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FRA vs CRO Match Result - FIFA WC 2018
France
4 - 2
FT
Croatia
M. Mandžukić (OG) 18'
A. Griezmann (P) 38'
P. Pogba 59'
K. Mbappé 65'
28' I. Perišić
69' M. Mandžukić
FRANCE ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD! HUGO LLORIS HAS JUST LIFTED THE GREAT TROPHY! WHAT A MOMENT.

Once again, for one final time, thank you and goodnight.

Toodle-oooo!
France. Champions
The proud, happy, Frenchmen are being greeted with a hug and a kiss from Monsieur Emmanuel Macron, their President. What a great moment for a country that's so madly, deeply, truly in love with the beautiful game
The Croatians are walking up to take their lo--- nay, the runners-up medal. They have been such an effervescent addition to this World Cup, the President of Croatia - Ms. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic couldn't be happier with her side. I am sure the little country is bursting with pride for all twenty two of their lads... and Zlatko Dolic. 
The Golden Glove award goes to Thibaut Courtois! The giant Belgian was immense all throughout
And the Golden Ball is Luka 'the magician' Modric's. What an absolutely immense World Cup he's had. Most well deserved this recognition
Philip Lahm's come out and brought that magnificent little trophy with him. I'll carry you through the closing ceremonies here. The real closing ceremony. The young player of the Cup goes to the best young player in the world by a country mile - Kylian Mbappe. What a beast of a player
PEEP! PEEP! PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! GOES THE REFEREE'S WHISTLE FOR ONE FINAL TIME THIS WORLD CUP.

What a tournament it has been, what a final it has been. The two best teams in the final battled it out, and it's hard to grudge France their second World Championship.
 
This final had it all - an own goal, a VAR penalty, a left-footed screamer, a great goal from outside the box (the pass was in itself worthy of winning any World Cup final), a superb goal from the first teenager to score in a World Cup since someone called Edson Arantes de Nascimento, a comical goal for the ages... a team that's got it's defensive discipline down to a T, a team that's fought all summer long and didn't stop even when the whole world seemed to be against them... What a tale, what a game, what a sport we are all in love with. 

Twenty years ago, Didier Deschamps won it as captain. Tonight, he wins it as coach. What a story it's been. 

Thank you for reading this, and all our other live cards. From all of us here at SK's live commentary centre - Shambhu Ajith, Amit Mishra, Arvind Sriram and myself Anirudh Menon it's goodbye for one final time

It's been an absolute pleasure. 

