The promise of France is one win away from being fulfilled. Les Bleus were one of the top tier favorites to win the World Cup and have what is considered to be one of the deepest and most talented teams in the tournament. At the start of the World Cup tournament Croatia was an afterthought.
Nobody gave the Blazers much thought. Not that the Croats were disrespected. It’s just that they were ignored. But when they defeated Argentina the script was flipped. And a star was born. France will face Croatia for the World Cup championship on Sunday.
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2018 FIFA World Cup Croatia vs. France
Date and Time: Sunday, July 15, 2018, 11 a.m. ET
Location: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
World Cup Betting Online Odds at BetCris: Croatia +372, France -104, Draw +214, Croatia + ½ -113, France – ½ -107, Over 2 +104, Under 2 -128
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: FOX
Les Bleus in the Black
There have been some perilous moments to be sure but France has made punters very happy with their undefeated run to the final. France entered the tournament lauded for their talent but also derided for its youth. Perhaps their greatest win was in the semifinal when they beat a deep, skilled and experienced Belgium squad 1-0. Belgium was also a top tier favorite to win the World Cup. Beyond that they were considered to have the advantage on defense and with their veteran presence. Yet Les Bleus proved everyone wrong with an incredible performance. And their superior defense.
Deschamps for Didier?
France Manger Didier Deschamps will leave as one of the most respected minds in the game. He is the longest serving coach in France’s history. He has been able to take a talented but raw team and mold it into a championship contender. Deschamps faced criticism after France lost at home in the 2016 Euro to Portugal. His team was considered not quite ready and it was believed that 2022 would be a more realistic shot at the World Cup. Qualifying showed lapses by the young players. But at the right time Deschamps has France working like a machine.
Blazing a New Trail
Croatia began being taken seriously when they obliterated Argentina 3-0 as they shut out Lionel Messi, considered by many to be the greatest player in the world. It was a landmark win that put the world on notice that Croatia was for real. Argentina is one of the marquee brans of international soccer. And was among the favorites to win the tournament. Messi is as big as it gets when it comes to star power. But a new star was born on the pitch that day.
Croatia was touted as having the top midfielding unit in the sport. And Luka Modric was touted as being the best of that best group. Against Argentina he exploded upon the world stage. Modric was the best player on the pitch as he scored a goal and was instrumental in holding Messi in check. He has been the lynchpin for a remarkable Cinderella run by the Blazers. Croatia’s 2-1 extra time upset win over England in the semi final showed the heart and character of a champion.
Players to Watch
France has a pair of explosive young forward that will put Modric and Croatia’s midfielding corps to a supreme test. Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe each have three goals in the World Cup tournament.
Modric and fellow midfielder Ivan Perisic each have two goals so far for Croatia as does forward Mario Mandzukic.
Croatia vs. France Free Picks
Croatia makes for an outstanding value play here. France is the better known and more celebrated team. They have more international cache. But Croatia has proven to be superior to all expectations. Their win over England should serve notice to all. They rate the better value against a France team that may be a public overlay.
Croatia vs. France Pick: Bet the money line on Croatia
Croatia vs. France Score Prediction: Croatia 2, France 1
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