Probably the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final we all had in-mind but still a fascinating game in prospect this Sunday as France take on Croatia.
The French saw off Belgium in the semi-final, while Croatia came from a goal down to get the better of England, but it’s France that at the bookies favourites to go all the way and land their second World Cup.
France are 1.40, with Croatia 3.00 in the outright market.
Looking at their routes into the final, both sides have had some tough games but with France having played the likes of Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium to get this far then they’ve certainly had the harder opponents.
Croatia have also faced Argentina and also the hosts – Russia – and, of course England in the semi-final. Their last three games have also ALL gone to extra-time, with two of the last three requiring penalties so a lot has already been said about how tired those extra minutes will make the Croatia players.
However, this is a World Cup Final – so you can rest assured the Croatia players will still be buzzing on getting this far as they look to win this tournament for the first time.
The 90mins match betting also sees France as the clear favourites at 1.90, with the draw 3.30 and Croatia 5.00.
The sides have met just five times before – with France holding the clear edge as they’ve never lost to Croatia after recording three wins and two draws.
They last met in 2011 though and that ended in a 0-0 draw so that will give the Croatian players and fans some hope. In fact, the last two head-to-heads ended all square.
Both teams DIDN’T score in 3 of the last 4 head-to-heads so this will be popular at 1.57, while France have kept a clean sheet in 3 of their last 4 against Croatia.
France have lost just one of their last 18 games, while Croatia have lost just one of their last 9.
Olivier Giroud is the main man for France, with 32 goals for his country, but the former Arsenal man is yet to score at this World Cup – he can be backed at 6.50 (1st) or 3.20 (anytime).
Luka Modric pulls the strings for Croatia and the 15.00 on him scoring first is sure to be popular, or he’s 7.00 to score at anytime.
50% of France’s last 12 games went Under 2.5 Goals, while 4 of Croatia’s last 7 matches also saw less than three goals but at just 1.47 there is little value here.
It looks a tricky match to call but the fresher legs of France and the slightly more solid look of their squad make them the pick to go all the way. Yes, the Croatian side have shown a lot of grit to get this far but have now drawn their last three games and sooner or later that has to tell. France will be by-far the strongest opposition they’ve faced in the tournament so far so we’ll take the French to get the job done inside the 90 mins at 1.90 – something they’ve done in 5 of their 6 games during this World Cup.
BEST BET: FRANCE TO WIN (90 mins) @1.90
Sunday 15th July 2018
Croatia v France (2018 World Cup Final)
– Met 5 times before, Croatia 0, Draw 2, France 3
– Last played (2011), France 0-0 Croatia
– FIFA World Rankings, Croatia 20, France 7
– The last 2 head-to-heads ended in draws
– Both teams ‘DIDN’T’ score in 3 of the last 4 head-to-heads
– France have NEVER lost to Croatia
– 3 of the last 5 head-to-heads went OVER 2.5 GOALS
– France have kept a clean-sheet in 3 of the last 4 head-to-heads
– France have lost just one of their last 18 games
– Both teams have scored in 7 of France’s last 12 games
– 6 of France’s last 12 games went OVER 2.5 GOALS
– Olivier Giroud is France’s current top scorer (31 goals)
– Croatia have lost just 1 of their last 9 games
– 4 of Croatia’s last 7 games went UNDER 2.5 GOALS
– Croatia have scored at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 7 games
– Mandzukic is Croatia’s current top scorer (32 goals)