FIFA World Cup: Three key battles that will decide the France vs Croatia final
France will take on Croatia in the final of the FIFA World Cup in Moscow on Sunday. Both sides boast plenty of quality players who will be key in deciding the outcome of the game.Updated: Jul 13, 2018 20:41 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The FIFA World Cup 2018 has been hailed by fans and experts alike as one of the best overall tournaments in the quadrennial event’s 88-year long history.
The tournament will come to an end on July 15 with France set to take on Croatia to decide who gets to take home the trophy.
France won the FIFA World Cup once in 1998 and also reached the final in 2006. In contrast, Croatia are playing their maiden summit clash. Both sides boast plenty of quality players who will be key in deciding the outcome.
Here are the three key battles that will come into play on Sunday:
Luka Modric vs N’Golo Kante – Luka Modric has always been one of the best midfielders in the world. His ability to both create and score goals has been instrumental in Croatia’s journey in this event.
By contrast, N’Golo Kante has come to the spotlight in recent years and is currently rated as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world due to his tireless running and ability to break up play. Their battle in the middle of the park will be fun to watch.
Mario Mandzukic vs Samuel Umtiti – Mario Mandzukic has always been underrated as a forward but his winning goal against England means the man who is as strong in the air as he is with the ball at his feet will be a target for marking.
The man who is likely to be tasked with that job is Samuel Umtiti, who has been solid as a rock during the tournament. That won’t make his job of marking the Juventus forward any easier though.
Antoine Griezmann vs Domagoj Vida – Antoine Griezmann hasn’t scored in France’s last two games but that makes him all the more dangerous as the Atletico Madrid forward is due a big performance and the final would be the perfect time for him to come to the party.
The man who will be tasked to stop him from being his usual explosive self will likely be Domagoj Vida. The Besiktas defender will have to put in the shift of his life to stop the man who is used to winning finals at club level.
First Published: Jul 13, 2018 17:05 IST