expect them to line-up the same team in the final against France.
Croatia Predicted Starting Eleven (4-1-4-1)
Subasic – Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic – Brozovic – Rebic, Modric, Rakitic, Perisic – Mandzukic.
France vs Croatia Head-to-head
Croatia are looking for the revenge for the loss in the 1998 World Cup semi-final when Lilian Thuram bagged a brace to complete a comeback (his first ever goals for the national side).
It was the first ever head to head clash between the two teams. France remained undefeated in following four as well, drawing two and winning two along the way.
Last two ties, however, ended up without a winner as France and Croatia shared spoils in a group-stage tie at EURO 2004 as well as in a 2011 friendly (0-0).
France vs Croatia Predictions
France showed no weak side so far in the tournament. They were in danger in the last 16 round when Gabriel Mercado pushed Argentina ahead just after the restart, but Kylian Mbappe quickly turned things around as Les Bleus bagged three more goals until the end.
The Les Bleus haven’t conceded ever since that last 16 round, beating both Uruguay and Belgium to nil, and quite a remarkable achievement you have to admit.
They have never previously been beaten by Croatia and we simply have to see them as favourites to lift the trophy.
You can back the scenario which includes extra-time and penalties at 1.44, while braver tipsters can go with the French win inside the 90 minutes of play at 1.95.
We expect a tight and nervous game which could see the tired Croatian squad struggling to create in the final third. France to win 2-0 is our correct score prediction at the odds of 8.00.
Predicted Full-Time Result is a clean sheet victory for France.
France vs Croatia Betting Tips
France to win @ 1.95.
France to lift the trophy (including extra-time and penalties) @ 1.44.