France is the established power with a young team full of speed and skill.
It promises to be a fascinating encounter as France & Croatia battle it out for the World Cup.
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic, right, vies for the ball with France's Antoine Griezmann, left, during the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. People will realise they should respect Croatia, defender Dejan Lovren said after the game.
Dalic said on Saturday he was prepared to make changes for the final if any of his players have failed to recover from their exertions. But perhaps feeling complacent after beating Germany in the semi-finals, France flopped. The Paris Saint-Germain star has shown glimpses of greatness and has bagged three goals in six games thus far.
Perisic was the star of Croatia's 2-1 extra-time victory over England at the same Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday, scoring his country's equaliser and then setting up the victor for Mario Mandzukic. Didier Deschamps has crafted a perfectly-balanced side which grinds teams down and gets the job done in a nonchalant and brutally cool-headed demeanour. Fourteen, to be exact, from the 23 players who made up the squad two years ago. We're expecting France to be the fresher side as it has the benefit of an extra day of rest.
France were accused of being overconfident in the 2016 final, having beaten world champions Germany in the semi-final, but Deschamps insisted: "There is no euphoria here".
"I expect a lot of screaming at the screens", she says.
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"Being a player you expend physical energy, but when you are a coach it's more psychological and you have a different kind of fatigue". There was also the added stress of two penalty shootouts.
Dalic said: "We are only able to see a small portion of what is going on back home".
"But tomorrow we will be coming up against opponents of great quality. We have come here to enjoy the final".
A number of fans spoke of their pride in their nation reaching the final, and predicted victory for their team against France.
This was hailed as Croatia's golden generation and no matter what happens in the final, Zlatko Dalić and his men have become part of Croatian, and indeed World Cup, folklore.
Both teams were unbeaten in the group stage, and France has trailed for only nine minutes in the entire tournament.
It was his fourth goal of the tournament and France's first shot on target in the final as rain fell and a thunderstorm approached.
The favorites have failed to fire in Russian Federation, a brilliant second-half showing in their 4-3 win over Argentina in the second round the only period of brilliance they have really produced. The team also never trailed in wins over Nigeria and Iceland.
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Overall, it's not a surprise Belgium is favored, as it has looked like the better team in this tournament and has more talent. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
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