France 4-2 Croatia: France has won the 2018 FIFA World Cup beating Croatia 4-2 in the final
France has won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, their second world title and became only the sixth nation to have won multiple world cups. Croatia looked very good in first half but were hard done by when a controversial penalty was given to France towards the end of first half with Griezmann making it 2-1 for France. After break, France started to have more joy on counter attacks and scored twice in quick succession through Pogba and Mbappe.
Croatia started stronger and dominated possession in first half but it was France who took the lead when Griezmann freekick deflected off Mandzukic head into the net. However Ivan Perisic scored to make it 1-1 and Croatia looked good for most part. However a dubious penalty was awarded after referee turned around his decision after VAR review and Griezmann made it 2-1. After the break France started to find spaces on counter attacks and the finished off Croatia with 4-1 score-sheet.
France are set to take on Croatia in the final of 2018 FIFA World Cup on Sunday, 15th July 2018 in Moscow. Both teams made it to the finals undefeated and will be looking to wrap up the title on Sunday. Croatia are playing their very first World Cup final while France will be looking to make it two world cup wins in their history. The game will kickoff at around 17:00 CET / 16:00 uk time and we will have live links closer to the kickoff.
France vs Croatia Preview: France have looked very good in the knockout stages so far beating Argentina (4-3), disposing off another South American side in Uruguay (2-0) in the quarterfinals and making easy work of Belgium in the semifinals. All their big name players are looking in good touch after a very underwhelming group stage. Now they face Croatia in what should be a cracking game in the final of 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Croatia on the other hand looked impressive in group stages but they struggled in all three of their knockout games so far winning twice on penalties and took extra time to beat England in the semifinals. In all fairness, Croatian players should be exhausted as they have played almost 3 matches (but 360 minutes if we include extra times as well) in less than 2 weeks. So it will be hard for Croatia to go another marathon of a match which hands the initiative to France.
Team News & Possible Lineups: Roberto Martinez made a few surprise changes in the starting lineup with Maroune Fellaine and Nasir Chadli given starts against Brazil and both did not disappoint as Belgium looked much more balanced compared to their game against Japan. We might expect similar approach in the semifinals where Belgium will be hoping to use their counter attack tactics again.
France on the other hand are improvising their system around Mbappe after his stunning performances in the world cup so far and we might see unchanged lineup from Didier Deschamps.
Match Predictions: This one could go either way with both France and Belgium boosting the most talented squads in the world cup. However, France have slight edge in terms of starting lineup and quality on the bench. Belgium on the other hand have a very good starting lineup but lack quality from the bench. France will go into the game slightly favourites but thats where Belgium tend to play better as under dogs. I am going with another competitive game where Beglium to win it 2-1 in normal time.
Croatia are likely to continue with their trusted 4-3-3 system where Badelj, Rakitic and Modric to pull the strings from midfield while Perisic, Rebic and Mandzukic playing in attacking roles.
Match Predictions: Croatia will be slightly favourite going into the match but this England side are no push overs. They made easy work of Sweden in the quarterfinals and pose a real threat going forward with unpredictable trio of Alli, Sterling and Lingard switching and swapping place all game. Hwoever, Croatia boost probably the best midfield in the world cup and thats where England have to be careful. Croatia did not play to their potential in first two knockout games and I think against England they will dominate the midfield and I see them beating England one way or the other and reaching their first ever World Cup final.