Toodle-ooo!
90' +4' Rakitic wins a foul at the edge of the box; Pogba sees off Perisic from it. That really should be that
90'+ 3' OH! MY! Paul Pogba finds himself all alone in the Croatian box, and the ball coming at him - but he connects with naught but thin air. That would have been a crazy, crazy conclusion to a crazy, crazy game. 
90' +2' A tired Rakitic loses the ball with a loose pass and Mbappe runs at the Croats. He feeds Pogba; but the Manchester United man is bullied off it by Vida. Griezmann then motors down the left flank - where he's slammed into by Vrsaljko. That's a yellow for the frustrated Croat
90' +1' Corentin Tolisso stamps on Vrsaljko and goes down crying in pain. The ref doesn't buy it, but doesn't give Croatia the freekick anyway - it's a throw in to France. 
90' Pogba eats up another by winning a smart foul off a frustrated Brozovic. There wil FIVE MINUTES OF TIME ADDED ON! CAN CROATIA PULL OF THE MIRACULOUS? 
89' Fekir eats up half a minute with a couple of tricks and flicks down the right
88' Ivan Rakitic has a pop from distance -- he has the capability --- but this time it fades away sadly wide off goal for a goalkick
87' Perisic crosses, Lloris handles. Croatia come back as the Frech army braces itself for the final assault on their garrison
86' France venture out to the halfway line, where Lovren sees off Mbappe, but Fekir wins a foul off Rakitic. He then has a pop at goal from a mile away -- that's never happening, and Deschamps groan of frustration is audible all the way across in Bangalore
85' Pjaca looks to play in Vrsaljko with an immensely clever through ball...  but the ball's too clever even for his own man. France will take their time about this
84' Rakitic's second attempt is straight at Lloris - Croatia, though, win it back soon enough... Six minutes plus extra time to grab two goals 
83' Pogba's hassled into giving a foul away... Croatia take it quickly, and Perisic races down the left flank but Nestor Pitana pulls play back -- much to Rakitic's chagrin. His hilarious fall in dramatic anguish is one for eternity. Brilliant  
82' OH! OH! OH! Kramaric sends in Pjaca with a peach of a ball into the box; but the Juve winger can't get it under his spell. That was oh, so close to another very presentable opportunity
80' The coaches take the chance to make subs. Nabil Fekir comes on for Ollie Giroud - they'll play exclusively on the break now. Croatia throw on Marko Pjaca for left back Ivan Strinic. 
79' Pass, pass, go Croatia till Lovren sends a weak pass intot he crowd that Umtiti hacks away. 
78' Croatia are penning France into their own half now.... Mbappe looks to carry them out with another burst of pace down the middle; but Vida does superbly to hold his ground and see off the scary French lad. 
77' OH! MY! LORD!! After a lovely Luka Modric cross is headed out. Ivan Rakitic sent in a snapshot that looked to have a deflection on its way to whistling past a motionless Lloris and his far post... but the ref blows for a goalkick. 
76' AH! Vrsaljko has a pop from thirty odd yards out - that's just not happening. Griezmann motors up the other end and is content to win a throw-in. With fifteen plus minutes to go, that's a bit much, neh?
75' WOAH! Perisic races down the left, running onto a Rakitic through ball... but his ball into the box is headed away by the excellent Varane. 
74' OH! OH! Lloris is pressured by Ivan Perisic... but this time the French captain opts not to take the mickey and collects it like any reasonable goalkeepr would
Deep breaths everyone, deep breaths... 
73' Another whistle as Matuidi and Mandzukic clash heads -- that's the cue for Deschamps to take of the Frenchman and bring on Corentin Tolisso. 
72' Dejan Lovren smashes into Marcelo Brozovic... and the Inter man is down for the count. He gets back up as soon as the ref blows his whistle to attend to him
71' Andrej Kramaric comes on for Ante Rebic. Could they do it?
70' OH! MY! Vrsaljko steams down the right and screams in a cross that misses everyone in red and white... Perisic tries from the other end and it goes out of play. Croatia believe again!
HAHAHA! OH! MY! GOD! Hugo Lloris looked to beat Mario Mandzukic with a feint - the Juve man brought absolutely none of it - and he tackled into the goal. GAME ON!
69' GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! MARIO MANDZUKIC!
68' N'Zonzi bullies Modric halfway across the park and the Croat brings him down out of utter frustration. What can Croatia do now....
67' This is the first time since 1970 that a team have scored four in a World Cup final, and that team was the greatest of them all. Brazil 1970. Croatia look spent. 
AH! WHAT A FINISH! Lucas Hernandez Marcelo-d his way to the Croatian half, where he fed Kylian Mbappe. The young man took a touch and smashed in a clever, clever finish into Subsasic's near post. WOOF! WHAT A GOAL!

