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Behind the numbers for France and Croatia

15 July 2018

One of the most thrilling World Cups ever comes to an end on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET when Croatia and France square off with the title on the line.

Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana gestures as he listens to indications from the Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018.

Lovren has played with a chip on his shoulder throughout the tournament, keen to exorcise the demons of a disappointing showing in the Champions League final, where his side lost to Real Madrid.

Despite their impressive run, Croatia remain the underdogs in Moscow.

CROATIA 2, NIGERIA 0: Like France in its first match, Croatia uses a penalty kick and an own-goal to grab the lead in a group many identified as among the toughest.

Pavard has been such a revelation for France at FIFA World Cup 2018
Pavard has been such a revelation for France at FIFA World Cup 2018

Get the latest World Cup news updates.

"Croatia isn't a big country, but everyone follows the World Cup". Along with other experienced analysts, Sumpter developed the powerful Soccerbot model.

- Make your ESPN FC Match Predictor picks! In almost three seasons since its inception, the Soccerbot is up an incredible 1,800 percent on bookmakers' closing odds.

Later on, France amped up its efforts in the knockout stages.

After sending Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subašić the wrong way, the France striker wheeled away holding making an "L" for loser with his hand.

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The defensive midfielder is the beating heart of the team, often taking it upon himself to take the opposition's best player out of the game, as he did Lionel Messi in the round of 16 and Kevin De Bruyne in the semi-final.

"It's fantastic what a sport can do to to bind a country and bind Croatians across the world".

Fans watch the closing ceremony of the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup ahead of the final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018.

Griezmann came into the tournament as one of the favorites for the golden boot, but so far has only scored three times.

Ahead of the World Cup final between France and Croatia, which happens to be the 900th game in the tournament's history, we compiled a list of key stats and figures that will be at play with the help of the ESPN Stats & Information Group.

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Mandzukic is a poacher, latching on to a loose ball in the penalty area to score against Denmark, then splitting the English defence after a failed clearance to score the go-ahead goal during extra time in the semifinal.

The model also knows France is unbeaten in its last five meetings against Croatia, winning three times.

Why can France lose the World cup?

Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann support Olivier Giroud in attack in France's 4-2-3-1 formation, while Ivan Perisic and Ivan Strinic, who had been pre-match injury doubts, have been passed fit for Croatia.

'For any kid who loves football, the dream is to get to the World Cup Final'.

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Behind the numbers for France and Croatia