France vs Croatia: Key Battles that could decide the finale

Angelo Anderson
July 15, 2018

Their average possession is 54.2%, as compared to France's average of 49.3%.

Croatia have been relying on their world-class midfield duo of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic throughout the tournament and will be hoping the experienced campaigners can fire when it matters most.

CROATIA 2, ICELAND 1: Already qualified and facing an Iceland team that had to win, Croatia sends out a squad heavy with reserves and still earns its third victory with a 90th-minute goal from Ivan Perisic. Ball possession is France 40% - 60% Croatia.

Antoine Griezmann from France puts it away from the penalty spot! Zlomislic, 47, said she will be going to that before watching the game. After reviewing the situation the referee decides to award a penalty for France. Off a free kick, Croatia had three looping headers ultimately wind up with Domagoj Vida laying off a pass for Perisic.

Click through the gallery to see France's line-up! "We are a small country but we have a big heart", said one fan wearing the characteristic red and white chequered Croatian jersey.

Croatia Captain Luka Modric from swings in the corner from the left while Olivier Giroud relieves the pressure on France with a clearance. But Ivan Perisics 68th-minute equaliser turned the match on its head, and from then on, it looked like there was only going to be one victor.

The match is scheduled to get underway at 17h00.

The last time the two nations met in a World Cup was in the 1998 semi-final when two Lilian Thuram goals sunk a Croatian side playing in their first World Cup as an independent nation.

Les Bleus have only conceded in two games, against Argentina (4-3) and in their opener against Australia (2-1) while the Croatians have only kept two clean sheets, in their opening two games against Nigeria (2-0) and Argentina (3-0) and of course they have now gone to extra time in all three of their knock-out games.

Belgium proved too strong for England in Saturday´s third-place playoff as Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard scored in Saint Petersburg and the Belgians bettered the achievement of their 1986 team.

"The 14 players I have integrated since the Euro final, they have only learned what playing a big tournament is all about here in Russian Federation, so of course the experience is less but the quality is there", he added.

"We have a very strong opponent in Croatia, so it will make an wonderful final this year", said Yann-Alexandre Girard a fan of the French team.

The French, led by Didier Deschamps, will start as favourites and are looking to add to their only World Cup title, which they won at home in 1998. Kylian Mbappé has been a standout player at the mere age of 19, Grizou (Antoine Griezmann) has been incredible and to me [Hugo] Lloris has been one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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