Home Sports Football 2018 World Cup France too strong for fatigued Croatia
France too strong for fatigued Croatia

France too strong for fatigued Croatia


The 64th match of the 2018 World Cup will see France face Croatia in Moscow for the right to lift the most famous trophy in football.

The final promises to be a fascinating battle between the best two teams in the tournament (FT Match Betting – France 20/21, Draw 23/10, Croatia 7/2).

One team will be looking for a second World Cup success and the other will be seeking their first international trophy.

Both France and Croatia go into Sunday’s showpiece unbeaten in the tournament and knowing that one more win will bring them the ultimate prize (World Cup winner – France 5/11, Croatia 7/4).

Les Bleus have been impressive en route to the final, especially at the back having kept four clean sheets in six games, and can be backed at 20/21 to keep another in the final.

At the other end they haven’t been quite as entertaining as many hoped, but in Antoine Griezmann (4/1 – First Goalscorer), Kylian Mbappe (2/1 – Anytime Scorer) and Ousmane Dembele, they have the pace and ability to cause any defence problems.

It might surprise you to know that Croatia (9/4 – To score first) have scored more goals than France in this tournament – 12 compared to the 10 bagged by Didier Deschamps’ men.

But surely three periods of extra-time, against Denmark, Russia and England, is going to take its toll on a squad containing many players who have gone through long club seasons.

Luka Modric (2/1 – To win Golden Ball Award) will again be key to his country’s hopes, but he faces the prospect of being out run and out fought against the fearsome midfield duo for France of N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba.

The two teams have met on five previous occasions and Croatia are yet to beat France, with three wins for Les Bleus and two draws.

Their last meeting was in a friendly seven years ago, which finished in a 0-0 draw, with the only time they met in the World Cup coming back in 1998. On that occasion the hosts won 2-1 in order to reach the final, with Croatia managing to score just three goals in their six previous encounters.

If you wanted to try and pick a correct score, then France 2-0 looks an appealing price at 27/4, while France -1 on the handicap can be backed at 11/4.

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Warren Ashurst Warren has been a sports journalist for over 25 years, both written and broadcast. Having worked as a radio commentator, he has a wealth of experience of seeing top-level sport first hand and specialises in football, golf and cricket.