France and Croatia both name unchanged sides for World cup final

Didier Deschamps keeps faith with striker Olivier Giroud for Moscow decider

Croatia’s players walk on the pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow ahead of the World Cup final against France. Photograph:  Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

Croatia’s players walk on the pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow ahead of the World Cup final against France. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

 

World Cup finalists France and Croatia both named unchanged sides as they prepared to do battle for the biggest prize in football at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Les Bleus manager Didier Deschamps kept faith with Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, who has proved a strong link man for Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann but has yet to score in the tournament.

Mbappé, at 19 years and 207 days, also had the honour of becoming the third youngest finalist ever after Pele and Giuseppe Bergomi.

Croatia have been taken to extra time in each of their three knockout fixtures but Zlatko Dalic resisted any temptation to freshen up his starting XI after edging England at the same ground in the semi-final.

Follow all the action on our Live Blog.

FRANCE (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Pogba, Kante; Mbappé, Griezmann, Matuidi; Giroud.

Subs: Mandanda, Kimpembe, Lemar, Dembele, Tolisso, Nzonzi, Rami, Fekir, Sidibe, Thauvin, Mendy, Areola.

CROATIA (4-2-3-1): Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Rakitic, Brozovic; Rebic, Modric, Perisic; Mandzukic.

Subs: Livakovic, Corluka, Kovacic, Kramaric, Jedvaj, Bradaric, Caleta-Car, Badelj, Pjaca, Pivaric, L Kalinic.

Referee: Nestor Pitana (Argentina).

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