Argentina vs France World Cup final prediction
Four weeks and 63 matches ago the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar. On Sunday, the competition draws to a conclusion as defending champions France meet Argentina in Lusail in the final.
Bookmakers and pundits appear split between who’s going to lift the Jules Rimet trophy for the third time. Many hoping Lionel Messi will be able to add the one missing trophy from his spectacular collection and others suggesting this is the tournament that he hands over the reigns to Kylian Mbappe as the greatest player in world football today.
It promises to be an exciting final – both teams have combined for 25 goals in their 12 matches en route, with Argentina needing a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals, whilst France have kept just one clean sheet in this tournament.
Bookmakers have both these teams to win in 90 minutes at 9/5 and 10/11 to lift the trophy.
Adrien Rabiot missed the semi-final win over Morocco with flu but is expected to return on Sunday. The Paris Saint-Germain man has had an excellent tournament and I think he’ll be handed the role of sitting on Messi for 90 minutes. And whilst he’s capable of doing that against many players the greatest player of all-time showed against Mexico he’s capable of getting free for a second and causing a moment of magic, as per his goal versus Mexico, as per his assist for the opener versus the Netherlands.
France played a defensive, counter style game to success versus both England and Morocco in their last two games so it will be interesting to see how Didier Deschamps will play this. Argentina are more than capable of committing cynical fouls to break up play on the counter, and we know from recent tournament finals that the referee is going to be extremely lenient to hand out cards in the biggest match of them all.
If the European side take the game to Argentina I think they win this in 90 minutes. Antoine Griezmann is capable of dropping into space between attack and midfield to pick up the ball and cause problems. Nahuel Molina likes getting forward from right-back which could leave space for Kylian Mbappe. And even if the 24-year-old remains disciplined defensively, I just don’t see him keeping the superstar quiet for 90 minutes. Whereas Marcos Acuna on the opposite flank is capable of shutting down Ousmane Dembele.
Olivier Giroud has been a star in this tournament, and as the Netherlands showed in the final 20 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ stoppage time!), a target man and aerial battles caused the Argentine defence problems. So don’t be surprised if the 36-year-old is on the scorecard again.
I’ve been writing Argentina off all tournament but I take my hate off to Lionel Scaloni and co for getting here. They were tactically sound for 70 minutes versus the Netherlands and clear and deserved winners versus Croatia in the semi-finals. Though I expected the latter. In Lionel Messi they do have a match winner, whilst Julian Alvarez has proven a handful in attack too. Alexis Mac Allister and Enzo Fernandez need huge games if their country is to be successful, but I just don’t see it happening.
Lionel Scaloni may be better tactically but Didier Deschamps is no walkover. The French manager has the better players at his disposal and has more match winners in his starting lineup. France win this one.
Best bet: France to win World Cup is 10/11 with BetFred
Value bet: France to win in 90 minutes is 9/5 with BetFred