France vs Croatia
We all knew that this year’s World Cup would be something different the moment all of the first matches have been played. Powerhouses shockingly buckled against underdogs, Iceland were their usual Viking selves, and the hosts showed football worthy of the honour of hosting this prestigious sporting event.
However, all good things must come to an end. The World Cup 2018 highlights are bound to end after the 15th of June, and everyone will be sad to see such a wonderful tournament go.
Thankfully, the World Cup 2018 has one cracker of a finale lined up for the fans who made the trip to Russia and the rest of the world who had to battle time zones just to be able to watch every single match!
This will be a duel between two fantastic sides that displayed nothing but world-class football. France are overwhelming favourites to win the title, but Croatia have given us plenty of reasons to cheer with their gritty yet charming brand of football.
Both sides have quality players that warrant a World Cup trophy. Which side will want it more and take home the glory?
There are several good reasons as to why Les Bleus are considered the likely victors of the 2018 World Cup, and it has a lot to do with the relatively young squad Didier Deschamps brought to France.
Kylian Mbappe has been the biggest revelation to the world. His blinding pace and technical prowess outshone Lionel Messi and Argentina, overcame Luis Suarez and Uruguay, and defeated the solid defence of a star-studded Belgium.
Of course, he wasn’t the only man to shine for this outstanding French team. Antoine Griezmann is having a brilliant outing for France, tying Mbappe for three goals scored. His attacking prowess up front is not something to be ignored.
Paul Pogba also showed the class that wasn’t seen consistently at Manchester United. The Red Devils’ most expensive signing played a great game against Belgium, making his presence known on attack and defence. His timely tackles and laser-precision passes weren’t flashy but were vital to the French’s victory.
Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez were also breakout performers for Deschamps. Many Les Bleus supporters questioned their inclusion to the squad, but their superb performance and work rate in defence quickly silenced those whispers. Moreover, Pavard’s howitzer against Argentina is the stuff of dreams.
However, their next opponents aren’t exactly a walk in the park, either.
Croatia weren’t pegged to make it far in the tournament. Only several World Cup 2018 predictions saw them making it out at the top of Group D, and fewer even considered them making into the final. Even many at the us team didn’t count on the Vatreni making a deep run at the tournament. While we saw them making it out of the group stage, no one dared even suggesting that they’d make the final.
However, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and the rest of the talented Croats pulled off the performances of their lives to make it to the World Cup final. They almost had to crawl to the final by going through successive penalty shootouts.
However, Mario Mandzukic’s heroics saved Croatia from another steely penalty challenge against England. His winning header at extra time was unforgettable for the players, Zlatko Dalic, and a certain Yuri Cortez who gave us great snaps in the ensuing chaos.
However, they’ll have to do it all over again against France. Dalic thinks that England’s lack of respect for his team and his players were what caused the resurgence of his lads in the second half and extra time.
I don’t think Deschamps will think that the trophy is as good as theirs. They saw how ready their opponents are at persisting the attack. Modric will be a dangerous man that they must mark.
All of Croatia is celebrating just for the team to be a part of this historic moment, but Nikola Kalinic is probably ruing his decision of letting his ego get the better of him.
France have always been the superior footballing nation, and their match history supports that fact. Their first meeting was at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the first World Cup the nation won with Deschamps wearing the captain’s band. The next two games were easy wins for Les Bleus, but the last match was a scoreless draw in a 2011 friendly.
France will be hoping to add a second star to their crest by winning this final. They almost brushed close with taking the trophy home in 2006, but Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt cost the French the victory against Italy.
Meanwhile, this is Croatia’s maiden voyage in the FIFA World Cup final. They may not have existed long as a nation, but their team has already found success in the World Cup. The only time they didn’t qualify was in 2010.
What are the odds?
The bookies understandably favour the French, and us has interesting offers at the Asian handicap market.
The bookmakers think that Croatia will make life tough for the French before they take home the bacon. France have -0.75 @ 2.28 going for them.
However, Croatia have shown that they can pull off improbable upsets like it was nothing. Danijel Subasic has proven his quality on penalties and will be a tough customer. If you believe in the Vatreni, Croatia 1X2 @ 4.10 is the way to go.
I believe that the French will be able to score a goal within the first half, so Over 0.75 Goals at 1.98 is a worthwhile consideration. However, Croatia should be able to force yet another extension in this World Cup.
|France vs Croatia||Over 2.25 Goals @ 2.42|
|July 15, 23:00 (GMT+8)|
I see France easily scoring and leading by the end of the first half. However, I see another Croatia equaliser coming from either Modric or Rakitic to force the game to another extra period. I don’t think Deschamps nor Dalic will want the game to reach penalties and will do everything to force a 2-1 win.
I expect to see three goals easy. With the amount of quality on the pitch, there should be no doubt of the possibility of a high-scoring match.
Ready your face paint and prepare the popcorn: we have a memorable final waiting for us in Russia!
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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