World Cup Preview – Final | France v Croatia

France and Croatia meet in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday, with Didier Deshamps’s side firm favourites for the title.

The French have been getting stronger throughout the tournament and they edged home in the semi-finals against Belgium.

Croatia have needed penalties twice, and extra-time on more than one occasion to make the last four, including defeating the highly-fancied England in the semi-finals.

Deschamps is looking to become only the third man to win a World Cup final as a player and a manager, but he wants his players to write their own history.

“You have to live in your own times: I never, never, never mention my own history,” Deschamps said.

“Some of them were not born but saw pictures. It belongs to a lot of French people that lived through it but not the young generation. I’m here to write a new page in history, the most beautiful page.

“I’m not saying I’m not proud of what we did 20 years ago. Nobody will be able to erase it. But we can’t look back and see what is in the rear-view mirror.”

Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic admits that his side face a huge challenge to overcome the French in their first major final.

“There is no weakness in a team that is in the final. They are a top-drawer team with fantastic players. But we are going to discuss France on Saturday. We’re taking it step by step,” he said.

“We’re facing another daunting task, but it’s going to be a fantastic match.

“We are ready for it. I am sure everybody will enjoy watching that match. I have huge respect for France.”

See below for a preview on the game, including predictions from former England and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and bet365’s Steve Freeth.

France 16:00 Croatia
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow


France: Hugo Lloris; Lucas Hernandez, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane, Benjamin Pavard; Ngolo Kante, Paul Pogba; Blaise Matuidi, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe; Olivier Giroud.

Croatia: Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic; Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic; Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic; Mario Mandzukic

KEY FACT: This is Croatia’s first ever major final
Match odds from bet365: FRANCE 10/11  DRAW 23/10 CROATIA 4/1
bet365 Pick: France to win 1-0 @9/2
ANDY SAYS: I can see Croatia knicking this and being shock winners….1-2
GRAEME SAYS: France for me, I don’t see them not winning this…2-0
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