Huddersfield Town – Wagner Walks

He gave them something to savour for the rest of their footballing history and now it has come to an agreed end.

David Wagner and the Huddersfield Town board have “mutually agreed” to end their near 3.5yr relationship.

In a surprise announcement on Monday evening, with the build up to Man City vs Wolves very much underway, a statement was released from the John Smiths Stadium.

Perhaps surprisingly – it was stated that a parting of ways was already on the table after the final league game in May.

Town Chairman Dean Hoyle said “After a long discussion we all felt that David staying at the club until the end of the season was best, but we’ve kept discussions open and we all now feel that the time is right to part ways.”

After their Wembley shootout out victory and subsequent PL kick off, Wagner was named Championship Manager of the Year after leading the West Yorkshire side into the top-flight and claimed the Premier League Manager of the Month award in in August 2017 after leading them to a solid 7 point start.

After the promising opening to that particular campaign – it all started to unravel and the stark reality of the task at hand, it appears it became too much for the German.

Somehow though, they managed to drag themselves to a 16th place finish.

The Terriers have just 9 league victories to their name since the end of August…2017.

Back in November they looked to have turned a corner with victories over Fulham and Wolves before a disastrous December and nasty New Year saw them lose 8 on the spin before Wagner’s last game in charge at Cardiff, a 0-0 draw.

Goals have been a serious problem, both for and against.

Whoever comes in has a serious task to even get the Yorkshire club back in contention to remain in the top division, it may make sense for the board to look further into the future and appoint someone capable of gaining promotion once again for after what is sure to be relegation.

One thing that remains after the news. David Wagner will be forever welcome in the town of Huddersfield and will be remembered for years to come after his achievements.

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David Wagner image was sourced from; www.express.co.uk/sport/football

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Borussia Dortmund

With the black and yellows 6 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga – with just 1 loss to their name this season, the news this week of the sale of USA international Christian Pulisic to Chelsea may have rocked may a football club. Not Borussia Dortmund.

With the promise of nearly £60m on its way from Stamford Bridge, an agreement was reached to allow their number 22 to hang around on loan until the end of a season which is looking to be a successful one.

After the departure of Pulisic in the summer their squad will still boast the likes of Gotze, Reus, Witsel, Alcacer and of course the exciting talent that is Jadon Sancho.

The particular emergence of the young Englishman has been quicker than expected, his quick feet and ability to take men on has seen him very much in the manager Lucien Favre’s plans, without pre-empting fate its seen that Sancho will prove to be another player that they can cash in on for tremendous profit.

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Borussia Dortmund have seen some of the world’s best footballers come through their doors in the last few years but incredibly the Bundesliga side seem to get stronger.

They rarely stand in the way of their “want away” stars as they can drive a hard bargain and re-invest profit into their future.

Just look at these 5 key outgoings from previous seasons:-

Player Bought For Sold For Profit
Ousmane Dembele €15m €145m €130m
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang €14m €63m €49m
Henrikh Mkhitaryan €13m €42m €29m
Mats Hummels €4m €35m €31m
Ilkay Gundogan €4m €27m €23m
€262m

Frustratingly Lewandowski and Goetze (now returned) walked away on free transfers, a lesson learned it would seem given Pulisic was due to walk away on a free next summer before the transfer to the Premier League was sealed.

Other recent notable sales include Sokratis (Arsenal), Ginter (Monchengladbach) & Bender (Leverkusen).

Along with their Bundesliga cushion they have topped a Champions League group that contained Atletico Madrid and have a last 16 tie with Spurs to look forward to. A tie they’ll see as winnable and progression to the latter stages.

2018 / 19 is looking remarkably promising and this will further impress any targets they choose to pursue with the Chelsea cash for Pulisic, maybe a late bid to snatch you Hudson-Odoi from Bayern and add to their English contingent?

The last 8 seasons have seen Borussia claim 2 league titles, 2 German cups and also seen them victorious in 2 DFL Supercups. Combine this with multiple runners up accolades and they don’t appear to be stopped despite their decisions to allow their prized assets to leave.

Their south bank or “yellow wall” as it’s been nicknamed, is one of the most mesmerising sights in the game when over 24k are making themselves heard.

They simply show true German grit and look to move on as a club whilst gracefully accepting the riches from others around Europe.

Borussia Dortmund are a fine example of a football club.

