This year’s World Cup Final is between two teams that few may have predicted at the start of the tournament. France will face Croatia in Moscow and will look to become world champions for the second time after the victory in 1998 on their home soil. France does not always have luck on their side as they lost 2006 final to Italy on penalties, captained by Zinedine Zidane, who was infamously sent off. France lost to a Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal in Euro 2016 on home soil in the final. On the other hand, this is Croatia’s first major international final. They’ve had an impressive run in this tournament and are unbeaten.
France has a quality squad. In goal, they have their captain Hugo Lloris who has made some spectacular saves in the knockout stages, but the Spurs keeper has had an average season for his club. In defence, Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti will give Croatia a hard time in keeping the ball. In midfield, the French have Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and N’Golo Kante, who are a formidable unit and have the power and tenacity required for the Final. The forwards for France will give the Croatian defence a hard time. Kylian Mbappe’s explosive pace will determine in a lot of goals being scored. The power of Olivier Giroud has given the French an important attacking trio with Antoine Griezmann on the wing. Ousmane Dembele is also a good replacement for Mbappe and Deschamps can use his skill down the wing.
The Croats have in goal, Danijel Subasic who was the hero in two penalty shootouts for Croatia, making some impressive saves. Despite injuring his hamstring in the match against Russia in the Quarterfinals, the Monaco keeper will be a barrier against the French attacks. In defence, they have the duo of Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida. But they will not give their team an advantage as they could not compete with the movement and pace of Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli in the semifinals against England, that troubled the Croatian’s defence. The Croatian midfield might prove to be the turning point as they have two world-class midfielders in Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric as they will provide the openings and opportunities to score. Mario Mandzukic will play in forward and score the goals for his team, provided by Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic who are in terrific form and showed their class in the game against England.
In my opinion, both teams are equally matched. Both have good goalkeepers, midfield and forwards. Croatian defence might cost the game as France have a better attacking and passing unit and this will trouble the Croatian defence. In 90 minutes of play, both teams scores will be level 2-2 and also in extra time. The match will go to penalties and France will win the World Cup this time on penalties after losing to Italy in 2006 on penalties and they will become world champions for the second time.