Key battles to look for in 2018 World Cup Final
This Sunday will witness a historic match in World Cup history. There is a huge possibility that a new champion will be crowned as Kings of world football. When France meets Croatia, it is a battle between a traditional football powerhouse and a new rising footballing nation. France is trying to win their second world title after 20 long years and Croatia is determined to create history. Tackles will be thrown in, words will be exchanged, sweat and maybe even blood will be on the grass, little battles will be waged amongst the players because the war has to be won. The World Cup has to be won.
France has a host of young, talented players like Mbappe, Griezman and Pogba, whereas Croatia is lined up with more experienced players like Modric, Rakitic and Mandzukic. Basically, it will be a war between youthful exuberance and experienced football brains. We will have to wait till Sunday to see which team edges past the other by winning the little battles across the pitch: France again or a new champion in Croatia?
Kylian Mbappe vs Croatian Defense
Kylian Mbappe has been a sensation this World Cup. He had already made headlines last summer with his switch from Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain. The world knew about his goal scoring capabilities much before he boarded the plane for Russia, but the display was so influential that he played a major role in helping France reach the final. His burst of pace, positioning and stunning ball control have already caused enough chaos among the opposition defenses so far. He is not a player who goes hiding on big occasions, and thus he will try and make a big impact on a huge day.
Among the defenders who lined up against England in the semi-final, except Sime Vrsaljko, all the others (Lovren, Vida, and Strinic) are close to their thirties. We must accept and awe at the fact that this defense kept the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard at bay. But, can we expect the same against another excellent frontline of Griezman, Mbappe, and Giroud? Remember, Croatia has already played three consecutive matches of 120 minutes. But, as we saw against England, they are fighters and they will fight till the end.
Verdict: Mbappe to edge over a rather slow Croatian backline. Only determination and utmost concentration can stop Mbappe from tearing them apart.