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Jul 13, 2018

World Cup final preview: France vs. Croatia

France vs. Croatia odds

Inform your France vs. Croatia prediction

Analysing the France vs. Croatia stats

Who will win the World Cup?

World Cup final preview: France vs. Croatia

France take on on Croatia in the 2018 World Cup final. Looking for value in the France vs. Croatia odds? Read on to inform your France vs. Croatia prediction.

A close look at the France vs. Croatia odds

The Money Line odds imply France are favourites to win the match with around a 50%* chance of winning the game in 90 minutes.

France are well fancied to lift the trophy at odds of 1.465*.

France vs Croatia predicted lineups

France:

Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba; Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi; Giroud

Deschamps can name an unchanged side from the semi-final win over Belgium.

Croatia:

Subasic; Vrsaljko, Vida, Lovren, Strnic; Brozovic, Rakitic, Modric; Rebic, Mandzukic, Perisic

Kramaric provides an attacking alternative to Brozovic if Zlatko Dalic wishes to add fresh legs to his team. Milan Badelj and Mateo Kovacic provide useful midfield options.

France vs. Croatia stats

  • France have won six of their last seven knockout matches within 90 minutes
  • The French have kept clean sheets in four of their six World Cup 2018 matches
  • Every World Cup 2018 knockout stage match involving Croatia has gone to extra time
  • Both teams have scored in Croatia’s last four matches

2018 World Cup: Expected goals (per match)

France:

  • Expected goals for: 1.3
  • Expected goals against: 0.7

Croatia:

Inform your France vs. Croatia prediction

France have reached a second consecutive major tournament final but will not want to repeat their poor display during the loss to Portugal at Euro 2016. As they were ahead of that final, the French are favourites but this squad is an improvement from the 2016 version.

The addition of Mbappe to the 2016 side along with youthful replacements for Sagna and Evra at fullback has improved the team ensuring are worthy favourites to lift the trophy. Victories over Uruguay, Brazil and Belgium demonstrate the quality within the team.

This improvement is important since they are up against a Croatian side with more than enough talent to surprise the French on their day. The Croats have certainly been resilient during this tournament all three of their knockout round fixtures going to extra time.

They will hope fatigue does not become a factor as the final progresses, especially considering France will have an extra day of rest after Tuesday’s victory over Belgium.

Key area: Which side will win the midfield battle?

A key part of France’s successful run in this tournament has been their outstanding defence. Didier Deschamps opted to focus on defensive solidity over an expansive attack and that approach has worked effectively as the tournament has progressed.

A large part of that defensive success has been due to the work of their central midfield duo of Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante alongside Blaise Matuidi’s energy on the left.

In the win over Belgium that trio combined for a total of 11 tackles and five interceptions as the French became the only team to prevent the Belgians from scoring in Russia.

It will be vital during Sunday’s fixture that France are equally as strong in the centre of the pitch since Croatia possess one of the tournament’s strongest midfields.

Zlatko Dalic is likely to select Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric and Marcelo Brozovic in central midfield. Rakitic is a Champions League winner and regular starter for Barcelona whilst Luka Modric is a contender for this years’ Ballon d’Or, awarded to the World’s best player.

Brozovic, the youngest of the three, is also exceptionally talented and will grace the Champions League this season with Inter Milan. All three players are very comfortable on the ball and capable of both scoring goals and providing assists.

The French will be eager to prevent the Croatian midfield from being as influential as they were against England. Modric and Rakitic, in particular, were instrumental in shifting the ball into wide areas where Croatia could cause damage.

Equally, Matuidi will be charged with shutting down Sime Vrsaljko who caused plenty of problems for the English when he linked up with Modric on the Croatian right side.

If Pogba, Kante and Matuidi can get the better of their opposite numbers then a French victory becomes much more likely considering their superior talent in other areas of the pitch.

France vs. Croatia: Where is the value?

Of course the opening goal in a soccer match is always important but it could be especially so in this matchup.

Due to the cautious way in which France play and the potential fatigue in the Croatian team an opening goal for France would likely lead to opportunities on the counter-attack for the dangerous Mbappe and Griezmann.

The French frontline were uncharacteristically wasteful with these opportunities against Belgium but are unlikely to be so again.

Given that an opening goal for France is a fairly likely scenario backing France to score over 1.25 goals at 2.080* could offer value to bettors.

Likewise, Croatia taking the lead would eventually draw France out of their defensive game plan and result in a more open game. The Croatian midfield trio are capable of creating scoring opportunities if France afford them space.

As a result, over 1.5 goals to be scored in the game at 1.578* could be a sensible selection regardless of which side opens the scoring.

To make the most of our best value odds make sure to read more of Pinnacle’s expert betting advice.

Odds subject to change

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