This is Argentina’s sixth appearance in the World Cup final, having won on two occasions, lastly at Mexico 1986. Their opponents France are now a step from becoming the first nation since Brazil (1958-62) to win consecutive World Cup titles.
Pinnacle examine the value in the betting markets and where you can potentially find an edge in the Argentina vs. France odds. Read on to inform your World Cup final predictions.
Listen to Pinnacle’s World Cup 2022 Insights podcast
Our host Gareth Wheeler is joined once again by Infogol’s Jake Osgathorpe, data expert Andrew Beasley and South American soccer journalist Simon Edwards to identify the key trends ahead of the final.
Argentina vs. France: predicted line-ups
Argentina: Emiliano Martínez, Nicolás Tagliafico, Cristian Romero, Nicolás Otamendi, Nahuel Molina, Alexis Mac Allister, Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Enzo Fernández, Julián Álvarez, Lionel Messi.
Notable substitutes: Ángel Di María, Lautaro Martínez, Lisandro Martínez, Marcos Acuña.
France: Hugo Lloris, Theo Hernández, Raphaël Varane, Dayot Upamecano, Jules Koundé, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Adrien Rabiot, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé, Kylian Mbappé, Olivier Giroud.
Notable substitutes: Youssouf Fofana, Kingsley Coman, Eduardo Camavinga, Marcus Thuram
Argentina World Cup 2022 stats (courtesy of Infogol)
Expected Goals for: 6.36
Expected Goals against: 0.67
Average possession: 56.88%
Clean sheets: 3/6
Top scorer: Lionel Messi (five goals) xG: 5.53
France World Cup 2022 stats: (courtesy of Infogol)
Expected Goals for: 8.19
Expected Goals against: 1.76
Average possession: 51.64%
Clean sheets: 1/6
Top scorer: Kylian Mbappé (five goals) xG: 3.93
Argentina vs. France: a closer look at the odds
Argentina were as long as 9.270 (+827) to win the tournament after their slow start, but going into the final, Pinnacle have them marked up at 1.950 (-105)* to lift the trophy.
France began the tournament at 8.750 (+775) to retain the World Cup, before shortening to 6.770 (+577) during the group stage. With just one game from glory, Les Bleus are priced at 1.930 (-108)* to retain their title.
In regards to the match odds, our traders have found it hard to call.
As for the match odds, our traders have found it hard to call, with France edging the Money Line market at 2.840 (+184)*, while Argentina are the slight underdogs at 2.850 (+185)*. A draw inside 90 minutes can be backed at 3.080 (+208)*.
The last time these two nations met was in the 2018 World Cup Round of 16, France ended up on the right side of the 4-3 scoreline as they powered on to the trophy. In the Both Teams To Score/Total Goals market, Yes & Over 2.5 is priced at 6.550 (+555)*. In the Both Teams To Score/Winner market, Yes & France is also priced at 6.550 (+555)*.
However, it may be contrasting defensive performances that could decide the fate of the 2022 World Cup. France’s 2-0 victory over Morocco was their only clean sheet of the tournament. In contrast, Argentina have clean sheets in three of their six matches. In the Either Team To Score? 1st Half market, No can be backed at 2.250 (+125)*
World Cup final: key battles and in-game management
There was a sentiment that the pressure would be off Argentina and particularly Lionel Messi to win this World Cup, after finally lifting the Copa América title – over arch-rivals Brazil – in 2021. They were 4.000 (+300) to reach the final before a ball was kicked. But the Argentine legend has appeared determined to collect the trophy that has evaded him during his illustrious career.
An opening defeat to Saudi Arabia (which could have been backed at 20.000 (+2100) pre-match) was perhaps the biggest shock of the tournament – a tournament which also saw Germany lose to Japan, Belgium be eliminated at the group stage, and, of course, Morocco’s magical run to the semi-finals.
Argentina have only lost once in their last 42 matches.
