After 63 games and a wonderful tournament full of surprises it comes down to France and Croatia to decide the winner of the 2018 World Cup (WC). Belgium just confirm get third place after beat England 2-0. last night (malaysia time).
France’s path to the final saw them comfortably qualify through Group C before they saw off Argentina (4-3) in a thriller, and then Uruguay (2-0) in the quarters.
They emerged victorious from a tough semi against Belgium (1-0), harnessing their flair to grind out the win thanks in part to the superb Hugo Lloris in goal. That win against Belgium marked their tenth game unbeaten overall (W8, D2).
This will be France’s second consecutive major final after they lost to Portugal in the final of Euro 2016, and their third WC final appearance – winning once in 1998 when coach Didier Deschamps was captain.
Deschamps could become only the third man after Brazilian Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer to win the WC as both a player and coach.
After easily qualifying through Group D, including a 3-0 demolition of Argentina, Croatia’s path to the final has been much more fraught.
Whilst they saw off England 2-1 in the semi with an extra-time goal by Mario Mandžukić, their previous two knockout games (Russia, Denmark) both ended in penalty shootout wins.
Quite how much those three extra-time wins have taken out of Croatia will be seen on the day, but the relatively small Balkan state won’t lack for passion as they play their first major final ever and attempt to become the second smallest nation to win the WC after Uruguay.
Players to watch: Kylian Mbappé (FRA) has showcased his huge array of talents this WC, scoring three goals. At times, the 19-year-old has looked unplayable!
live streaming here :
CROATIA VS FRANCE
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Press f5 if the live streaming is stop of buffering.
Luka Modrić (two goals) is the man who makes Croatia tick. If he can escape the shackles of N’Golo Kanté and co, then Croatia might be in with a chance.
Stat attack: France haven’t lost to Croatia in their five meetings (W3, D2), including victory in the 1998 semi.
France haven’t been behind at half-time at these finals.
Prior to the third-place game, 43.48% (70/161) of the goals at this WC have come from set pieces.
Croatia have now played a full ninety minutes more than France at this WC.
Will not play
Kalinic N. (Coach’s decision)
Probably will not play
Matuidi B. (Ribs Injury)
Perisic I. (Muscle Injury)
Strinic I. (Groin Injury)
Venue: Luzhniki Arena (Moscow)