World Cup Final 2018
After a thrilling month of football where we have seen a little bit of everything, we are down to the final two teams. France and Croatia will battle it out on Sunday to see who can lift the World Cup trophy, and send their nation into jubilation. 30 other teams have tried and failed, but this World Cup has given us some great memories, from England’s dream run to the semi-finals down to the shock early exits of Germany, Spain and Argentina. This has been a World Cup where people have once again fallen in love with football, and a tournament that will be remembered fondly for many years to come.
France – Road to the Final
The French have not had an easy road to the final, but perhaps most importantly for them, they have improved with every single game. Tournament football is something unique, and something you must master if you are to win something like the World Cup, and if France do go onto win this tournament, then they will have done it in the perfect manner.
When it came to the group stages, France were not at their best, and many thought they struggled through, although looking back what they did was ensure they did just enough, with one eye on conserving energy and improving throughout the knockout round. Wins against Peru and Australia put them through, but not in the fashion that many had expected, and then a draw to Denmark to round things off further emphasised the point that they were not at their best.
However, it was during the knockout round that France started to come out of their shell a little. They began with a seven-goal thriller against Argentina, a game which they eventually won 4-3. We saw frailties in defence, but that was the first game where the French forward line really came to play, and a sign of what was to come in the future. They moved on to play Uruguay, a solid team but one they dealt with easily, brushing them aside 2-0 to make the semi-finals, a game where they expected to meet Brazil.
However, a victory for Belgium over Brazil put them through instead, leaving France to go head to head with their ex-superstar Thierry Henry. This game was a tough game no doubt about it, but the French put together an excellent performance to cause problems and keep tight at the back. They scored the only goal of the game, and that was enough to book them a place in the World Cup final.
What France have done so far is play the perfect tournament game, they started slowly but did enough to qualify, and they have grown in stature and got better with every game of the knockout stage. That has all built up to the final, where it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them play even better, this is the moment they have been working towards.
Croatia – Road to the final
If you want to criticise Croatia, you could argue they did too much in the group stages, and compared to France they haven’t played the perfect tournament. However, they did find themselves in a very tough position with the draw, so couldn’t afford any half-hearted performances in the early rounds.
There is no other way to describe Croatia in the group stages other than that they were fantastic. They won all three of their games, just one of three teams to do so, and the game in which they tore apart Argentina 3-0 was the best we have seen from them for a number of years. Wins over Iceland and Nigeria left them with nine points and a place in the last 16 that some people had doubted before the start of the tournament.
Their first game in the knockout round came against Denmark, who had finished behind France in the group stages. After a draw, the game went to extra time and penalties. For most of the match, Denmark were the better team, with Croatia looking tired and as though the group stages had taken it out of them. However, they found a way through on penalties and made the last eight. Here they faced the hosts Russia, and again needed extra time and penalties to get through after looking laboured. They won their second shootout in a row to set up a semi-final with England.
The English fancied their chances here against what looked to be a tired Croatia team, feeling the effects of playing so hard in the group stages. A bright start gave England the lead, but they couldn’t finish Croatia off, and eventually, the experienced heads in the Croatia team pulled them back into the game. They equalised to set up what would be their third extra-time period in a row, and then went on to win the game during that period.
Croatia dispelled any myths of tiredness with that game against England, but they have now played a full game more than the French have, and they had a much harder group stage to contend with. This has to catch up with them at some point, will it do so in the final, or can they make it through one more game?
World Cup Final Betting Prediction
When you look at both of these teams, France look like there could be even more to come from them, while Croatia are defying belief with their performance against England, can they keep it up and do it again?
I don’t think they can, and that is why I am going to back France for success in this game. The French have played the perfect model when it comes to tournament football, building up to this moment and I think they will take it with both hands and win this game comfortably.
World Cup Final Betting Odds
France are a shade of odds-on to win the game in 90 minutes and are 10/11 with most bookmakers. In the 90 minute market Croatia are as big as 4/1 in places, while if you think they will play in their fourth extra time game in a row, you can back the draw at 23/10. If you would prefer to bet on who will lift the trophy, so that extra time and penalties are also covered in the bet then France are long odds on at 4/9, while Croatia can be backed at 15/8.
The correct score market is a popular place to head if you are looking for a small fun wager on the game, and here you will find some nice prices. I expect 2-0 to France to be a popular score line and that is price up at 7/1 with most bookmakers. If you think the French can win this with ease then 3-0 is priced up at 16/1, while you can get an even bigger price of 22/1 on the game to end 3-1. For Croatia to win the tie this is likely to be a tight game, and they are priced up at 9/1 to win it 1-0.
World Cup Final Betting Offers
10Bet – World Cup Draw Money Back
If you are looking to place a bet on the correct score or the first goal scorer on Sunday then this offer from 10Bet is a great consolation offer to have on your side. Should you place a bet on these markets and the game ends in a draw, they will refund your stake up to £10 as a free bet. This is a great way to cover yourself, especially if you think it is going to be a tight one.
BetBright – Extra Time Refund
If you bet with BetBright then they have an extra time refund available for players who place goal scorer, correct score or half time/full time bets with them. Should the game go to extra time and you place a bet of between £5 and £10 with them, they will refund your losing bet as a free bet for you to use any time within the next seven days. This is another great consolation offer that you can put in place as insurance on your bet.
BetBright – First Goal Scorer Insurance
Another type of insurance BetBright offer is on their first goal scorer betting. This insurance comes into play if you back someone to score the first goal and they don’t, but they then go on to score the second goal of the game. You need to place a bet of between £5 and £10 to be involved with this offer, and you will receive your money back as a free bet which needs to be used within seven days.
BoyleSports – Double Winnings if Crossbar is Hit
This is a fun way to bet, but great if you manage to get one that lands. This covers all markets on the World Cup final, to a maximum stake of £20. Should you have a winning bet in the game, and during it the crossbar is hit by either team, then you will receive double your winnings on the bet. When the ball hits the crossbar, it must bounce back into play for it to be valid. Only at BoyleSport.