France v Croatia Betting Preview – 15/07/18

France v Croatia Betting Preview – 15/07/18

France v Croatia

This years World Cup final will be contested between France and Croatia, after the two sides beat Belgium and England in their respective semi-final fixtures this week. France will head into this clash as strong favourites, they’ve been outstanding in Russia this summer, winning five of their six matches whilst conceding just four goals in the process. Didier Deschamps’ men have seen off the likes of Argentina, Uruguay and most recently Belgium to reach this stage of the competition, so will view the challenge of Croatia as one they can easily overcome if they play to their full potential.

With four clean sheets in their previous six matches, France are an extremely tough side to break down, but they can catch sides on the break within the blink of an eye through the creativity of Antoine Griezmann and pace of teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe. The 19-year-old PSG winger was the standout player in France’s semi-final clash against Belgium – he created so many problems with his intricate runs in behind the Belgians defence so will definitely be the biggest threat to Croatia in this one. With such strength at both ends of the pitch, it’s hard to envisage anything but a France victory here. Kylian Mbappe will be brimming with confidence after his performance against Belgium, will he pick off where he left off in Sunday’s final?

Croatia’s route to the final was nowhere near as straight forward as Frances. Zlatko Dalić’s men needed extra-time and penalties to decide their fate against Denmark and then Russia prior to taking on England in Wednesday night’s semi-final at the Luzhniki Stadium. After going a goal down inside the first five minutes courtesy of a beautifully-crafted Kieran Trippier free-kick, Croatia pulled themselves level in the 68th minute when Ivan Perišić headed home from close range. For the third consecutive time, a match involving Croatia at the World Cup was taken to extra-time, and experience shined through. Juventus front man Mario Mandžukić won his side the game in the 109th minute, which saw England knocked out of the tournament and Croatia reach the final for the first time in World Cup history.

Game management has been a huge part of Croatia’s success in Russia, they’re by no means the most talented team on paper however the way they’ve controlled the tempo of matches at this summers tournament has been fantastic. The midfield pairing of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic is as good as any; they keep the ball so well and can win back possession instantly when they haven’t got it so will be key in this Sunday’s match. France’s dominant midfield trio of N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi will be the biggest challenge Modric and Rakitic have faced in Russia though, so it’s going to be very interesting to see if they’ll have the ability to contain that in this clash.

Recommended Bets:

Kylian Mbappe to score anytime: 2/1 with Bet365 – BET HERE

France to win & over 2.5 goals: 23/10 with Ladbrokes – BET HERE