Croatia vs France Live: The lineup for the 2018 FIFA World Cup final is settled; France will take on Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.
Les Bleus will be appearing in their third final, having won in 1998 and lost to Italy on penalties in 2006 after having Zinedine Zidane sent off in extra time.
Croatia, by contrast, will be featuring in the showpiece for the first time in their history.
According to Tom Doyle of the Evening Standard, France have no injury or suspension concerns, so Didier Deschamps will be free to choose from his entire 23-man squad,
Croatia also have no suspensions, but could be without Ivan Strinic, who’s said to be a doubt because of the groin injury that forced him off in extra time against England in the semi-finals.
Two years on from losing the UEFA Euro 2016 final on home soil to Portugal, France have the best shot at redemption they could have hoped for.
Many of the key players in their side were present for that defeat in the European Championship, and as The Independent’s Miguel Delaney noted, there could be some added pressure on them to succeed on Sunday as a result:
They will perhaps be even heavier favourites here given the relative size of their opposition.
Croatia are hardly football minnows, but the scale of their achievement is enormous:
Les Bleus will not only be favourites because of the overall superiority of their personnel but also because Croatia, having been taken to extra time in all three knockout matches, have played a combined 90 minutes more than them.
For the likes of Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic, who are both 32, that could be have a significant impact given France’s energy and pace.
Contending with his tireless work rate is a tough task at the best of times, but with the miles on Croatia’s ageing legs, it will be even more difficult.
Croatia have shown tremendous technical, physical and mental qualities to reach the final, though—they should not be underestimated.