Kick-off: 1600, 15/07/2018
Stadium: Luzhniki Stadium
TV: BBC One/ITV
France have everything in their favour going into Sunday’s World Cup final clash with Croatia in Moscow and can take full advantage.
Les Bleus powered through the knockout rounds, whereas their opponents had to endure extra-time on three straight occasions and have a day less to recover from their semi.
Given that Didier Deschamps’ side are also rated a better team, 91/100 for them to prevail in 90 minutes has to be our France vs Croatia prediction.
A Look At France’s Betting Odds
France were more emphatic winners than a 4-3 scoreline suggests when beating Argentina, cruised past Uruguay 2-0 and put in a controlled display to defeat Belgium 1-0.
Samuel Umtiti showed the hunger and desire within this squad to go one better than their Euro 2016 near-miss when getting in front of Marouane Fellaini to head in Tuesday night’s winner.
Deschamps said: “We don’t do everything right, but of course there is a progression. I’m very proud of them.
“I’m very proud of their mentality as well, because I know it’s not just that you are playing at a high level, that you are going to score goals.
“With our state of mind, we can climb mountains and that’s what we’ve done so far.”
The discipline shown by Paul Pogba to play deep alongside N’Golo Kante once France forged ahead of Belgium was further testament to the manager’s influence on this outfit.
Antoine Griezmann has yet to hit peak form and Olivier Giroud has struggled to get a shot on target, but the manner in which Kylian Mbappe has risen to the occasion more than makes up for those shortcomings.
A Look At Croatia’s Betting Odds
Croatia have shown incredible physical and mental fortitude to get this far, but the overall form produced during their route to the final is far less convincing.
Penalties were needed to see off limited opposition in Denmark and Russia, while England outplayed the Blazers in the first half on Wednesday night.
Admittedly, Zlatko Dalic’s side again dug deep in admirable fashion to respond to Kieran Trippier’s early free-kick with goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic.
“We started slowly but we’ve shown our character, just as we have in the previous two knockout rounds when we were one goal down in both matches,” said Perisic. “We didn’t used to be that resilient.”
However, all those exertions must surely take a toll on Croatia at some point, with Mandzukic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic among those looking shattered at the end.
We’re rounding off our France vs Croatia betting tips by taking 7/1 for Les Bleus to oblige 2-0.
FRANCE 1-0 Belgium – Umtiti
CROATIA 2-1 England (AET) – Perisic, Mandzukic
Head-to-head: France 0-0 Croatia, Croatia 2-2 France, Croatia 0-2 France, France 3-0 Croatia, France 2-1 Croatia