Croatia vs. France
World Cup: July 15, 2018, 11:00 AM ET (Luzhniki Stadium)
Moneyline: Croatia +320 / France -111 / Draw +220
FREE FIFA WORLD CUP PICK Croatia vs. France
Croatia played a grueling, yet superb match against England. After going down in the 5th minute from a free kick, Croatia kept their composure and trusted the game plan. With 22 total shots (7 on target), winning 56% possession, and 8 corners, Croatia dominated England. Croatia played solid defense and relied on their talented midfield led by Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. And, Croatia had over 100 more passes than England. Thanks to a spectacular goal from Ivan Perisic to level the score and a Mario Mandzukic goal to take the lead in extra time, Croatia walked away victorious. Now, the tournament underdogs find themselves in the final against France. Croatia has played a full 90 minutes longer than France as their last 3 matches have gone into extra time. Though they didn’t look tired against England, hopefully Croatia is well rested and fresh-legged going into the final.
France snuck passed Belgium in their last game. They played a calculated and technical game to beat the Red Devils. France’s defense shined, holding a talented Belgian squad scoreless. Hugo Lloris kept up his excellent form. In the midfield, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante controlled the pitch and dictated the pace to perfection. In attack, 19-year old Kylian Mbappe has been sensational. In this finals match, France looks to make atonement for their loss in the 2016 Euro in which they lost in the finals to Portugal. The one last question for Les Blues is whether starting striker Olivier Giroud can find his groove, as he hasn’t done much so far in the World Cup. If France can pull this off, manager Didier Deschamps will be the third person to win the World Cup both as a player and a manager.
Key Difference Makers
Luka Modric, Croatia, Midfielder: Modric has done everything for his team. He’s the engine behind their unbelievable underdog run, and he’s making a run for the Ballon d’Or with his stellar play thus far. Modric has run farther than anyone in the cup, made more passes than anyone (excluding Spaniards), and has the most minutes for a croat, most touches, and most dribbles completed. He’s tied for most Croatian goals (2) and assists (1). All you have to do is watch this man play for 90 minutes and you understand his impact on game and team.
Kylian Mbappe, France, Forward: Mbappe has been fantastic in the World Cup. He was seen as a rising superstar playing for PSG and has cemented his status as a superstar playing for France. His special combination of speed, physical play, and finishing make him a triple threat against anybody. He’s tied for most goals for France (3) and will undoubtedly have an impact in the final. To top it off, he’s just the second teenager ever to score two goals in a World Cup match. The other: Pele.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
The draw has cashed in all three of Croatia’s knockout stage matches.
Olivier Giroud has played 465 minutes at the World Cup without a single shot on target.
Six of the last seven World Cup finals have resulted in 2 goals or less after 90 minutes.
FREE FIFA WORLD CUP PICK France vs. Croatia
Soccer matches involving Croatia always make for a scrappy, physical game. Expect nothing less in this final against France. France has the upper hand talent-wise on every level of the pitch. In order for Croatia to win, they’re going to need to control the midfield. Croatia’s spectacular midfield has outmatched their opponents in every game so far, but France’s midfield is equally stacked. France has the edge, but if they let the Croats hang around too long, the Croats might have a shot.
[button type=”big” color=”blue”] Pick: France -111 [/button]