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Jadon Sancho image sourced from; www.goal.com
Borussia Dortmund Stadium image sourced from; www.youtube.com

Mark Hughes – Southampton Struggles

Blackburn Rovers, Man City, Fulham, QPR, Stoke City and now Southampton.

All of the mentioned clubs have taken the decision to employ Mark Hughes as their manager throughout the last fifteen years, it now appears that his time is up at his current club just like it has been at the previous five.

Last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to fellow strugglers Fulham – in what was dubbed and early season six pointer – did not go the way of the team from the south coast had hoped.

Now it looks an absolute certainty that the Welshman will be leaving St Mary’s before completing a calendar year.

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Appointed in March 2018 “Sparky” has overseen twenty-five matches winning just five, and perhaps more importantly losing twelve, a near 50% loss record. Not exactly that new manager bounce in form which most teams benefit from.

Just the solitary league win this season way back in September is bad enough, but the lack of goals is a problem that just isn’t being addressed. Ten goals in thirteen league games combined with a run of five league games without a goal shortly after their victory over Palace.

Last season Southampton escaped relegation by three points with one of the relegated sides being Stoke City, managed by Hughes for the majority of that 2017/18 season. The Saints got lucky and for some reason rewarded Hughes and his long trusted assistants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki with long term contracts after initially appointing them until the end of that season.

As we enter December it is a month that really could decide whether they will give themselves a chance of safety or they end up in a total relegation dogfight.

Spurs, Arsenal, Man City and Man Utd are games you can’t see any points being collected despite the current form of those from Old Trafford.

Cardiff, Huddersfield and West Ham – now for us, this has to being a gain of nine precious points given their predicament.

It’s also worth saying that none of these games should be under the stewardship of their former striker, his time is simply up.

The decision making in previous seasons may be coming back to haunt the club this season as they simply couldn’t continue to assume that selling their top talent year after year was going to sustain a place in the top division, but that is a whole other story than that of Hughes and his failings.

Fantastic player no doubt, but a questionable manager who has more than enough chances and shouldn’t be seen in the top division again. It genuinely is time that we seem others given a chance rather than this usual “Premier League experience” appointment should a vacancy arise.

Mark Hughes image is sourced from; www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football

Monaco – Jardim to Henry

Only a few months ago Leonardo Jardim was one of the most sought after coaches in Europe, now he has been replaced in his Monaco post by a managerial rookie in the shape of Thierry Henry.

Monaco were guilty of projecting this as a 2nd coming of a club legend but it is undoubtedly a gamble with the team currently sitting in the bottom three of Ligue 1, having amassed a measly 10 points from 14 games.

The French legend is finding life in the dugout a struggle, with just one domestic victory and having watched his side blown away in the Champions League group stages.

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But to us it’s hardly fair to sack a man when you’ve effectively tied his hands and cashed in on the success without replacing what he has had taken from him.

Since Jardim’s appointment in 2014 he guided a resurgent Monaco to successive 3rd place finishes, before guiding the club to its 1st national championship in nearly two decades at the end of the 16/17 season. Since that title win in May of 2017 Jardim has seen the high profile sales of:-

  • Bernardo Silva & Benjamin Mendy – Man City
  • Tiemoue Bakayoko – Chelsea
  • Fabinho – Liverpool
  • Joao Moutinho – Wolves
  • Thomas Lemar – Atletico Madrid
  • Kylian Mbappe – PSG

How does a coach replace this £400m hole in a title winning squad? (Nacer Chadli wasn’t the answer).

Perhaps the dismissed 44yr old Venezuelan had merely lost his way and was scrambling to replace the outgoing quality.

27 players have walked through the entrance door since that title win, squads need strengthening immediately after any triumph but nearly 30 new players coupled with those departures?!

They are no stranger to highs and lows though it has to be said – Champions League Semi Finalists the season before last and now a certain relegation battle. Also a Champions League Final appearance in 2004 followed by subsequent relegation to Ligue 2 just seven years later.

Back to the present day and ahead of the game against fellow strugglers Caen, French Legend Henry has been quoted saying that he “assumes all responsibilities” for the current run of form. However, he has maybe stumbled upon a turning point thanks to Radamel Falcao’s winner at the weekend provided a welcome relief from draws or defeats.

The French League is undergoing a certain resurgence with strong sides coming from Marseille, Lyon, Lille and of course the powerhouse that is PSG.

Monaco will not want to be left behind and the managerial looks to be no more than a misjudged publicity stunt.