The first teenage final goal since Pele himself informs the ever excellent Peter Drury
65' GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLL!! MBAPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
64' Croatia are passing it about in the middle of the pitch - and France will be happy to keep them there all night long. Croatia need a moment of inspieation from somewhere - Rebic looks to provide it but he's crowded out by around about five blue shirts.
62' Nothing comes off the corner; and Croatia are taking their time reassembling. That was a sucker punch of a goal from Pogba. 
61' OH! OH! OH! Pogba swings a lovely ball out to Matuidi; who sends it into the box; where Giroud's attempt at a bicycle kick shot on goal hilariously turns out to be almost the perfect pass for Griezmann... before Strinic gets in a lanky leg and shanks it out for a corner. 
Oh, that ball. He pinged a 70 yarder on the volley out to Mbappe on the right.... who raced into the box and cut it to Griezmann. The Atleti man juggled, teed up Pogba who's first shot was blocked; before his second arrowed into the near corner. 
60' GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOALAAZOOOOO!! POGBAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
59' Paul Pogba sets Mbappe off with the single greatest pass you'll see all year... 
58' From the freekikc, the ball's played out to the wing, where Perisic sends it into Lloris' arms. He gets another chance to send the ball into the box where it's a bit too high for Mandzukic
57' Pogba looks to hold the ball in the Croat half for a bit and succeeds with a nice little out-pass to Pavard under severe pressure. He moves it onto Mbappe; who looks to shuffle his way through but Strinic and Brozovic are having none of it this time, and it takes  Giroud foul to stop the Croat counter
55' N'Zonzi's first contribution is to bully Modric in the air and try and set Griezmann off; but Croatia hold firm. 
54' A disappointing N'Golo Kante - who'd been brilliant all tournament long, but shoddy on the night - is taken off and Steven N'Zonzi, a brick wall of a human being is brought on in his stead. 
53' Ah, the muppets. Three young lads have invaded the pitch and there's a moment's pause as they are cleared. They are going to regret this. 
52' Mandzukic is dominating Kante all night long... but after winning the ball back he gives it away and France break... OH! MBAPPE! THE LIGHTNING BOLT OF A HUMAN BEING SCREAMS PAST VIDA WITH AN IMMENSE BURST OF PACE AND CAREEN INTO THE BOX, WHERE SUBASIC DOES MAGNIFICENTLY TO COME OUT AND BLOCK HIS SHOT!
51' Croatia are camped in the French half now... and that's just how Didier Deschamps likes it. 
50' Varane then goes and loses it under pressure from Mandzukic... but the Juve man can't pick a pass out inot the box. Perisic, though, does enough to win a corner; from which Vrsaljko smashes a speculative volley well wide off Lloris' far stick
49' OH! VARANE! Modric pinged in a lovely ball that looked to have set Mandzukic free through on goal, but Varane sprinted in from behind and put in an excellent covering tackle. Smashing that from the Madrid lad.
48' Croatia are incessant in their movement forward, this is the best they've played since Argentina, and Rebic races into the box before slapping a shot at goal -- where Lloris sticks out a strong left hand to parry it away. The corner's headed across goal by Lovren, where Matuidi sees off Vida
47' Giroud's first positive touch of the game sees him cushion a lovely pass into Griezmann's path -- who has a crack at goal from twenty five yards; but it's straight at Subasic
46' Pogba does what Pogba does, and cavorts his body away from a Mandzukic challenge to win  freekick. Varane takes it quickly and loses it... Croatia counter at pace... Rebic feeding Perisic - who's cross into the box is easily held by Lloris
*deep breath* PEEP! WE ARE OFF AGAIN!
PEEP! PEEP! THAT'S THAT FOR ARGUABLY THE BEST FIRST HALF IN A WORLD CUP FINAL FOR AT LEAST TWO DECADES!

