Football's biggest showcase gets underway early tomorrow morning as France take on Croatia in the 21st instalment of the FIFA World Cup final.

The match gets underway at Moscow's 80,000 seat Luzhniki Stadium at 3am, with coverage starting at 2.30am.

This is the third time France will play in a World Cup final, after taking the title in 1998 and losing to Italy in 2006.

Croatia have never reached a tournament final of any kind. They made the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1998 but lost to France 2-1.


The two sides have only encountered each other five times in their history and the advantage is with France having won five games and drawing two.

France have cruised through to the final without losing a game, defeating Australia and Peru, and drawing with Denmark in the pool stages.

A general view of the Luzhniki Stadium ahead of the FIFA World Cup Final. Photo / Getty Images
A general view of the Luzhniki Stadium ahead of the FIFA World Cup Final. Photo / Getty Images

In the round of 16 they defeated Argentina 4-3, beat Uruguay 2-0 in the quarters and Belgium 1-0 in the semifinal.

Croatia are also undefeated.

They beat Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland during the group stages before drawing with Denmark in the round of 16, winning the penalty shoot-out 3-2.

They also took down hosts Russia in the quarters, winning the penalty shoot-out 4-3 before ending England's dreams in the semi-final, winning 2-1.

France head into the match as outright favourites to win with the TAB odds currently sitting at $1.42 for the French and $2.70 for Croatia.

Before the tournament got underway last month, Croatia were paying $31 to lift the cup, while France opened at $7.50 at the TAB.

Brief outline


France vs Croatia.


Russia 2018 World Cup final.


Kickoff at 3pm with coverage starting at 2.30am.


Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia.


The match will be aired on live on Prime and Sky Sport 4 (Channel 54).

Players to watch

Kylian Mbappe, forward, France

Kylian Mbappe of France. Photo / Getty Images
Kylian Mbappe of France. Photo / Getty Images

Mbappe, 19, has been a star prospect for a long time, but he announced himself to the world against Argentina with a glittering two-goal performance. His incredible speed - England great Rio Ferdinand called it "illegal" - combined with his ball control while moving at such pace makes him nearly impossible to defend. And when he has the time and space to put some extra oomph into a shot, it's probably going to find the back of the net.

Luka Modric, midfielder, Croatia

Luka Modric of Croatia. Photo / Getty Images
Luka Modric of Croatia. Photo / Getty Images

Modric's world-class play on the ball is what made Croatia so dominant in group play and helped his club team Real Madrid to three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles. Without Modric at his best, Croatia struggles to control the tempo. Teammate Ivan Rakitic said it can feel like Modric is from a "different planet".

Competition statistics

Goals scored:

France 10, Croatia 12

Goals against:

France 4, Croatia 5

Total shots:

France 75, Croatia 100

Shots on target:

France 24, Croatia 26


France 49 per cent, Croatia 54 per cent


Kylian Mbappe (France) – 3
Antoine Griezmann (France) – 3
Mario Mandzukic (Croatia) – 2
Ivan Perisic (Croatia) – 2
Luka Modric (Croatia) – 2

Previous World Cup winners:

1930 – Uruguay
1934 – Italy
1938 – Italy
1950 – Uruguay
1954 – West Germany
1958 – Brazil
1962 – Brazil
1966 – England
1970 – Brazil
1974 – West Germany
1978 – Argentina
1982 – Italy
1986 – Argentina
1990 – West Germany
1994 – Brazil
1998 – France
2002 – Brazil
2006 – Italy
2010 – Spain
2014 – Germany