France head into the World Cup final vs. Croatia full of confidence and in fine fettle, as they look to atone for their Euro 2016 loss that occurred almost exactly two years ago.
Facing off with a battle hardened Croatia, who will surely feel the effects of going beyond 90 minutes in their last three matches at some stage in the final, the immensely talented Les Bleus go into the match as clear favourites.
Zlatko Dalic’s men will be no pushovers, however, for they possess plenty of quality themselves, especially in midfield and attacking areas, plus have shown what spirited, determined competitors they are.
Dynamic and full of energy, technique and physicality, France’s midfield and frontline have the capacity to unlock the Croatians in many different ways. Whether it be through the outrageous pace of Kylian Mbappe out wide, the cohesive movement and link play of Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud, via the stretching runs of the fullbacks or penetrative runs from the Paul Pogba, Didier Deschamps’ men will unquestionably be tough to stop.
Meanwhile, their rock solid defence, which has been spearheaded by the imperious Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti, in combination with their rather conservative pressing approach, has meant their organised block has been very difficult to break down. Moreover, the energetic presence of N’Golo Kante has been absolutely instrumental towards them being so trying to break down, as he reads the play so well to stop opposition attacks dead in the water.
A crucial byproduct to their central stability without possession has come through the fact it’s allowed the electrifying Mbappe to be positioned relatively high ready to be an ideal outlet once possession is regained. This sees him take full advantage of his frightening speed, excellent movement in behind and expert dribbling ability to wreak havoc.
With all this in mind, Croatia will certainly have their hands full come Sunday, as France will be desperately hoping to emerge triumphant after their Euro 2016 nightmare.
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