France vs. Croatia: 2018 World Cup Final – Match Preview

The biggest game in world football takes place on Sunday as France face Croatia for the 2018 World Cup.

France edged past Belgium in the semi-final, thanks to a Samuel Umtiti header.

Most of their goals this tournament have come from set pieces and in a game of few chances, Umtiti’s goal was the difference.

Croatia recovered from a goal down to beat England in the semi-final, with Mario Mandzukic scoring an extra-time winner.

In the 90 minutes, Ivan Perisic had cancelled out an early free-kick from Kieran Trippier.

2018 World Cup form: France W5 D1 L0; Croatia W4 D2 L0
2018 World Cup top scorers
France – Antoine Griezmann & Kylian Mbappe 3 goals each
Croatia – Three players on 2 goals each (Mario Mandzukic, Luka Modric & Ivan Perisic)

Match history
The two nations have met just five times prior to Sunday’s final and Croatia are yet to record a victory.

In easily the most important previous meeting, Lilian Thuram scored twice, his only ever goals for France, as they recovered from a goal down to win the 1998 World Cup Semi-Final.

Last five international meetings
France 0 Croatia 0 – 29/03/11
Croatia 2 France 2 – 17/06/04
Croatia 0 France 2 – 28/05/00
France 3 Croatia 0 – 13/10/99
France 2 Croatia 1 – 08/07/98

Under 2.5 goals – 4/9 with Bet 365

Team news
Olivier Giroud and Blaise Matuidi are expected to overcome minor fitness issues to feature in the final.

They are unlikely to make any changes to the XI that beat Belgium.

Despite going into extra-time in all of their knock out ties, Croatia are unlikely to make changes either.

Ivan Perisic is the biggest doubt for Croatia, but should be fit to feature.

Expected starting XI’s
France (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba; Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi; Giroud
Croatia (4-3-3): Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Brozovic, Modric, Rakitic; Rebic, Mandzukic, Perisic


Result: France (19/20 with Bet 365)

Correct Score: 1-0 (9/2 with Betfair)

Anytime Goalscorer: Kylian Mbappe (9/4 with Betfair)

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