While the one-time champion France will play for the third time in the World Cup Final, Croatia on the other side is a debutant in the biggest game of all. In 1998, when France won the title on a home soil, the Blues overcame Croatia 2-1 in the Semi-Final, so this is a revenge time for the Blazers who have a historic chance to beat the 2018 World Cup. The bettors can expect a tremendous battle as the clash is set for this Sunday, July 15th, 2018, at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, so let’s take a closer look at both rivals.
France vs. Croatia
3-Way: 1: France -110; X: +230 Draw; 2: Croatia +400 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread -0.5: France -110; Croatia +100
Total +2: Over +100; Under -115
Both Teams to Score Yes/No: +125/-175
The Blues are having a wonderful tournament so far, building up their form just right on time. After some unconvincing displays in the group stage, France smashed Lionel Messi’s Argentina 4-3 in the last-16 match, while the Blues easily outplayed Uruguay 2-0 in the Quarter-Final. The Semi-Final clash against Belgium was a tight one, but the Blues managed to keep the net intact, grabbing a well-deserved 1-0 victory thanks to Samuel Umtiti’s header from Antoine Griezmann’s corner-kick.
After conceding three times against Argentina, France’s defense was excellent in the previous two games. Raphael Varane was orchestrating the defensive line brilliantly, while the captain Hugo Lloris had some terrific saves between the sticks. The talented right-back Benjamin Pavard is a great danger with his overlapping skills, so the Blues’ defense could be a key factor in the 2018 World Cup Final. The forward duo Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe both scored three goals each so far, but Griezmann also has two dishes on his account.
In six games at the 2018 World Cup, France has recorded five wins and one stalemate with a goal difference of 10:4, while two out of these six tilts had at least three goals in the total. In those four matches that went in the under, the Blues has kept their net intact, and they failed to score only in the ultimate clash of the Group C in a nil-nil draw against Denmark.
- France is at -250 to beat the 2018 World Cup
- France is at +1000 to lose by a penalty shootout
- Kylian Mbappe is at -110 to win the Golden Ball
Croatia’s dream of winning the World Cup continues, as the Blazers have managed to reach the World Cup Final for the first time in their history. After a couple of wins by a penalty shootout against Denmark in the Round of 16, and Russia in the Quarter-Final, the Blazers had to play another extra-time in the Semi-Final match with England. It was the third consecutive 1-1 draw at the end of 90 minutes for the Blazers who put on a great performance to score the winning goal in the 109th minute of the game and send England into the Third-place playoff.
Three straight overtimes certainly affect Croatia’s fitness, but it is also a massive psychological boost for Zlatko Dalic’s boys. Their tank shouldn’t be dry, but it is undoubtedly emptier than their rival’s who had one day more for resting. The winger Ivan Perisic is one of those players who can run forever, and he was the key player against England, scoring the equalizer and assisting to Mandzukic for the winning goal. The playmaker Luka Modric is also tireless, but the big question is how will the defenders recover. Croatia’s back line is playing exceptionally well in this tournament, and they have to continue with a good job.
Croatia has won all three encounters in the group stage with a 7:1 goal difference, including a 3-0 trashing against Argentina. Since then, the Blazers have conceded in four games in a row, but only two out their six matches at the 2018 World Cup had at least three goals in the total, counting only the regular time. Likewise, Croatia has managed to score in each game at this tournament which proves their excellent attacking flow.
- Croatia is at +200 to beat the 2018 World Cup
- Croatia is at +900 to lose by a penalty shootout
- Luka Modric is at +200 to win the Golden Ball
France vs. Croatia – Match and Odds Breakdown
In the knock-out phase of the 2018 World Cup Croatia has played 90 minutes of soccer more than France thanks to those three consecutive extra-time games which is not the negligible fact, for sure. France is a physically quite dominant team, and the Blues would have an advantage even without Croatia’s overtimes. This stamina factor probably affects the odds, as France is a strong -110 favorite to win the title after the regular time.
The bookies expect to see a tight match, setting -215 odds on the under 2.5 goals, whilst +160 wages are on the over. The price on both teams to score is +125, and one goal could easily lead to another in a game like this one with everything on the stake. Therefore, the bettors should see a patient approach on both sides, as one mistake could be fatal, while -110 odds are set on a draw at the halftime which seems like a nice wager.
Croatia possesses some brilliant technicians in the middle of the park, but they will have a difficult task against strong and pacey France’s midfield where N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba are key guys. On the other side, Croatia’s defense will have to cope with Kylian Mbappe’s tremendous speed, and I believe Croatia will have huge problems to keep the net intact in this one. However, the bettors can check out all lines and markets on BetDSI Sportsbook.
The Pick: France (-110)
Additional Pick: Over 2 Goals (+100)