It all comes down to this.
France vs. Croatia
Can the second smallest country in the World Cup take down a soccer giant?
Croatia won their group by beating Argentina, Nigeria, and Iceland.
From that point on they won in penalties against Denmark and Russia. Just when you thought they were headed to a third consecutive shootout, they scored in the second half of extra time to reach the place we are at now: the World Cup Final.
Croatia Possible Starting Lineup:
- GK- Subašić;
- D-Strinić, Vida, Lovren,Vrsaljko
- MFs- Brozović, Perišić, Rakitić, Modrić, Rebić;
- F- Mandžukić
France also won their group with victories over Australia, Peru, and a draw versus Denmark.
Their prize for winning the group was a matchup against Argentina, which may go down as the most exciting game of the World Cup tournament this year. They then had to beat Uruguay and everyone’s dark horse favorite Belgium to reach the final for the first time since 2006, where they lost to Italy in penalties.
France Possible Starting Lineup:
- Ds- Hernández, Umtiti, Varane, Pavard
- MFs-Kanté, Pogba, Matuidi
- Fs- Griezmann, Mbappé, Giroud
France – Croatia History
France leads 3-0-2 overall, 1-0 in World Cups, and 1-0-1 in official competition.
In Euro 2004, France fought back in a memorable game to help Les Bleus to a 2-2 tie with Croatia in the second game of the group stage. Croatia seemed to never recover from that game and lost to England in the knockout stage. The French lost in the quarterfinals by Greece.
The most recent game was a friendly played by these teams in 2011.
Verdict: France is a well-organized team and has had to play tough teams to reach this point. They have also tasted defeat in a final in Euro 2016 as Portugal beat them on their homeland, and will do whatever necessary to avoid another defeat in the last game.
Croatia has been beating the odds this whole tournament and have played more minutes than any other team. They will dig deep to reach the pinnacle of being a champion.
Croatia will lift the trophy for the first time this Sunday as 2018 World Cup Champions.
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