FIFA World Cup 2018 final: All you need to know
Croatia will be looking for their first major trophy when they take on 1998 champions France in the final of the FIFA World Cup 2018 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. France are attempting to clinch the World Cup after a period of 20 years. There is plenty at stake as both would look conquer the title on Russian soil. Here's our pre-match report.
France mid-fielder Blaise Matuidi, who suffered a concussion in the fixture against Belgium, has been cleared fit for this match. For Croatia, all eyes will be on Ivan Perisic, who missed training and is said to be nursing an injury. Marcelo Brozovic is set to keep his place with center-back Domagoj Vida fit to play as well. Ivan Rakitic has recovered from fever.
France coach Didier Deschamps said that "there is a spirit in the squad that can move mountains" and the youngsters will be even stronger in near future. He added that the players want to fulfill their destiny of winning the Cup. Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has stated that this has been the strangest World Cup with compact united teams fighting for the trophy.
Croatia believe that they can go the distance and despite being the lowest ranked team to ever reach a World Cup final, this side can do the job. They would like to take a leaf from Portugal's book, which stunned France in the Euro 2016. There is an upbeat mood in the country as they prepare for their biggest sporting night.
After being the strong favorites against Portugal in 2016 European Championship, France failed to get past the line. France will be aiming to heal from that wound and give a better account of themselves. With Croatia riding on belief and mental strength, France know the state of mind will be crucial. It could be down to some individual brilliance to stop the Croats.
France are unbeaten against Croatia in their five previous encounters. France are the 6th nation to reach the World Cup final for the 3rd time. Deschamps is looking to be the 3rd person to win the Cup as a player and as a manager. Croatia are the first team to reach the final after winning three successive knock-out matches in extra-time.
France probable starting line-up: Lloris (goal-keeper), Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez, Kante, Pogba, Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi, Giroud. Croatia probable starting line-up: Subasic (goal-keeper), Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic, Modric, Brozovic, Rakitic, Rebic, Mandzukic, Perisic. The match is slated to start at 8:30 PM IST and one can watch the match live on the Sony Ten network. Fans can stream the match on the Sony Liv app.