So here we are. After a month of high quality football, drama, tears, cheers and VAR madness, the 2018 World Cup final is set for a Sunday showpiece.
France will be joined in the finale of an absorbing competition by Croatia, who have gone to the well more than once in the tournament. Three knockout matches, three sets of extra time… that’s 90 minutes in total more than France, and they have a day less to recover for the final!
And that, really, has to be the focus of our WC final betting preview.
1. Exhausted Croatia and Agressive France
Even after a tepid group campaign, it would be hard to suggest that France don’t deserve their place in the final. They’ve beaten Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium in the knockout phase, and in truth they’ve got better and better as the tournament has progressed.
Pace and power in attack and a relative stability in defence, with two clean sheets in a row now, the French will take some stopping in this final.
They have arguably the player of the tournament too in Kylian Mbappe, and his pace and trickery could prove to be the difference.
As for Croatia, well, they need to raise themselves for the final. That won’t be hard to do, of course, given the magnitude of the match, but there will be some tired legs in their camp. Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic had to be helped from the field against England, and against a pacey and aggressive France side they are going to struggle to match their physicality.
But this is a one-off, high pressure game of football….and anything can happen. Let’s make a World Cup final prediction or two!
2. Winner Betting Odds
The World Cup final winner odds are out, and the bookmakers are siding with France.
Mind you, they can still be backed at a generous 1.95 to win inside 90 minutes, and 1.45 to get their hands on the trophy after extra time and/or penalties.
Croatia, meanwhile, are available at 4.75 to win in 90 minutes and 2.93 to lift the trophy.
3. So Who to Bet on? Our Prediction
There’s no point tiptoeing around the subject: France to win has to be at the centre of our World Cup Final betting tips.
They are young, hungry, well rested and ready to lift this trophy on Sunday.
In many ways, the 2-1 win over England felt like a final for Croatia, and you wonder how their defensive duo of Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida will cope with the French front three of Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and that man Mbappe.
In midfield, Pogba, Kante and Matuidi will run around all afternoon, and the tired Modric and Rakitic will do well to prevent the dam from bursting.
In attack Mandzukic is a lonely presence, and he will surely be swallowed up by the excellent Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti.
We’ve not really made a strong case for Croatia, have we? To win this game, they will need to keep a clean sheet and hope to nick a goal or two from a set piece. It’s a tall order.
So, France to win the World Cup is our play at odds of 1.95. It will be a fascinating final to watch either way.
The World Cup 2018 final is upon us, and France and Croatia will battle it out at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday. Who will claim football’s ultimate prize?
Read also our article about World Cup 2018 live streaming.