France vs Croatia 11AM ET, July 15th, 2018, Moscow, Russia
After a month of soccer goodness it all comes to an end today as the final match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup is played, the FIFA World Cup Final. The World Cup Final wraps up the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and what a fantastic tournament it has been. Croatia and France are the last two teams standing, both European nations go head to head for soccer’s biggest trophy. France came into the World Cup as one of the favorites to win it all, while Croatia came in as a potential dark horse. Both teams have not lost game at the 2018 World Cup, meaning both teams come into this game undefeated so far. France and Croatia have faced off twice in major tournaments. The first meeting between the two teams was at the 1998 World Cup semifinals where France came from behind to win 2-1 and the second meeting was at EURO 2004 where the game ended in a 2-2 draw. This game will be a highly contested one; it is the World Cup Final. Croatia will look to continue to use their talented midfield to their advantage, but it will be a tougher task since the French also have a solid but a physical midfield. Ivan Rakitić did not have the best of games against England; expect Rakitić to have a better game against France. Luka Modrić was solid in Croatia’s win against England but has had many better performances throughout the World Cup. The third Croatian midfielder is Marcelo Brozović, who in my eyes had his best game in a Croatian jersey against England, will provide the dynamic midfield duo of Modrić and Rakitić some extra cover in the midfield. The French defense has been solid and very impressive in their last two games against Uruguay and Belgium. French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris continues to make timely saves when called upon. The two keys in this match are who will control the midfield and whose attacking players will produce. The midfield battle between Modrić-Rakitić-Brozović and Pogba-Kante-Matuidi will be an exciting battle; both midfields are filled with world class players who play at the top clubs in Europe. The key matchup in the attacking end will be between Ivan Perišić and Kylian Mbappe. Which one of these players who provide good attacking runs, crosses into the box, number of shots on goal and speed in open play will give their teams a decent shot at winning the game. At the end we can only have two things happen. France can redeem themselves after losing in the final of EURO 2016 to Portugal in Paris by beating Croatia today and winning the World Cup, which would be France’s second World Cup title. Or history can be made if Croatia beats France which would give Croatia their first ever World Cup title and first title in any major tournament. With all that in mind expect a great game today. This is the last World Cup game until 2022 when the World Cup will be hosted in Qatar. Four years is a long time to wait for another World Cup game, so be sure to watch today’s interesting World Cup Final.
Go onto the next page to see what we at Atlanta Sports HQ predict in today’s World Cup Final.