Grab a tea, or a Coke, or a beverage of your choice. The second half promises to be even better.
45' + 3' WOAH! WOAH! WOAH! PERISIC! Vrsaljko swings in the most sumptuous boss into the far post, but Perisic ducks underneath it... Mbappe then looks to spring forward on the counter but Strinic puts an end to that in the professional manner
45' +2' Pogba gets bullied off the ball by a combination of Rakitic and Brozovic, and Perisic immediately looks to spring Mandzukic for'ard on the counter...  but the big man's first touch lets him down
45' +1' Three minutes to be added on! AND OH, CROATIA ALMOST EQUALISE IN THE FIRST OF THOSE MINUTES! Vida rises, unmarked, to meet Rakitic's ball but he inexplicably heads it wide from six yards out. 
45' WOOAH! Modric's corner causes all sorts of confusion in the box, and Umtiti ends up on the ground after a collision with Mandzukic. Despite France's protestations, the ref doesn't blow the whistle - and Rakitic plays on, and wins a corner off Pogba
44' Mandzukic is pushed to the ground by Umtiti and Modric has another freekick in a great position. WOOOOF!!! Modric swings it deep, Perisic rises highest to head it at goal; but Varane gets an improtant header in the way. It bounces to Lovren, who volleys it at goal but he's closed down; that's a corner. 
43' Rakitic looks to power his way down the middle, but the often under-fire Pogba does superbly to  muscle him off it, fairly. He looks to then ping one out to Mbappe, but overhits it just a tad
40' Mbappe skins three down the French right, and squares it where Lovren has to scram to boot it clear. This leads to a fortunate Croatian counter... where Lucas Hernandez brings down Ante Rebic in the unceremonious manner. That's a yellow for the Frenchman
39' OH! CROATIA! Perisic sprints down the left and swings in the most delightful ball into the box; where Rebic ghosts in and shanks a presentable opportunity into row Z. 
OH! The Fortnite L comes out as Antoine Griezmann keeps his cool under the most intense pressure known to a footballer... and calmly sends Subasic the wrong way before stroking it in into the opposite corner. That's the World Cup Final's first ever VAR-aided goal.
38' GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAALLL! GRIEZMANNNNNN!!
36' He's still looking.... oh, my! PENALTY FOR FRANCE! OH, THIS IS GOING TO SELL A LOT OF NEWSPAPERS TOMORROW - AND GET SO MANY CLICKS tonight
35' Big Nestor Pitana has jogged over to the touchline to look at the screen. VAR is going to make it's most decisive impact yet. 
34' AH! Matuidi connects with his noggin' but Perisic blocks the ball... it strikes his hand and VAR IS IN THE PLAY. HEART IN THE MOUTH MOMENT FOR EVERYONE. 
33' France move forward with immediate urgency, and Vida's hassled into making a horrible clearance that gifts France a corner. Griezmann will take. 
32' Rebic does well to find some space down the Croat right... but his cross into the box is hopeless
31' Aye, aye, aye. Brozovic nutmegs Pogba and that sets off another Croat corner that Lucas Hernandez does superbly to quell down his flank. He shoulders Rebic off the ball with an ease that would have had El Cholo Simeone smiling.
30' My, the explosion of noise that accompanied that goal. The neutral's favourites have their equaliser! Mbappe looks to address this slight upon the French defensive honour and glide into the Croat box - but he's pulled up for being offside. Tough call, but the right one. 
Modric lifted in the freekick, Vrsaljko headed it back into the box, Mandzukic looped it into the air, Lovren cushioned it down, Vida flicked it on, Perisic ran onto it, took a touch on the run and absolutely smacked the leather of that brand new Adidas Telstar as he sent it screaming into the bottom far corner of Lloris' net. 
28' GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! PERISICCCCCCCCCCCCCC! OH! MY! WHAT A GOAL!
27' Pavard and Mbappe look to outpace Rebic and Strinic down the right, but the Croats see them off before marauding forward themselves... Rebic gets tripped up by Kante in full flight, and that's a yellow for the Frenchman
26' France have got the opener, you know what's coming next. That loud noise you here is that of a particularly artsy looking Bus being slotted into reverse, and firmly into the parked position. 
24' Rakitic carries the ball forward boldly and wins a freekick; Modric takes, and though Lloris punches it's straight at a red and white shirt. They play it along the flank, where Rebic lifts in a ball that Rakitic connects on the volley around about hip high. He skies it into the warm Moscow air. If he'd connected well... that would have been goal of the tournament
23' OH! MY! Paul Pogba picks out a Kylian Mbappe run from the corner of his eye and sweeps it into his path - how he saw that pass, uff - but Vida times his tackle to perfection. Superb football all round
22' Giroud closes down Lovren and looks to have won the ball, and set off on a run free through on goal, but the ref pulls play back for a handball
21' ...Vida rises highest and sends a powerful header into row Z. Mr. Rohith Nair, beside me, says it's halfway to Ukraine... Hmmm.
20' Modric looks to find an immediate reply and goes marauding down the right... where he wins a foul off a desperate Kante. The magician will take... 
Griezmann's delivery is quite incredible, whipped in at pace, but Mandzukic's terribly unlucky to see it skim off his head and into his own goal's far corner. That's the first own goal ever to have been scored in the World Cup final. Oh, my. 
19' GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! OH! NO! MARIO MANDZUKIC OWN GOAL! OH!
18' Griezmann cleverly wins a freekick off Brozovic - he was going down before any contact came - and that's a freekick in an interesting position... 
17' Mbappe challenges for the header, Giroud tries to outpace two defenders, the hell's wrong with the world. Natural order is restored as Mbappe takes the ball down the right, shimmies hither, sends Strinic thither and sends in a ball that Vida clears
16' A harmless collision between Rebic and Hernandez sees the former go down in pain - nothing's wrong with him - but that's a breather for both sides. 
15' OH! UMTITI! PERISIC! Croatia break at pace aftyer another toothless French attack falls apart at the seams; Perisic gallops into acres of gloriously France-shirt-free green grass down the left before trying to ping it into the box - to Mandzukic - but Umtiti reads his intentions to perfection and cuts it out. 
13' Vladimir Putin is in the house. The Luzhniki is on its best behaviour. Coincidence? Russia deserve a lot of credit for this tournament, though, it's been a tremendous summer for football
12' France make their first real foray forward... but nothing comes of it. Akash Mishra, meanwhile, has mailed in with this -- "If Croatia win, Modric for Ballon d'or. If France lift the trophy, Modric for Ballon d'or" . That could well be the case, Akash, but should we even be thinking of that Golden Orb here... surely, the World Cup is the only shiny little golden trophy that matters at the moment.

