07:30 PM: Hello everyone and welcome to Khel Now’s LIVE COVERAGE of Argentina vs France match in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Final. The kick-off is just an hour away! I’m your host Sayantan, and I’ll be keeping you company through what promises a fascinating evening of football. Please wait for 30 Seconds for the Live blog to load.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar concludes on Sunday night as Argentina take on holders France in a mouthwatering-looking final. Both nations are aiming for their third World Cup win. France was triumphant at Russia in 2018 and on home soil in 1998, while Argentina won at Mexico in 1986 and on home soil in 1978. Les Bleus will step out onto the Lusail turf as the first holders in 24 years to participate in the final, which they booked their tickets for courtesy of a 2-0 win over African trailblazers Morocco in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Lionel Scaloni’s men denied Croatia a second successive appearance in the showpiece event with a 3-0 victory in the final four.

Messi and Mbappe both sit on five goals as they bid to also win the Golden Boot, though it’s the Argentine who is having the slightly better tournament statistically as he’s bagged three assists compared to the Frenchman’s two.

Here’s everything you should know about this epic clash between both teams.

Kick off: 8:30 PM IST, 4:00 PM CET

Argentina Form (all competitions) – L-W-W-W-W-W

France Form (all competitions) – W-W-L-W-W-W

Injury and team news

Lionel Scaloni will be able to welcome back Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel after the fullback pair sat out the semi-final through suspension – Acuna will be vying with Nicolas Tagliafico for a starting berth. Alejandro Gomez is a doubt with an ankle problem and Angel Di Maria has been struggling with muscular issues. 

Adrien Rabiot watched France’s semi-final against Morocco from the team hotel as one of the multiple players suffering from what Didier Deschamps described as “flu-like symptoms”. Konate deservedly earned high praise for his performance against Morocco, but Deschamps will still be expected to bring Upamecano back into his tried-and-tested formula, while Coman – who missed training on Thursday – was never likely to push for a starting role anyway.

Players to Watch

Nicolas Otamendi

His performance at this FIFA World Cup 2022 has been consistent so far. He has been rock solid at the back alongside his partners Romero and Martinez. Against a tough French side, he needs to be well prepared and his performance will be very crucial for his team. His presence at the back gives a lot of confidence to his goalkeeper.

Antoine Griezmann

The first element which stood out is his defensive duties. He has been probably the second-best player for his team after Mbappe. His defensive as well as attacking contributions have been really good. Griezmann has gone beyond the stats sheet and highlight reels. His magic can no longer be explained with numbers. 

Head-to-head stats

Matches: 12

Argentina: 6

France: 3

Draws: 3

Who is G.O.A.T of Football?
Lionel Messi
  • 28802 ( 64 % )
Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 16202 ( 36 % )
VS VS

Predicted lineup

Argentina Predicted lineup (4-4-2):

E Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Leandro Paredes, Messi, Alvarez

France Predicted lineup(4-2-3-1):

Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, Hernandez; Griezmann, Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Giroud, Mbappe

Prediction

Deschamps’s men have rarely managed to find that perfect defensive formula in Qatar and could very well have come out on the wrong end of the scoreline against Morocco on another day, but their penchant for rapid-fire counter-attacks should come to the fore regardless.

There’s enough talent in both sides for this game – which is devoid of a clear favourite – to be decided by a moment of magic. But there has been plenty of evidence this winter to suggest a mistake may prove even more likely and pivotal. Argentina, Messi and their deafening travelling support may just edge out Mbappe and co.

Prediction: Argentina 2-0 France

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