Fixtures and Results
Sunday, Jul 15 3:00pm GMT (GMT+00:00)
France got here on the back of very impressive wins and displays against Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium scoring 6 goals in the process and keeping clean sheets in the last 2 matches. They ooze confidence the French and rightfully so, their squad is jam packed full of stars in the offensive part and anchoring the whole thing together is the little genius that is Ngolo Kante. The small, humble Frenchman 3 years ago was playing in Ligue 2! (French second Division) before a move to Leicester, then Chelsea winning back to back premier league titles. He frees up Paul Pogba who has looked in fine form and with Greizmann and Mbappe freely roaming and terrorizing defenses upfront they are a very hard team to stop scoring. Belgium did give them food for thought in the last match, but whilst they scored from a set piece they did create chances from open play...as well as conceding chances too. Their defense is their weak point even with Umtiti and Varange with vast amounts of experience in the middle, they just don't seem set right and rely on the Kante and Matuidi sitting in front of them mopping everything up.
Croatia get here on the back of beating England in extra time and before that dispatching both Denmark and touranment hosts Russia on penalties. They had a great groupstage which saw them humble Argentina 3-0 and put them on the brink of elimination in the group stages. The issue with Croatia is they look so good in spells of matches, but it has only been in spells since the last 16 began. vs Denmark they were second best for a large part same with vs Russia and against England, however they also had stages in all 3 games where they look fabulous. However this is not what you want your team to be like when they are playing against an offense like France, they need to be on it for 90 minutes, can they give that after playing 3 matches in a row for 120 minutes. Can the Croatians dig deep and put a fight up against France for 90 minutes and lift the World Cup for the first time? They will need Modric and Rakitic to get a hold of the ball and keep it away from the French for a start, they will need Perisic and Rebic using their pace to push the French fullbacks back and then, they will need the big man Mandzukic dominating the two CBs of France. This is possible, even though you might not think it, it is possible for Croatia to do. However they must be tired now for sure, whilst France won't exactly be fresh as a daisy they have had 24 hours more rest and played way less tournament minutes.
That being said, i have to side with France and i am going for a comfortable win.
France 3-0 Croatia