2018 World Cup final: Potential starting XI for France, Croatia ahead of biggest game of year
The 2018 World Cup final begins on Sunday as France and Croatia face off in the 64th match of the tournament with the biggest prize up for grabs.
But how will each team line up? We could see France stick to what has worked, speed down the wings and N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba dominating in the middle. Meanwhile, Croatia is also likely to keep with a similar, if not the same, lineup from the semifinals, though there are a couple injury concerns.
Here’s the projected starting XI for each team and news:
France: Lloris; Hernandez, Umtiti, Varane, Pavard; Pogba, Kante; Matuidi, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud.
Team news: There had been some speculation that Olivier Giroud could be dropped since he hasn’t done much, but he likely starts to counter Croatia’s size in defense. Meanwhile, Blaise Matuidi may get the start again after a fine performance against Belgium. There should be no changes at the back.
Croatia: Subasic; Pivaric, Vida, Lovren, Vrsaljko; Brozovic, Rakitic, Modric; Perisic, Manduzkic, Rebic.
Team news: You know they’ve got some tired legs, but they should be at full strength despite three straight extra time matches. Mario Mandzukic came off in extra time of the semifinal with a cramp but should start. Left back Ivan Strinic came off injured as well, but he should be fine, though we may see Josip Pivaric in his place.