Midfielders: 13 N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), 14 Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), 6 Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Forwards: 9 Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), 7 Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), 10 Kylian Mbappé (Paris St Germain)
Croatia’s Starting Lineup
Croatia sticks with acquainted faces. Brozovic did quite a lot of the assist work towards England to permit Rakitic and Modric the liberty to work. Perisic and Rebic will should be lively on the wings once more, to attempt to unfold out the French and create some gaps. Many have tried, although; carrying out that could be a little bit of a much bigger ask.
Goalkeeper: 23 Danijel Subasic (Monaco)
Defenders: 21 Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), three Ivan Strinic (Milan), 6 Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), 2 Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: 10 Luka Modric (Real Madrid), 7 Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), 11 Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan)
Forwards: four Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), 18 Ante Rebic (Fiorentina)
17 Mario Mandzukic (Juventus)
Forward Nikola Kalinic of A.C. Milan is the one one who positively will NOT play right this moment; he’s listed as absent on the Croatia teamsheet.
Mbappé Has His Priorities in Order
France’s Kylian Mbappé on profitable the Ballon D’Or because the world’s finest participant. “I couldn’t care less about that,” he stated. “I would like the World Cup. I need to sleep with it.”
Who Is Zlatko Dalic?
It is a good assumption that few world soccer followers might have picked Croatia’s supervisor, Zlatko Dalic, out of a lineup earlier than the match. Though he had an extended skilled profession as a defensive midfielder, principally with the Croatian golf equipment Varteks and Hadjuk Split, his teaching profession was unremarkable. His three earlier posts earlier than taking the Croatia job had been with two Saudi golf equipment and one other within the United Arab Emirates.
But when Croatia fired the coach who had led it by means of most of qualifying, Ante Cacic, after a string of poor outcomes imperil the workforce’s probabilities of qualifying for Russia, Dalic was tasked with main the workforce over the road. He has guided it with a light-weight contact right here, making few lineup adjustments and acknowledging that he has deferred to his gamers. (Asked why he had not subbed within the 90 minutes towards England in a grueling semifinal, regardless of his gamers’ coming off consecutive further time video games, Dalic admitted, “I wanted to substitute, but nobody wanted to be subbed.”)
France and Croatia, at Home, Are Ready to Watch
Croatia looks as if it’s overestimated for the ultimate:
And, clearly, so is France:
Another Chance for France
This is France’s second main ultimate in a row. It reached the ultimate of the European Championship on house soil in 2016, however lost to Portugal on a late aim in further time, 1-Zero. Some folks level to that defeat — a bitter disappointment after they methodically moved by means of the sector to the ultimate — because the hazard of Manager Didier Deschamps’s conservative instincts. Should France fall once more right this moment as the favourite, count on the primary fingers to be pointed his manner.
France vs. Croatia: A Friendly Rivalry
Don’t be shocked if there are many hugs and pleasant greetings within the tunnel earlier than the match: Antoine Griezmann and Sime Vrsaljko are teammates at Atlético Madrid, and so are Raphael Varane, Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic at Real Madrid. Mario Mandzukic and Blaise Matuidi play collectively at Juventus (the place Paul Pogba was employed earlier than becoming a member of Manchester United), and Croatia goalkeeper Daniel Subasic and France’s Djibril Sidibe are at Monaco, the place till final 12 months they watched the rise of Kylian Mbappé.
An Extra Game for Croatia
With three extra-time victories within the knockout rounds, Croatia has successfully performed yet one more full sport than France right here.
Hugo Lloris Won’t Wander
There could also be no higher instance of France’s safety-first mentality than the play of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. A roaming participant deft along with his ft for his membership, Tottenham Hotspur, he’s below orders to not wander for France. He has been credited with solely 11 saves in six video games, however that a number of of them had been memorable game-changers — towards Belgium’s Toby Alderweireld within the semifinals, towards Uruguay’s Martin Caceres within the quarterfinals — says quite a bit in regards to the success of the technique.
France vs. Croatia Top Story Lines
• While Croatia has not performed in a significant ultimate, a number of of its key gamers have important expertise in them. Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic all have gained the Champions League ultimate (Modric has 4 winners medals with Real Madrid), and so has the substitute Mateo Kovacic.
• Stylistically, right this moment needs to be a midfield battle, with N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba making an attempt to interrupt up no matter Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic attempt to do for Croatia. France nonetheless hasn’t given anybody the sense it has proven all its cards, although, and right this moment could also be no totally different, particularly if the French can get a lead. But a Croatian lead might make issues a bit extra enjoyable. Each workforce has the expertise up entrance to put in writing its personal story.
• Do not count on a goal-fest, although: France has allowed 4 objectives in six video games, and Croatia 5.
• Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé each have three objectives, however would want a hat trick to catch England’s Harry Kane for the Golden Boot because the match’s main scorer. Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic, Luka Modric and Ante Rebic all have two objectives.
• Should France win right this moment, Didier Deschamps would develop into the third man to win the World Cup as a participant and as a supervisor, becoming a member of Brazil’s Mario Zagalo and West Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.
Some Pregame Reading
• Rory Smith wonders if this is likely to be the best World Cup ever, and with Qatar 2022 and an expanded 2026 on the horizon, whether or not it’d maintain that title for some time.
• This pre-World Cup piece on the place France finds its gamers seems increasingly prescient every single day.
• People undervaluing Croatia are making a mistake.
• Barney Ronay of The Guardian makes the case that Luka Modric, Champions League winner and (potential) World Cup winner has finished sufficient to supplant Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as world player of the year.