Kick-off: Sunday, 15th July @16:00 GMT
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Head to head record
France vs Croatia 2-1 (1998 World Cup)
France vs Croatia 3-0 (1999 friendly)
Croatia vs France 0-2 (2000 friendly)
Croatia vs France 2-2 (2004 European Championship)
France vs Croatia 0-0 (2011 friendly)
France vs Croatia predictions
France began this World Cup slowly, scoring only three goals in the group stage and struggling to find their form. Yet, they steadily raised their game and have managed to perform better match after match, culminating in a relatively easy win over Belgium in the semi-finals.
Croatia has had ups and downs throughout the tournament, having a high point in the group stage when they beat Argentina. Since then, they have played well but lacked conviction at times. Still, they kept on winning. Their last three games were all went down to the wire with Croatians winning two penalty shootouts and scoring a match winner in the 5th minute od the 2nd extra time against England.
Most experts predict France to run away with the win on Sunday and lift the trophy again.
Twenty years in the waiting
Twenty years ago the French defeated the Brazilians in spectacular fashion to win the World Cup as hosts. Coach Deschamps was in that winning squad. Now he is in the final again, only in a different capacity, at the helm of an extremely talented and young team.
French players are full of confidence. Pogba has been their best player and Mbappe a revelation. Griezmann has been great, and back in defense, Lloris has made some important saves. As a team they are right where they should be. France have waited twenty years for the World Cup to come home again. And everything points to them succeeding once more. They know it’s in their hands and they will try to prevent Croatia from creating, what would surely be, an upset.
The underdog story
Amazingly, Croatia are undefeated in this World Cup. It seems that they just won’t give up. Which is great for the football fans around the world.
They were down against Denmark, but they pulled one back quickly and won the nervous penalty shootout. Again, against Russia, they managed to get themselves into trouble by conceding first, then scoring twice only to allow Russians to equalize with five minutes to go in extra time. But, again, they won on penalties with goalkeeper Subasic the hero.
And then came England who everyone fancied for a win, especially after they got in an early goal. But Croatia managed to recover, score a goal to force extra time and then persevere to win in the end. Now they are underdogs one last time in this World Cup. Would you bet against them prevailing in this one too?
- This is Croatia’s first ever World Cup final.
- The best result before 2018 was 20 years ago at the World Cup in France, when they finished third.
- France won the World Cup 20 years ago.
- In terms of population, Croatia is the smallest nation to get to the final of the World Cup since 1950.
France vs Croatia betting pick
France are clear favorites; most experts agree on that. However, Croatia were even favorites against Denmark, slight favorites against Russia and underdogs against England and they won all three of those matches. France shouldn’t make the mistake of underestimating their opponents on Sunday.
The Croatian players are riding the wave of their hard-fought victories and the amazing support from their fans home and in Russia. They will be hard to beat. But, after playing three matches through extra time, their legs will be tired. France will have the advantage there. The French also have great depth in the squad.
It’s the final, so anything is possible. France will want to end the 20-year drought and Croatia dreams of a happy ending to their fairytale trip in Russia. We might even see this match decided in extra time.
Pick: France to win