On Sunday afternoon, France and Croatia face off in Moscow in the 2018 World Cup final, as both teams seek the ultimate title of world champions.
France have impressed at World Cup 2018, winning five of their six games. Last time out Didier Deschamps team recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Belgium in the semi-finals courtesy of a Samuel Umtiti header.
France are now unbeaten in ten games heading into this massive clash. In fact, Les Bleus have recorded eight wins in those ten unbeaten games.
A solid defence has been the key to Les Bleus recent good run of form, as they have managed four clean sheets in their last five games, conceding just once in the process.
France are looking to lift the World Cup on foreign soil for the time, as their only previous triumph came back in 1998 a tournament they hosted.
Croatia look to be finally fulfilling their potential in international football and will be playing in their ever World Cup final. Their biggest achievement at the World Cup came in 1998, when they made the semi-finals in France.
Zlatko Dalic’s side defeated England 2-1 after extra time. In fact, Croatia needed penalty kicks to defeat both Denmark and Russia before the extra time win over the Three Lions.
The Eastern European team are now seven games unbeaten, although their last three games have of course finished all square after 90 minutes. Both teams have scored in their last four games, which is a trend that may end in this game.
France have fitness doubts over influential midfielder Blaise Matuidi and full-back Djibril Sidibe. The latter is unlikely to feature anyway, as his deputy Benjamin Pavard has enjoyed a strong campaign. Deschamps team is likely to be similar to the one that started against Belgium.
Croatia may name an unchanged starting line-up from the game against England. However, striker Mario Mandzukic and full-back Ivan Strinic are slight fitness doubts, but should recover in time to play.
France are overwhelming favourites to beat Croatia and lift the World Cup this weekend. Les Bleus have been impressive in Russia. However, Croatia have put in some determined displays so far at the World Cup.
Fatigue may prove a factor in this game for Dalic’s side and I expect France to have too much quality for the Eastern European team, who have richly deserved their place in the final.
Who will win the World Cup?