11' .... WOOF! all that passing ends with Rakitic dinking a superb ball into Ivan Perisic's path, inside the box, but the Inter man just can't get it under control... and it runs out to touch 
10' WOOF! We've seen it all. N'Golo Kante has been dispossesed by an alert Mandzukic... Kante's been Kante-d! Modric then sweeps a gorgeous outside of the boot crossfield to Strinic and Croatia start off with another lovely looking passing move..
9' OOOO! Modric swings it in a delightful arc, but Olivier Giroud gets to it ahead of a leaping Mario Mandzukic. The ball's salvaged on the right by Rakitic - who swings it, and it takes another superb defensive header from Varane to mop up. 
8' Paul Pogba, playing auxillary right back at the moment in that extremely defensive-minded role of his, sees of Strinic as the left back looks to make his way into the box. From the throw-in, Strinic barrels into the box, but is shouldered off the ball, fairly, by an alert Mbappe. Corner, Croatia. 
7' France pass the ball around for a bit - but a loose Hernandez ball sees the ball trundle out of play. They really have not come to the party yet. Give the ball to Kylian, someone. 
6' Kante does what Kante does - wins the ball back, and Umtiti wins a goalkick off a pressing Rebic to win a goalkick, and a breath or two to calm down. OOO SA as the conductor of the closing ceremony, Will Smith, would have put it
5' Only one team playing any football here. Rebic and Vrsaljko combine delightgully down the right before the Atleti man pings one into the box. Mandzukic looks interested, but Varane is having none of it. The Frenchman has been immense this summer. 
4' Never mind, Croatia win it back right away and come roaring forward with Ivan Perisic - a couple of stepovers, though, are not enough to see off Benjamin Pavard and the Inter winger has to remain content with a throw-in
3' Modric tries to bully his way past Lucas Hernandez - no, really - and looks to have done so; but big Nestor Pitana doeth not like it, and calls a foul. 
2' The first foul of the match goes France's way as Umtiti is felled by a pressing Luka Modric. No one has run more than the Croat this tournament -- and he's not about to stop now
1' Croatia play keep ball for a bit, making sure everyone's got a touch on the thing - to ease nerves - till a loose Rakitic ball allows Varane to clear, despite Mandazukic putting in a late lunge
PEEP! WE ARE OFF!

Croatia, in their magnificent red and white chequered shirts will be kicking from right to left as you'd see it on the telly. France in their storied
Bleu will attempt to move the little round thing the other way. 

Croatia kick off
La Marseillaise has rung out in all its glory across the cavernous Luzhniki, the equally magnificent Croatian anthem has too, the hairs on the back of the neck are standing up in attention. This IS it. THE WORLD CUP FINAL. 

Hands have been shaken, photos have been taken, a coin is about to be tossed. 

Football is about to commence 
This World Cup has been nothing short of spectacular - forget the level of football, we aren't here to do doctoral theses on the organsiational brilliance of a 3-5-2, the tournament's been rich in narrative, richer than many a cup of the recent past. Philip Lahm has just brought out the World Cup trophy for the Luzhniki to see. 

Bloody 'ell, that trophy looks good. 
Neither France nor Croatia have changed anything from their semifinal XIs... as expected - it should be an absolute cracker. Allez Les Bleus, and whatever is the Croat for "get in, ye lads". Anyone know?

If you do, you could ping me @AnirudhMenon89 on the Twitter or if you prefer the world's most antiquated form of communication, you can drop in a mail to anirudh.menon@sportskeeda.com
LINEUPS CONFIRMED!

