It has been 20 years since the two teams met up when it mattered. Back in 1998, the French stymied Croatia 2 – 0 on their way to gold. Croatia would go on to beat the Netherlands for 3rd place. So how do these two fair now?
Kylian Mbappe is a household name at this point and for good reason. Being 19 years old, the young forward already has converted 3 goals for the French team. Combine that with his fast speed and ball-handling skills, Mbappe is a force to be reckoned with. France has the advantage here.
Croatia has a true team-player in Luka Modric. While he does have multiple goals in the tournament, his main job is to open up the field and position others to score instead. That doesn’t mean that France is obsolete at mid. France does have the ability to stop Modric, which may be the answer for France to win this one. But even with the prowess France has at mid, I’m giving the advantage to Croatia.
Umtiti and Varane are the backbone of the French defense. Their size and speed alone give them the advantage over any attacker or mid they expect to face. If France goes up early, expect them to go into a bunker defense style that is virtually impenetrable. No point to go on the attack when your defense will win you the game. Advantage France.
Danijel Subasic is a decent goalkeeper and one that has been heavily relied upon by the Croatian national team. However, Hugo Lloris is arguably one of the best in the world. Lloris has allowed only 4 goals this entire tournament. Sorry Croatia, France has the advantage.
Odds have this one being no contest for the French as they open up at -110. However, if you are feeling lucky, you may want to place a bet on Croatia who is +360. If the game is anything similar to that of France vs Belgium, expect the French to go into a “bunker defense” style once they hold the advantage. There will be no reason for them to attack unless a golden opportunity is available.
It has been a rather fun run for Croatia, but expect France to win 2 – 0.