World Cup Final Prediction and Odds 201814th July 2018 / lee
Croatia made history as they reached their first ever World Cup Final having dispatched England in the semi-finals. The Croats will now step out against favourites France on the weekend in the showcase match to be held in Moscow. Croatia certainly haven’t done things the easy way through the knockout stage, unlike France who have just gotten stronger and stronger. In this tournament which has provided surprise after surprise, is there one more to come, or will France deliver on their 19/20 favouritism* (betting odds taken at 9:57 pm on July 11th, 2018)?
France v Croatia Winner Odds*
France Favourites for Final
France will be heading to the World cup Final on the weekend in Moscow, well rested and full of optimism as they are favourites to lift the trophy. France did not get taken to extra time in any of their knockout stage matches and that is in stark contrast to what Croatia had to go through. So France have remained strong and have actually looked stronger and stronger the longer the tournament has worn on. After a mediocre group stage throughout the knockout phase, we have seen important different strengths from the French.
When they were down in their round of sixteen tie against Argentina, they had the attacking strengths to get themselves back into it. When they had to show patience against Uruguay’s tough defense in the quarter finals, they delivered what they needed to do in order to post a comfortable 2-0 win. Then in the semi-final, they produced what was arguably their most composed performance as they beat Belgium 1-0. While it wasn’t a big scoreline, what France did in the match speaks volumes about them.
Their defensive display, from the back of the midfield to the back line played so well that they totally negated the threat the Belgians, the top scorers at the tournament carried. Considering that Belgium had played so well in beating Brazil in the quarter finals, France simply stood their ground, stood up to their neighbours and just did not let them play. That was such a good defensive play from France it does lead to appeal on France to win to nil in the World Cup Final which is at 7/4 odds* (betting odds taken at 9:57 pm on July 11th, 2018).
Perhaps more was expected of France overall in terms of attacking flair at this tournament, but that has, by and large, been on the backburner and they have instead leaned on a pragmatic approach. The flair hasn’t quite been there. It can be argued that with Olivier Giroud leading the line they are aren’t playing their most potent attack. Whatever they are thinking it is working for them as they have now made it to back to back finals in major tournaments. They are favourites to bring home their second World Cup title as well ,adding to their first breakthrough on home soil back in 1998. This is their third final in the last six editions of the tournament (W1 L1).
Croatia create history
Croatia have made it to their first ever World Cup final and they are the second smallest nation (behind Uruguay) to have made it to the showcase match. If they were to win this then they would be just the eighth different nation to get the title. Croatia laid down a very early marker at this tournament with some dominant and classy display in the group stage, stroking the ball around nicely and punters really sat up and took notice of this dark horse when they beat Argentina 3-0 in their second match.
They have had to work really hard through the knockout stages of the competition though, needing a penalty shootout to move past both Denmark and Russia in the knockout stages. But their resilience shone through as they had to come from behind in both of those games. They were trailing against England as well in their semi-final but managed to pull it back to 1-1 for the third consecutive match at 90 minutes. In the correct score market a 1-1 draw at 90 minutes is a 6/1 odds option* (betting odds taken at 9:57 pm on July 11th, 2018). Thanks to Mario Mandzukic pouncing in extra time, they didn’t need a penalty shootout this time.
So Croatia have shown flair, resilience and strength to create some history for themselves. But they are big underdogs for the World Cup Final now and part of that will not only be down to how good France are but all of the extra work that the Croats have done. They have played an extra 90 minutes during the knockout stage now, the equivalent of an extra game to what France have done. How much will that now take its toll on them? Under 2.5 goals has to be the way to go and that is a 4/9 odds option at bet365* (betting odds taken at 9:57 pm on July 11th, 2018). But to be fair to them, they were expected to be second best in terms of energy and stamina against England, but in the second half, they looked the stronger of the two sides. They have certainly been tested. Can they get through this final one?
The two sides are pretty comparable in terms of form. France have lost just one of their last seventeen games now (W12 D4) in a sequence that goes back to the end of August 2018. They are holding on to a ten-match undefeated streak at the moment. The notable facts about France is how good their defence has been. There were one or two question marks about them ahead of the tournament in what department but they have taken five clean sheets in their last six games played. France have conceded more than one goal in just one of their last ten games and going forward they have found the back of the net in all but one of their last fourteen matches.
Croatia in comparison are W8 D4 L2 in their current form (over 90 minutes). They have taken only the two clean sheets in their last seven games though, which doesn’t stack up against France’s defensive strengths. They have scored at least two goals in all but one of their last seven games now (including extra time at the World Cup) and are on a seven-match scoring streak.
France v Croatia Head to head
This will be the sixth meeting between France and Croatia, with the Croatians looking for their first-ever win against Les Bleus. The last two meetings have both ended in a draw. France and Croatia have met at the World Cup before, their first ever game was at France 1998 which Les Bleus won 2-1 on their way to winning the tournament. Their only other competitive meeting was a Euro 2004 clash which ended in a 2-2 draw.
World Cup Final 2018 Prediction
For our France v Croatia prediction we are expecting a tight game as France don’t look like giving too much up at the back at all. France have really dialled into defensive strengths the longer the tournament had gone on and France to win by a one-goal margin appeals at 12/5 odds* (betting odds taken at 9:57 pm on July 11th, 2018).
It has been a thoroughly exciting tournament from Croatia and one of great achievement for this golden generation that they have. However, all of that extra time played and having had a day’s less rest than France, may see them fall at the final hurdle.
The tip is based on the personal opinion of the author. No success is guaranteed. Please gamble responsibly. 18+
* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!