France take on Croatia in the World Cup Final after a long and intense World Cup campaign from each side. France have made it through after winning a tight game against third placed Belgium. Croatia made it through by ending England’s hopes of a second World Cup Final with a 2-1 win over the Three Lions.
World Cup: France
France have a lot of potential on their side. The team is full of young players with a bright future and getting to this final shows how talented the side is. France are hoping to win a second World Cup after their first title in 1998. The team also lost in the World Cup Final as recently as 2006. Blaise Matuidi is expected to start, despite suffering a possible concussion against Belgium. This means France will start with one of their most important midfield pieces which will certainly boost them ahead of the final.
This spirited France side will look to leaders such as Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba to see them through to their second ever World Cup title. The team will also be looking to striker Olivier Giroud to step up and contribute. The Chelsea striker has failed to register a shot on target in this tournament so far. Kylian Mbappé has a chance to join elite company as he looks to become only the second teenager to score in a Final. The first was Pelé, who scored two goals for Brazil in the 1958 final.
World Cup: Croatia
Croatia look to claim their first world title by beating favourites France. France have the experience and the history on their side. However, Croatia have not reached their first final by chance. This tight Croatia team has made it through the knockout stages in uninspiring fashion, but looked cohesive throughout.
The team is ranked 20th in the world, making them the lowest ever ranked side to reach the Final. Previously, a 3rd placed finish was the best the Croatians managed in the 1998 World Cup. Croatia lost 2-1 to France in the Semi Final of that tournament. The country has a world class midfield which will be hoping to celebrate by the final whistle.
Croatia’s main concern will be whether talented midfielder Ivan Perišić will be ready to start after suffering an injury following the match against England. The team will be looking to captain Luka Modrić to step up in the final. The Real Madrid midfielder has shown what he is capable of if you give him any time on the ball. France will have to ensure they are ready to deal with a technically gifted Croatian midfield if they want to go back home with the trophy. Croatia is aiming to be World Cup victors in their first ever World Cup final.
France will play Croatia at 4:00pm GMT at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia at the 2018 World Cup.