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Thread: 21st World Cup Final France v Croatia

  1. #1

    21st World Cup Final France v Croatia

    Actually it's 20th because in 1950 it was a final group phase with Brazil only needing a draw. The same WC where the press recorded USA's 1-0 win as as 10-1 to England.

    Anyway back to the present. The immovable object v the irresistible force. Unless of course, Deschamps allows France to fully express itself.

    But it's hard to see that happening. 1 happy thing to see in Les Bleu is the impact Black players are having and the full support they received from all quarters. There was always a whiff of this racial issue which came to a head in 2010. But in 2014 If you observed whenever a Black player scored, the whole team ran to him to celebrate. They finally turned the corner and it's refreshing that that element of racism in French footy is truly buried.
    They now dominate the team irrespective of where their ancestry is from and the world celebrates the exuberance they bring. Kante, Umtiti and young Mbappe, who could well be the star of this tournament.

    France are strong in goal and heart of defense. Midfield lacks the spark of a Zidane or Tigana but holding midfield they're very strong. And up front between Griezmann, Giroud and the unstoppable Mbappe, they have an edge with always the possibility of a goal between them.

    Yet Croatia are no mugs. A combination of wiser older heads and the abundance of technical ability always seen in the Balkan game. It's said to win an international game you essentially need 2 things.
    A proven striker and a creative midfielder to supply him. Croatia have both. Maybe not the best players in the world but proven nonetheless.
    Mandzukic is a fearless striker, big and strong and able to pounce on a sliver of opportunity as England found out. And Modric is the supplier. But for good measure they have spares. Perisic has also done the business at Inter while Rakitic is part of that Barcelona midfield.

    Croatia showed the first signs of prowess against Nigeria and then underlined it against Argentina. From that moment I felt this was the World Champions. No doubt they struggled against Russia and Denmark but they learned a good thing. The ability to come back from a goal down as England unfortunately discovered.

    They have the passing ability of the Spanish but unlike them, have an end product awaiting - Mandzukic or Perisic.

    France start as favourites, very hard to beat. If they score first, they must get a 2nd. Croatia is not Belgium, they will die trying. Unless of course France get a late 1-0 lead and that will be that. But if the score is 0-0 around the 80 minute mark, don't expect either to risk it.

    Will Croatia be tired after yet another extra-time? That's what everyone thought but Modric scoffed at the English press, saying nobody feels tired in a semi. And now a Final.

    The best thing is for Croatia to score first as this will force the French to open up. Can they equalise before Croatia punishes them on the counter ala Argentina?

    The team that scores first has the huge advantage for this one, because it's likely they will get a 2nd given the style of both teams.

    I hope it's Croatia. After all the Frogs already celebrated today - Bastille Day.

    2-1 Croatia. (1-0 ht 2-0 followed by a late French fight back but just short).

    In the other game, England to win 3-2. Kane top scorer with 7 goals. But Lukaku may try to bridge the gap.

  2. #2
    Croatia to win

    Belgium to win

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