France XI (4-2-3-1): Hugo Lloris (GK), Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante; Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi; Olivier Giroud

Croatia XI (4-2-3-1): Danijel Subasic (GK); Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic; Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic, Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic; Mario Mandzukic
France vs Croatia - Managers Speaketh

"There is a spirit in the squad that can move mountains. They are young and they will be even stronger in two and four years' time.  We have created an opportunity to become world champions but we are still not there. But we want to fulfil our destiny." says Didier Deschamps

While Zlatko Dalic was a touch more verbose -  "At this World Cup, the star-studded teams relying on the big names are already on the beach. It's the compact, united teams fighting for something that are still around. It's been the strangest World Cup. Football has advanced so much so any team can have well-organised defence, so there are no huge winning margins and the team is everything. This was our problem for 10 years, we had great individuals but no unity and that's why I had to build that unity of purpose in the team."

This is going to be some final, isn't it? The narratives, the stories, the characters, the footballers... this is the zenith of their professional lives and every single person who's involved with the teams deserve massive amounts of credit for their achievement. 

Viva Football, as it were. 
France vs Croatia - Kickoff time, Venue, TV Schedule, Live Streaming details

Kickoff time: 6 PM Local Time | 4 PM UK | 8:30 PM IST (that's 2030 for you, soldier)
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
TV Schedule: Sony Ten 2, Sony Ten 2 HD in India, ITV in the UK, SuperSport in Nigeria, Fox in the US
Live Stream: Sonyliv - but why disturb your night out on the town and pay the premium on top of it? You could just follow it on the low right here!

France vs Croatia - Team News

France are sweating over the fitness of Blaise Matuidi, who left the semifinal after a heavy clash with Eden Hazard. Although concussion has been ruled out, Didier Deschamps is expected to take a late call on his match-readiness. Everyone else is fighting fit, and you can probably bet your house that Deschamps will go with the same starting XI (and same 4-2-3-1 formation) that's served him so well this World Cup.

Zlatko Dalic has been far more innovative in his approach to the game, mixing and matching in order to get the best out of his two best players - Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic - but Marcelo Brozovic's consistency might just convince Dalic to go with the 4-2-3-1 that he employed against England to such good effect. The Croats survived a scare after charismatic centre-back Domagoj Vida was cleared by FIFA for appearing in a video that says "Glory to Ukraine" - you can rest assured, though, the Russians who'll be attending this one at the Luzhniki as neutrals will not be warm in their reception of him.

France vs Croatia - Probable Lineups

France Predicted XI (4-2-3-1):
Hugo Lloris (GK), Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante; Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi; Olivier Giroud

Croatia Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Danijel Subasic (GK); Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic; Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic, Ante Rebic, Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic; Mario Mandzukic

France vs Croatia - Form Guide

(all competitions - most recent first)

France: WWWDWW

Arguably the best team in the competition, if not the most exciting - Les Bleus have been eerily consistent throughout, delivering results, upping the ante when needed (see, Argentina 3 France 4) and generally doing what it takes to win a major tournament.That defence (& defensive midfield), though.

Most recent game: 10/07/18: France 1 - 0 Belgium 

Croatia: WWWWWW

Sure penalty shootouts oughtn't technically count as wins, but the common misconception that a shootout is just glorified lottery is changing gradually, and Croatia have held their nerve on two separate occasions this tournament alone. And they won the last on in the dying embers of extra time.They've actually played an entire game more (30+30+30) than their opposition!

Most recent game: 11/07.18: England 1 - 2 Croatia

France vs Croatia - Head to Head

Games Played:
5
The most famous encounter between the two came in Croatia's first outing at the World Cup - 1998. The French came from a goal down to beat Croatia 2-1 in the semi-finals of the that World Cup thanks to an unlikely brace from Lilian Thuram. Those proved to be Thuram's only goals in his 142 caps. (fun fact - Croatia's goal, hammered in by Davor Suker, came after a rare, rare Thuram mistake at the back)

​France Wins: 3

How's this for a good omen? Excluding shootouts, France have lost just one of their last 14 knockout games at the World Cup (Wins 11, Draws 2). That defeat was their 1-0 loss to Germany in the 2014 quarter-finals.​

Croatia Wins: 0

And how's this for not giving a f***? Croatia are the first team to have reached the World Cup final despite trailing in all three of their knockout games.

