France v Croatia is an unexpected final but also a great quintessence of this World Cup.
After all it has been an intriguing tournament full of twists in which we have seen that a type of football based on team work is required to succeed, rather than a bet on players’ individual skills.
France and Croatia have best showed such approach; they have not looked spectacular but they have been consistent and hard-working and that’s why they will fight on Sunday for the title.
France are rightfully considered favourites. They are virtually the ideal team – reliable at the back, well-balanced in midfield and able to play with real excitement in attack.
At the same time, they have not showed a truly spectacular game because of the tactics of the head coach, who did not want to risk and demand from his side more than required for victory.
Watching Didier Deschamps’ team during the tournament, there was the impression that they can switch to an even stronger mode of the game and this will make them really dangerous opponents.
Croatia should be patient and not leave themselves as vulnerable as it was in the first half of their semi-final versus England.
Nevertheless, Croatia showed that they are a great mature and persistent side, who, unlike France, play at their absolute limit. They will press Deschamps’ troops constantly.
Croatia’s chance in this match is to turn the final into a physical battle, as this is the type of game that is best for their players, in particular – for Mario Mandzukic. Much will also depend on Luka Modric, who has been excellent during the tournament.
The latest odds from top bookmakers: