France vs Croatia World Cup Picks and Predictions 7/15/2018
World Cup final
Sunday, July 15, 2018
France will take on Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium in the World Cup final on Sunday, July 15, 2018. The opening line for this World Cup matchup has France at -113 and Croatia at +400. The total opened at 2.
In a match that the entire planet will be watching, this World Cup final on Sunday afternoon has a chance to be a great game. France was able to play solid defense and make the most of their few shots to defeat Belgium 1-0 in the semis, while Croatia pulled off a dramatic 2-1 victory over England in extra time. France are the favorites in this matchup thanks to their superior attack, but Croatia has proven time and again during the World Cup that they can adjust to any opponent and keep the game close.
The one area where France is clearly better than Croatia is pace. They will want to play an open game where their speedy players can push the Croatian defenders out of position and, hopefully, get past them in their buildup play. Croatia is excellent at retaining possession, though, so it'll be interesting to see how France reacts when they play without the ball for long periods of time. Expect France to come flying out on counterattacks early and often to try to grab a lead and make Croatia play with desperation.
Everyone has seen Pogba's pinpoint passes during this tournament, but what many miss is the way defenses react when he has the ball at his feet. In most situations an extra midfielder will rush over to try to stop him, giving France openings in their attack. It will be Pogba's job once again to find the holes in Croatia's defense and set up good chances for his team.
The 31-year-old striker is always a threat in the box and he forces opposing defenses to keep track of him. He played very well in France's win over Belgium by constantly moving around the box and coming back to give his midfielders options. He is struggling to find the back of the net right now, but if he can get one goal he might end up being able to get more and be France's key man in this one.
You would assume that Croatia's players would be tired out by now after playing in three consecutive 120-minute matches, but you can be sure that Zlatko Dalic will have them ready to play hard once again in the final. They will have to win the possession battle and their forwards will need to consistently give their midfielders good targets up front. They might need to play the perfect game to win gold, and no one doubts their ability to do just that.
The 29-year-old winger was a constant threat against England during the semifinal and Croatia will look to him again to put the French defense under pressure. His speed can be a problem for just about any defender in the world, and he has a quick shot that can throw off most keepers.
After picking up the match winner versus England, the big striker will be riding a major momentum wave into the final. His hold up play has been fantastic and he will once again be the main target for the Croatian midfielders and wingers.
Key France Injuries
No key injuries to report
Key Croatia Injuries
No key injuries to report
Who will win tonight's France/Croatia World Cup game against the spread?
Guy's Pick: Take Croatia +400
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