Draws: That is but elementary [math], my dear Watson. Really, really, elementary

France vs Croatia - Prediction

In theory, there ought to be only one winner here - but if there has been one moral we can take away from this World Cup, it's been that theoretical logic, strength-on-paper, pedigree and history mean absolutely nothing. This is the World Cup final, Croatia will go for it, France will go for it... and not one man will leave give anything less than 100% on the field. That's the reason they've got here, after all. 

My prediction, then? France 1 - 1 Croatia aet; winner to be decided on pens (and it's cruel to ask anyone to predict how a shootout will play out -- unless England are involved; and even that's up in the air now. God, what a weird World Cup)
90'+2'
Š. Vrsaljko
81'
M. Pjaca
I. Strinić
N. Fekir
O. Giroud
81'
C. Tolisso
B. Matuidi
73'
71'
A. Kramarić
A. Rebić
69'
M. Mandžukić
K. Mbappé
assist: L. Hernández
65'
P. Pogba
59'
S. Nzonzi
N. Kanté
55'
L. Hernández
41'
A. Griezmann, Penalty
38'
28'
I. Perišić
assist: D. Vida
N. Kanté
27'
M. Mandžukić (Own Goal)
18'
Croatia (4-1-4-1)
Zlatko Dalić (Manager)
1
H. Lloris
21
L. Hernández
5
S. Umtiti
4
R. Varane
2
B. Pavard
14
B. Matuidi
13
N. Kanté
6
P. Pogba
10
K. Mbappé
9
O. Giroud
7
A. Griezmann
23
D. Subašić
3
I. Strinić
21
D. Vida
6
D. Lovren
2
Š. Vrsaljko
11
M. Brozović
4
I. Perišić
7
I. Rakitić
10
L. Modrić
18
A. Rebić
17
M. Mandžukić
Croatia (4-1-4-1)
Zlatko Dalić (Manager)
France Subs
23
A. Areola
11
O. Dembélé
18
N. Fekir
3
P. Kimpembe
8
T. Lemar
16
S. Mandanda
22
B. Mendy
15
S. Nzonzi
17
A. Rami
19
D. Sidibé
20
F. Thauvin
12
C. Tolisso
Croatia Subs
19
M. Badelj
14
F. Bradarić
13
T. Jedvaj
12
L. Kalinić
8
M. Kovačić
9
A. Kramarić
1
D. Livaković
22
J. Pivarić
20
M. Pjaca
15
D. Ćaleta-Car
5
V. Ćorluka
35% POSSESSION 65%
7 SHOTS 14
6 SHOTS ON GOAL 4
13 FOULS 13
2 CORNERS 6
1 OFFSIDES 1
2 YELLOW CARDS 1
0 RED CARDS 0
2 SAVES 3
Pos Club P W D L GD Pts
Group A
1 Uruguay 3 3 0 0 5 9
2 Russia 3 2 0 1 4 6
3 Saudi Arabia 3 1 0 2 -5 3
4 Egypt 3 0 0 3 -4 0
Group B
1 Spain 3 1 2 0 1 5
2 Portugal 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Iran 3 1 1 1 0 4
4 Morocco 3 0 1 2 -2 1
Group C
1 France 3 2 1 0 2 7
2 Denmark 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Peru 3 1 0 2 0 3
4 Australia 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group D
1 Croatia 3 3 0 0 6 9
2 Argentina 3 1 1 1 -2 4
3 Nigeria 3 1 0 2 -1 3
4 Iceland 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group E
1 Brazil 3 2 1 0 4 7
2 Switzerland 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Serbia 3 1 0 2 -2 3
4 Costa Rica 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group F
1 Sweden 3 2 0 1 3 6
2 Mexico 3 2 0 1 -1 6
3 Korea Republic 3 1 0 2 0 3
4 Germany 3 1 0 2 -2 3
Group G
1 Belgium 3 3 0 0 7 9
2 England 3 2 0 1 5 6
3 Tunisia 3 1 0 2 -3 3
4 Panama 3 0 0 3 -9 0
Group H
1 Colombia 3 2 0 1 3 6
2 Japan 3 1 1 1 0 4
3 Senegal 3 1 1 1 0 4
4 Poland 3 1 0 2 -3 3
MATCH DETAILS
Tournament FIFA WC 2018 - Final
Stadium Stadion Luzhniki
Match time Sun, 15 Jul 2018, 08:30 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2018 23:03 PM | Published: Jul 15, 2018 21:15 PM
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