After almost a month of world-class football, we’re finally down to Argentina vs France. While some may claim to see this coming before the tournament even started, it’s been a World Cup that’s been anything but typical.
Many will be backing the Albiceleste to win it all. Argentina have the talismanic Lionel Messi surrounded by excellent teammates and a brilliant manager on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Les Bleus have the prolific Kylian Mbappe lurking on the attack.
While figuring out which nation will stand tall after 90 minutes is challenging, we can be assured of first-class football and drama that fits this one-of-a-kind World Cup. This OKBET piece will go through the finalists, determine the possible results, and what the bookies say about this match.
Argentina: It’s Now or Never for Messi
This final is the best—and probably last—chance for the legendary forward to establish himself as the greatest football player to ever live. He and the rest of the Argentina squad understand that they have a tough test in France.
Their semifinal clash against Croatia was a showcase of vintage Messi magic. He asserted his dominance over the Vatreni throughout the match, and the entire world held its breath whenever the 35-year-old forward had the ball.
Messi continued his hot streak from spot kicks as he cooly slotted the ball past Dominik Livakovic. He turned back the clock in the second half with a cutting dribble through the right wing that many Barcelona fans missed seeing. He found Julian Alvarez in the box to seal the game, 3-0.
Alvarez will likely be Messi’s strike partner in Lionel Scaloni’s attack if he deploys a five-in-the-back formation against France. His brilliant solo run five minutes after Messi’s penalty was what Messi sorely needed when the Albiceleste played Germany in the 2014 World Cup final.
However, the Coupe du Monde can’t be won by Messi alone. Every player in the squad must give everything they can for him. Emiliano Martinez must play great against Mbappe and Olivier Giroud. Alexis Mac Allister, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna, and Cristian Romero have their work cut out to stop a hot French midfield and attack.
The Albiceleste will come into this match with supreme confidence. They outlasted a tough Netherlands side on penalties and blasted past Croatia’s defense. Scaloni showed incredible tactical flexibility throughout the World Cup, and everyone can expect him to come up with something to try and contain Mbappe.
This is Messi’s final shot at football immortality. Due to this, everyone donning the Argentina shirt will ensure it happens.
France: Will Mbappe Establish Himself as the World’s Best?
If 2018 was Mbappe’s coming-out party, then the Argentina vs France match can become the Frenchman’s statement game in his pursuit of being included in the football pantheon.
Les Bleus easily cruised past a historic Morocco team thanks to goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani. While Mbappe failed to add to his goal tally, he’s still tied with his Argentine teammate to win the Golden Boot.
Moreover, Argentina know better than leaving the 23-year-old alone on the wing. He’s been one of the world’s best attackers since France won the World Cup in Russia, and he’s only improved as a player.
Mbappe’s far from the only player the Albiceleste should be wary about, though. Olivier Giroud was fantastic throughout the tournament, and the AC Milan striker will make Otamendi and the rest of the Argentine defense scramble to mark him.
Their midfield is also one of the best throughout the tournament. Because of players like Adrien Rabiot, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Edouardo Camavinga, and Aurelien Tchouameni ready to step up, they have a solid crop of players that can dominate in the middle of the pitch.
Didier Deschamps has been renowned as a great tactician in international football since his 2012 appointment. Everyone can count on him to field his most potent attacking XI in this tournament to break a resilient Argentina defense.
Mbappe wants to be recognized as the best footballer on the planet, and he’s already sent a warning to his teammate. Whether Les Bleus can turn his prediction into reality remains to be seen.
Argentina vs France Predictions
Like most of the matches in this iteration of the World Cup, anything can happen. However, we can be assured of excellent football, plenty of drama, ridiculously long added times, and tears from hoarse supporters.
France can walk away as 2-1 winners after goals from Mbappe and Giroud. The two are incredibly prolific in this World Cup, and finding goals isn’t especially difficult. They’ve scored 77% of their World Cup goals on open play, so finding chances with their possession is never a problem.
However, destiny may have other plans for Argentina. Messi will move heaven and earth to bring the Coupe du Monde home, and his teammates will be eager to match his intensity. If they manage to snag another penalty from the French, they can also come out of the game as 2-1 winners on the back of a Messi penalty and a brilliant Alvarez goal from just inside the 18-yard box.
Argentina vs France Betting Odds
The betting odds at OKBET point to France’s red-hot form as the deciding factor in their win against Argentina. However, they recognize how unpredictable this final can be given how the Albiceleste fared in the knockout stages.
|1X2||Handicap||Goals O/U @ 2||1×2 Half||Handicap Half||Goals O/U Half @ 0.5/1|
Thus, the French are slight favorites to win the World Cup for the second straight time. The 1X2 odds give Les Bleus the edge with 2.61. The bookies don’t have Argentina that far behind with 2.73, and the unlikely draw is at an enticing 3.05.
The handicap market also shows how the game can be settled in moments. Les Bleus (1.91) have a slight edge over La Albiceleste (1.97) with no handicap giving Messi’s side any reprieve. The Over/Under market believes both sides will score a goal.
If you’re looking for a beat with promising returns, choose Argentina in the first-half handicap market at 1.96. They have been excellent throughout the competition when it comes to first-half performances. The Albiceleste should be able to generate a one-goal lead by half-time.
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