Fri, Jul 13, 11:24am by Staff Writer
Date and Time: Monday July 16, 1am AEST
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia
TV: SBS, Optus Sport
France and Croatia will meet in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final in Moscow on Monday morning to crown the latest champion in world football.
Les Bleus are $1.91 to win the match in regular time at Sportsbet, with Croatia $4.75 outsiders. The draw is paying $3.30.
France are $1.45 to lift the cup, with Croatia at $2.75.
France have breezed through the tournament thus far, going undefeated in group C matches, with wins against Australia and Peru.
A draw against Denmark in the final game ensured they would finish atop group C.
In the knockout rounds, France defeated Argentina 4-3 in a highly entertaining match. A 2-0 win against another South American team in Uruguay had Les Bleus taking on neighbours Belgium in the semi-finals.
France’s defeat has been rock-solid in the past two matches and a 1-0 win against the Red Devils sealed their passage to a third World Cup final in the past five tournaments.
Croatia’s run has not been as easy. Despite finishing atop group E with three wins, including a win against Argentina, the Balkan nation has been forced to extra-time or penalties in all three of their knockout games.
Croatia has been involved in some of the most dramatic matches at this year’s World Cup. A 3-2 win on penalties against Denmark in the round of 16 was followed by a pulsating 2-2 draw and win on penalties against hosts Russia.
A come-from-behind 2-1 win against England in extra-time sealed their passage to a first World Cup final in dramatic circumstances.
Both sides are expected to name an unchanged lineup from that which took the field in the semifinals.
Croatia have not beaten France in five attempts, with their most famous match against the French coming in the 1998 World Cup semi-finals where France were victorious 2-1.
The most recent match between the sides was a 0-0 draw in Paris in 2011.
This is the third all-European final in the past four World Cups and Croatia is the 13th nation to reach a World Cup final.
Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe have been France’s main avenues to goal, scoring three goals each.
For Croatia, their goal-scoring load has been shared by three world-class players. Mario Madzukic, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic are all big game players and have scored two goals each at this tournament.
A 1-0 win to France is the preferred option in the correct score market, paying $5.50. A 0-0 is the next best at $6.50. Croatia to win 1-0 is paying $9.50.
The half-time/full-time market favours France to lead at both intervals at $3.20. There is some value in the draw/France at $4.50.
Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe are dominating the first goalscorer market priced at $5 and $6 respectively, after both have had exquisite tournaments.
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has failed to fire, but is set to maintain his starting spot and is $6.50 to score the first goal.
No goalscorer is paying $5.
The over/under goals is favouring a low scoring match, with under 2.5 goals paying $1.40. Under 1.5 goals is $2.40.
The method of victory for either team to win on penalties is $4.50 and the shortest price among the options. Either team to win in extra time is $6.
France has been the best and most consistent team at the World Cup, with Croatia sure to bring a lot of energy and determination to the match.
Croatia have expended a lot of energy getting to this stage of the tournament, playing an entire match more than France if you include all of the extra-time periods and penalty shootouts.
Football is unpredictable, but it would be a shock if France were to not come away with victory after their impressive tournament.
Best bet- France to win in regular time at $1.91
France v Croatia Odds – Sportsbet
France $1.91 Draw $3.30 Croatia $4.75
To Lift the Cup- France $1.45 Croatia $2.75
France 1-0 $5.50, 0-0 $6.50, Croatia 1-0 $9.50
Antoine Griezmann $5
No goalscorer $5
Kylian Mbappe $6
Olivier Giroud $6.50
Nabil Fekir $7.50
Ousmane Dembele $8.50
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