World Cup TV Schedule 2018: Early Guide for France vs. Croatia Final

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2018

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 11:  Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi Final match between England and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

France will meet Croatia in the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday. The Blazers reached the final by beating England 2-1 after extra time in the last four on Wednesday, one day after Les Bleus beat Belgium 1-0.

For France, it's a third final, but a first since 2006. Meanwhile, Croatia have reached the first World Cup final in their history, bettering a loss to the hosts in the last four at France '98. 

Date: Sunday, July 15

Time: 6 p.m. local time (4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET)

TV Info: BBC One, ITV 1, Fox

Live Stream: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Fox Soccer MatchPass, fuboTV

Both sides will arrive in the Russian capital knowing they have goals in them thanks to talented and gifted forward lines. The France attack is all about pace, power and movement thanks to the complementary trio of Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe.

Griezmann and Mbappe are able to stretch defences, and both have an excellent understanding of space and how to take up dangerous positions. While Grizemann is a proven source of goals, Mbappe is a burgeoning global star whose threat grows with every match.

Mbappe didn't score against Belgium, but he proved a constant menace with his runs from the right flank and a keen eye for a pass:

France's speed and intuition up top are ably supported by an industrious and balanced midfield. It's a group containing the destructive tendencies of N'Golo Kante, the energy of Blaise Matuidi and the natural flair of Paul Pogba.

This trio not only ensures Les Bleus maintain a consistent threat on the break. They also shield a back four that's led by imposing centre-backs Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti, with the former looking increasingly impressive:

Breaking down this talented a defence is a daunting task, but Croatia have the ingenuity in midfield to create chances against anybody. Possession runs through Luka Modric, who is the conductor between holding player Marcelo Brozovic and skilled box-to-box dynamo Ivan Rakitic.

All three are comfortable on the ball and able to release gifted and versatile winger Ivan Perisic, who scored the Blazers' first against England:

Perisic's pace and range of movement make him the ideal foil for the physical presence and aerial dominance of Mario Mandzukic. The latter also got on the scoresheet against the Three Lions and continues to defy the odds after being overlooked by some of football's most high-profile managers:

Mandzukic and Perisic provide a cutting edge for Croatia, but the game runs through Modric. He can expect to receive close attention from Kante, while Matuidi will likely be tasked with tracking the runs of Rakitic.

Modric won't find the kind of space he enjoyed against England, so France should gradually overpower Croatia and let their match-winners up top decide things.

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