That result means Argentina have only lost once in their last 42 matches. Lionel Scaloni has instilled a grit and determination into his team that has very rarely been breached – momentum can never be underestimated in sport.
Their defence was questioned prior to the tournament, with the ageing Nicolás Otamendi not looking at his sharpest, but their dogged midfield, including Leandro Paredes and Rodrigo De Paul, and their new breed of talent, including Alexis Mac Allister and Enzo Fernández, have both excelled. This has freed Lionel Messi up to play further up the field, where he’s at his most potent, with those defence-splitting passes or when he combines with Julián Álvarez to find the net.
It’s a huge leap forward for the likes of Fernández and Álvarez, who only six months ago were playing in the River Plate side that got knocked out of the Copa Libertadores at the round of 16 stage by the 26th-best team in Argentina – Vélez Sarsfield. Now the pair are on the brink of soccer immortality at the World Cup finals.
Argentina’s fullbacks are not the most comfortable running back to goal as they are in supporting the attack. This is where they could be undone by France’s forwards. Scaloni could opt to start Nicolás Tagliafico over Marcos Acuña for a bit more defensive stability, and go with the same midfield that began the match against Croatia, before bringing on some big names off the bench.
Aurélien Tchouaméni hadn’t even made his senior club debut when France won the World Cup in 2018. It was former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gustavo Poyet who granted him that first start in July of 2018, whilst at Girondins Bordeaux. It’s fair to say he hasn’t looked back since, sealing his status as a future great this year by signing for Real Madrid.
He only made his national debut in August 2021, but now the 22-year-old is a vital lynchpin in the French midfield. He scored his first World Cup goal against England in the quarter-finals.
If recovered from illness, Tchouaméni will be joined in the middle by Adrien Rabiot, who is a staple player in Didier Deschamps’ squads. With the absence of Paul Pogba and N’golo Kanté, he has stepped up and appears to be enjoying his new responsibility in this tournament.
Captain Hugo Lloris will need to be a figure of calm in goal, but even when France have been on the back foot (against England and when Morocco were pushing for an equaliser), they have the tools to ride this out and find another bit of quality to win the match. This quality has usually come from the selfless Antoine Griezmann. A player who made his name as a fast and intelligent forward, he has honed his skill-set to be a box-to-box midfielder in this tournament and the man that all of France’s good play revolves around.
If he’s the fulcrum of attacks again on Sunday, it could be where the match is won and lost. He’s also an outside pick for the Golden Ball award.
World Cup Golden Boot: where does the value lie?
Argentina’s forward duo of Paris Saint Germain’s Lionel Messi and Manchester City striker Julián Álvarez have scored nine of Los Albiceleste’s 12 goals in the tournament.
Examining the odds journey of this market since the tournament began, Messi started at 8.040 (+704) to win the Golden Boot, before moving out to 15.500 (+1450) at one stage during the group stage. But with five goals to his name, Messi is now at 1.757 (-132)* to claim the award.
However, it’s his striking partner Álvarez who has seen his odds sliced the most during the competition. The 22-year-old wasn’t a certified starter and watched on as Lautaro Martínez failed to find the net in the opening loss to Saudi Arabia. At this point, Álvarez was priced at 61.000 (+6000), but his four goals en route to the final currently has him at 16.760 (+1576)*. He’s almost guaranteed to start on Sunday, so the value could be with the youngster here.
As for Didier Deschamps’ reigning champions, despite being hauled off in the semi-final, Olivier Giroud will seemingly earn himself a start in the final. The AC Milan striker has four goals to his name and is now 17.060 (+1606)* to claim the award.
While attention will be on team-mate Mbappé and Lionel Messi, if Les Bleus are in the ascendency, then Giroud could fire them to victory.
The aforementioned Mbappé is a frightening prospect in full flow and even when not being at the centre of the game, he can create a yard of space from nothing to conjure an opportunity. The 23-year-old is 2.590 (+159)* to win the Golden Boot. He won’t want to be outshone by his PSG teammate on the biggest stage of them all.
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