Updated: November 2019

2018 FIFA World Cup Final Analysis and Preview

11 January 2019

2018 FIFA World Cup Final Preview and Analysis
Sunday the 15th July will see the culmination of what has been a pulsating 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, one we will not forget for a very long time.

Full of shocks and surprises and the birth of an era of football that looks bright for the future. Yes we have had the big guns like Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain all falling by the wayside early, and it has made for a great tournament. The two teams that play out the third and forth place play off, namely Belgium and England have had great World Cups with a whole host of players providing their fans with amazing moments and memories.

For sure these two teams will be at the forefront of the next European Championships.

So we are finally here……the World Cup Final and it see’s one of the fancied teams France pitch up against one of the more un-fancied teams Croatia led by the mercurial Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric.

Modric was a tower of strength against England and although you did not see much of the flair element of his play, he undoubtedly used the ball well when he was in possession. Totally unselfish and always an outlet for his team mates when the pressure needed to be eased.

Modric will be key to Croatia’s chances in the final and it will be interesting to see how he comes up against the physical presence of Paul Pogba.

France also have their own little mercurial magician in Antoine Griezemann and he also helped to pull the strings against Belgium. It took a while for France to get a foothold in the game but after the goal Griezemann played a similar role to Modric in that he was not spectacular but played very intelligently when in possession.

A fascinating duel between the two looks set to unwind on Sunday in Moscow, and will surely have a bearing on the destination of the trophy.

One of the standouts for France against Belgium was Kylian Mbappe with the youngster looking every inch a superstar. He looked dangerous every time he was in possession and the Belgian’s did not know how to handle him.

Key Player World Cup Statistics
Going back to the midfielders Greizemann and Modric who ultimately will have a major influence on the outcome.


Total Passes

Griezemann 215
Modric 443

Total Passes Completed

Griezemann 161
Modric 368

Pass Completion Sucess Ratio (%)

Griezemann 74.88%
Modric 83.06%

The stats above tell us a lot. Modric clearly gets involved in play a lot more, yes, the Croatian team do rely on him to a large extent but his range of passing is solid when we drill down even further into the stats with 59 of his long passes completed to Griezemann’s 11

Work Rate

Total Distance Covered

Griezemann 54.9 KM
Modric 63.4 KM

Total Distance Covered in Possesion

Griezemann 21.9 KM
Modric 25.4 KM

Total Distance Covered not in Possession

Griezemann 22 KM
Modric 22.7 KM

The stats above need to be viewed carefully, Modric has covered much more ground than Griezemann and of course both are intelligent players both on and off the ball. The big difference in distance covered so far in the tournament could end up being to the detriment of the little Croatian as fatigue may set in. Saying this, the Croatians did not look tired against England and were well on top towards the end of that game.

Looking at some other performances in the semi finals, both Croatia and France had forwards that both played great games but with different results.

Olivier Giroud was and has not been in goal scoring form but ran the line very well against Belgium and worked tirelessly for the team. He was always available as an outlet and got himself into a number of goal scoring positions and could be a good bet to score in the final ahead of some of the bigger superstar names in the French team.

When we look at Croatia, Mario Mandzukic was ultimately the hero for Croatia, but even before his match winning goal he had worked tirelessly for the team. He did take a knock late on and also looked to be suffering from cramp so it will be interesting to see how he manages in this game.

2018 World Cup Final Betting Tips and Analysis
Match Betting

The final looks to be a one sided affair according to many bookmakers with France the strong favorites at 10/11 with Croatia at 4/1. Their will be plenty of punters latching onto France, but a bet at shorter odds that could be interesting is both teams to score at 11/8

Both teams have played 5 games and only once have either of these failed to score, that was France in the group stages against Denmark. Their is enough talent on both sides to think a goal apiece is very realistic.

Goalscorer Betting

When we look at the first goalscorer markets then Griezemann is the favorite at 4/1 ahead of fellow countrymen Mbappe and Olivier Giroud at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. If you fancy Croati’s semi final hero then Mario Mandzukic can be backed at 8/1.

This market is difficult and it may pay to look at the “anytime scorer” market. If Croatia are to score then it is likely to be Mandzukic or Modric that will hit the target and at 6/1 Modric looks outstanding value also being the designated penalty taker.

Corners Betting

In the four matches these teams have played in the quarter and semi finals we have seen 42 corners, an average of 10.5 corners per game. This looks to be a good market for a bet with higher than 10.5 corners priced up at 7/4 which looks a fair price.

Specials Markets

Looking for some value at bigger prices and the “to score from outside the box” market throws up a very viable 33/1 chance.

Ivan Rakitic has had a very good tournament. Could he cap it off with a “screamer” from outside the box?

Looking at the stats so far he could be the one to do this.

Attempts on Goal

Attempts From Outside The Box

Attempts on target from outside the area

Free Kicks

If we look at the first two of those stats and it tells us he is not afraid to try his luck from distance and this game may take something out of the ordinary to lift the trophy.

Final Conclusions

A massive game and one which we all hope will have everything right about the beautiful game and one which we hope will live long in the memory.