France vs Croatia prediction: France 2-1 Croatia
To say it would be a shock for Croatia to win the World Cup would be an understatement, although Zlatko Dalic’s side have already defied the odds to make it this far.
France have managed to keep clean sheets in four of their last five matches at the tournament.
Croatia, meanwhile, are the only side to have won all six of their matches in Russia.
Awesome France vs Croatia World Cup final offers:
France vs Croatia: Who will win?
France are 4/9 favourites to lift the trophy, while Croatia can be backed at 7/4 to become World Champions.
Croatia’s odds of winning the match in normal time are much longer at 15/4 while France are obvious favourites to win in the 90, at 19/20.
Antoine Griezmann is 4/1 to score the opening goal of the match.
Olivier Giroud is still looking for his first goal of the tournament, and there’d be no better time to net at a World Cup than on Sunday. Back the Chelsea striker to score anytime at 11/5.
France vs Croatia match preview
France take on Croatia in Sunday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Final in Moscow.
Les Bleus reached their third World Cup Final after beating Belgium 1-0 in the semi-final.
Samuel Umtiti scored the only goal of the match early in the second half. It was the third match running that a defender has scored for France, with Raphael Varane and Benjamin Pavard netting in France’s other two knockout matches.
Croatia have never beaten France in five previous attempts. Their most famous encounter was their first, in the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup. France won the match 2-1 and went on to win the tournament as hosts.
Croatia came back from 1-0 down to beat England in their semi-final. Ivan Perisic equalised in the second half to take the game to extra-time, before Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic scored the winner in the 109th minute.
France head coach Didier Deschamps will be aiming to become only the third person in history to win the World Cup as a player and a coach.
Argentine referee Nestor Pitana will oversee Sunday’s match. The former actor has already refereed French and Croatia victories at this year’s World Cup.
France will no doubt be the fresher of the two sides. In addition to having an extra day’s rest over their opponenets, France have also played far fewer minutes of football.
All three of France’s knockout matches have been settled in normal time. By contrast, Croatia have been taken to extra-time in all three of their knockout matches.
Croatia are the tournament’s second highest scorers, with 12 goals in six matches. France have netted ten times, and conceded one fewer than Croatia’s five.
Croatia have picked up more yellow cards (14), committed more fouls (101) and suffered more fouls (93) than any other side at the tournament.
Both sides will play in their home kits on Sunday.
One more curious statistic for you. Sunday’s World Cup final will be the tenth consecutive final in which Inter Milan have a representative (Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic), a run that has continued for 40 years.
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) July 12, 2018
France team news vs Croatia
Deschamps is expected to field the same side that started against Belgium.
Benjamin Pavard should continue at right-back as Djibril Sidibe remains an injury doubt.
Blaise Matuidi is France’s biggest injury concern after being forced off against Belgium, although the Juve midfielder is expected to be okay for Sunday.
The often-favoured Olivier Giroud should keep his place up top, despite a run of underwhelming performances.
Croatia team news vs France
There will be a number of tired legs in the Croatia camp, but Dalic is expected to name the same starting eleven which overcame England.
Match-winner Mario Mandzukic came off in extra time with cramp but is expected to be available. Likewise, left-back Ivan Strinic should be fine after limping off on Wednesday.
Sime Vrsaljko made a remarkable recovery to start against England and should continue at right-back on Sunday. Former Spurs man Vedran Corluka is his back-up.
France predicted starting line-up vs Croatia
Croatia predicted starting line-up vs France
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
The latest videos from France pre Croatia
We now know our FIFA #WorldCupFinal teams… 👀
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 12, 2018
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 13, 2018
— French Team (@FrenchTeam) July 13, 2018
The latest videos from Croatia pre France
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 11, 2018
Croatia celebrations are on a different level. pic.twitter.com/kKLcxQL2gy
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 11, 2018