World Cup Final

The FIFA World Cup Final 2018

The FIFA World Cup 2018 is finally nearing its completion, and what a tournament it has been. Widely considered to be one of the best international tournaments in the history of football, this World Cup has given us pretty much everything, from insane goals, to huge controversies, to the use of the VAR system and some incredibly emotional moments as well.

Overview

32 nations qualified for the group stages of this prestigious tournament, after almost every country in the world participated in the qualifiers. We are now left with the 2 final teams, France and Croatia, who will face each other in the greatest sporting spectacle in the world i.e. The FIFA World Cup Final 2018.
Pre-tournament favourites Brazil and Germany got knocked out earlier than many expected, while defending Champions Germany could not even make it past the group stage, continuing the curse that European nations face after winning the World Cup, of getting knocked out in the next tournament’s group stage, as was the case with France in 2002, Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014. Traditionally unfancied teams like Belgium and hosts Russia largely impressed, while teams like South Korea pulled off some unbelievable upsets.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Final

After 63 matches, we are now awaiting the grand finale of this remarkable World Cup campaign. The final will be held at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The FIFA World Cup Final is always the single most watched sporting event in the world, and this year’s final will surely be no different.
France will be looking to add a first international trophy to their cabinet since winning the 2000 Euro Championships, to make up for the bitter disappointment of losing the 2016 Euro Final on home soil.
Croatia are playing their first ever World Cup Final, having bettered their previous best of an inspirational semifinal run at the 1998 World Cup, where they were beaten, ironicially, by their Sunday opponents France, who went on to win the title.

  • Date : Sunday, 15th July 2018
  • Time : 8:30 PM IST
  • Venue : Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

The Venue

The Luzhniki Stadium is one of the most iconic stadiums in Europe, having hosted several massive sporting events including numerous Champions League finals, none more memorable than the 2008 Final when John Terry slipped while taking the winning penalty for Chelsea, and ended up handing the title to Manchester United.
The stadium was constructed in 1956, during the Cold War, and the initial emphasis was only on athletics, as Russia aimed to dominate the Olympics.
The stadium can host up to 81000 people for a football game, making it the largest stadium in Russia.

The World Cup So Far For The Finalists

France

France were handed a relatively straightforward opening fixture against comparative minnows Australia. However, it was anything but straightforward, as the Kangaroos brought their A game to the field, and gave France a royal scare. Les Bleus needed a fortunate deflected striker from Paul Pogba in the dying minutes of the game to finally get over the finishing line. They beat Peru by a narrow margin in their second game, and did not look very convincing overall. In the third game again, France were far from dominant, as Paul Pogba was rested. They couldn’t get past a resilient Danish side and had to settle for a draw. While their group stage games lacked goals, all that changed with a memorable round of 16 clash against Argentina, which saw 7 goals scored between the sides, as France hung on to a 4-3 victory. In their quarterfinal match against the impressive Uruguay, France were dominant from the start, as their opponents were weakened by Cavani’s injury. They emerged as comfortable 2-0 winners. France faced their strongest test in the semifinals, as they took on a highflying Belgian side which had won all 5 of their games. Les Bleus won the game primarily due to their big game mentality and overall experience, as Umtiti’s header was enough to settle the match in their favour 1-0.

Croatia

Croatia looked dominant from the first minute against a decent Nigerian side, and cruised to a comfortable 2-0 victory to take sport in the group. In their second game, they produced arguably their biggest performance in history to completely dismantle giants Argentina 3-0. In their final game, they needed a late winner from Perisic to beat Iceland 2-1. They were given a stern test by Denmark in the round of 16, but eventually prevailed on penalties. Similarly, Russia managed to drag the Croats to penalties as well, where they again prevailed after a dramatic shootout. Croatia suffered an early blow against the much fancied England side in the semi as Trippier scored a stunning freekick, but they eventually came back strongly and Mario Mandzukic’s winner in extra time sent them to their first ever World Cup final.

France vs Croatia – Betting Odds And Predictions

  • Kylian Mbappe to score anytime is also a bet we recommend, as the pacy teenager would be looking to exploit the lack of pace in Croatia’s ageing defence.
  • France are the favourites to win the World Cup title, having already seen off impressive teams such as Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium in a row, within 90 minutes, while Croatia were dragged to extra time in all 3 of their knockout games, including two penalty shootouts.
  • We expect the overall quality spread across France’s starting lineup will overshadow the individual quality of players such as Modric and Rakitic, and that big game mentality will probably lead Les Bleus to another World Cup title.
  • We expect a tight affair, as both these teams are expected to set out defensively, and we will recommend betting on the under 2.5 goals market.
  • Our predicted scoreline is 1-0 to France, within 90 minutes.


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