France can create history as just the third team in World Cup history to defend their title when they face Argentina on Sunday in Qatar.
After Italy (1934, 1938) and Brazil (1958, 1962), Didier Deschamps’ side will look for a repeat of 2018 after holding off a spirited Morocco in the semi-finals, while the Albiceleste powered past Croatia.
If Messi is the key to the game and the man Les Bleus must stop, Antoine Griezmann is conscious of the work that needs to be done between now and kick-off.
“Any team with Messi in is a totally different proposition.” Griezmann said. “We have seen practically all of their matches at this World Cup. We have seen Argentina play, we know how they play. They are a difficult team to play and they seem to be on top form.
“Of course, not only Messi, they have a strong side around him so we know it is going to be a tough game and they will have a lot of support in the crowd. We will get back to work tomorrow, focused on it, how we can hurt them, how we can defend against them. We will be well prepared.” Here’s all you need to know ahead of this monumental final match:
When is Argentina vs France?
The game is scheduled to kick off at 3pm GMT (7pm local time) on Sunday 18 December.
The final will take place at the Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
How can I watch it?
The game will be shown live and free-to-air in the UK on BBC One, ITV 1 and STV 1.
You can watch a live stream on the BBC iPlayer, ITV X and STV Player, while the BBC Sport and ITV websites will also provide a live stream.
Didier Deschamps must evaluate both Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano after the pair missed the win over Morocco due to illness.
Both will likely be fit to play, with Rabiot almost certain to replace his replacement against Morocco in Monaco midfielder Youssouf Fofana, but Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate could keep his place after impressing once again at the back.
There is even speculation Karim Benzema, who was ruled out before the tournament with a thigh injury, could make a stunning return, made possible by Deschamps not replacing him in the squad. But this seems farfetched at this stage of the tournament.
Argentina have a similar selection dilemma off the back of changes in the semi-final, this time with full-backs Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel, who sat out the win over Croatia through suspension.
Nahuel Molina should keep his place, but Acuna could step in for Nicolas Tagliafico.
Angel Di Maria should be approaching full fitness after injury and may push for a start, but Scaloni may preserve what has been an excellent midfield quartet.
Argentina XI: Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Paredes, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Messi, Alvarez
France XI: Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Konate, T. Hernandez; Rabiot, Tchouameni; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
Match odds (90 minutes)
Argentina – 7/4
Draw – 21/10
France – 17/10
To win trophy
Argentina – 10/11
France – 4/5
This game has just about everything with immense quality all over the pitch and it could come down to a moment of pure genius from any of the world class talents available to Deschamps and Scaloni. For that reason we’ll side with Messi, a man possessed and surely determined to not let this rare second chance pass him by. He may have to wait until extra-time for his moment, but we’re picking Messi to drag his side to victory once again. Argentina 2-1 France AET.
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