Whereas Henry will scuttle back to the Sky studios if this is not a success, could we see Jardim’s next destination be the PL? Even one day being scrutinised by his severely under qualified replacement!

Jardim and Henry image sourced from; www.marca.com

Julen Lopetegui – From World Cup to Nothing…

First of all let us just rewind the clock to June this year…

A feast of summer football is about to begin in Russia, the World Cup 2018 is upon us and the usual suspects are fancied to contest the latter stages of the biggest tournament in the game.

Spain, quite rightly – are tipped by many – due to their talent pool and their unbeaten run in qualification which saw them win all but one game, topping a group also containing Italy.

Having arrived in Russia for the tournament, it was announced that Lopetegui would take over as the Head Coach of Real Madrid on a three-year contract after the conclusion of Spain’s involvement at the World Cup.

The following day, he was dismissed from his job with the national team after the SFF stated it was unaware of the talks between one of its countries biggest clubs and Lopetegui.

Surprisingly Spain were eliminated by the host nation in the last 16, but this just left unanswered questions for the former Porto gaffer and a spotlight that turned out to be too bright in the dugout of the Santiago Bernabeu.

Fast forward just a matter of weeks and before the festive period is upon us – Julen Lopetegui has been dismissed as Manager of Real Madrid after a less than impressive, unacceptable start to life in the Spanish capital.

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Fair to say that the board didn’t hold back in their statement either “there is great disproportion between the quality of staff of Real Madrid”

Played 14 – Won 6 – Drawn 2 – Lost 6

To have lost as many as you have won whilst in charge of one of the world’s biggest clubs is cause for concern enough. However it is the manner of loss and against whom that has forced Florentino Perez to act accordingly.

UEFA Super Cup defeat to City rival Atletico followed by a stalemate against the same opponent in La Liga. A resounding 3-0 loss to Sevilla, back to back humiliations against Alaves and Levante with an unthinkable CSKA disaster in the UCL. Most recently, a 5-1 demolition at the hands of a Barcelona minus Messi was an embarrassment too far.

The 52-year-old will be “provisionally replaced” by ex-player Santiago Solari, coach of B team Castilla. But there is a twist that will need untangled and quickly…

Under Spanish regulations, an interim coach can be at the helm for a fortnight – but must be appointed officially after 15 days, or not at all.

Longer term, Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is widely expected to replace the former goalkeeper and become Real’s 3rd manager this calendar year.

Following the surprise resignation of treble Champions League winner Zidane was always going to be a tough ask, but to replace him without a certain Cristiano Ronaldo in your side is even harder.

Lopetegui’s overriding error was that he did not make moves to replace the talisman nor seek assurances around his future before accepting the position. You’d have to suggest that Zizou knew what was on the horizon.

With his reputation damaged by his recent decisions both on and off the pitch, it will take a sensational recovery if Lopetegui has aspirations to remain a high level coach.

A shocking 2018 can’t end soon enough for the Spaniard, what a miserable few months he’s had.

Julen Lopetegui image sourced from www.standard.co.uk

Ajax, PSV & Feyenoord – Doing their bit for the Dutch

A well-deserved round of applause for the Dutch sides that have taken the unprecedented step of sharing all European earnings made this season with the rest of the Eredivisie.

Ajax and PSV have made it to the group stages of the Champions League whereas Feyenoord came up short in the Europa League, having been knocked out in the qualifying round.

However, the disappointment of the men from Rotterdam is a mere blip compared to the gesture made.

The country’s three biggest clubs have agreed to give 10% of their earnings to the rest of the league, as a way of ensuring Dutch football doesn’t fall too far behind.

To give some perspective, Group stage qualification in the UCL is worth roughly £20m and Ajax currently sit top of their group having gained a well-earned draw with German giants Bayern Munich.

The intention? To improve the overall standard of Dutch football and aid the removal of plastic pitches.

As it stands an additional and unexpected £4m is about to be ploughed into the game in Holland and this will soften the blow of a newly proposed league structure to those unfortunate enough who will have to drop out of the top division.

A new structure will see the Eredivise drop from 18 sides to 16 with end of season play offs, with the future top division being separated much like the Belgian top tier.

The Belgian league system currently consists of 16 teams and at the end of the season the top 6 clubs qualify for a Championship play-off.

While places 7 to 15 qualify for Europa League play-off system and the bottom side gets relegated to the 2nd tier. However, any final changes are yet to be disclosed.

With the national side failing to reach Russia 2018 and Euro 2016, the agreement is also seen as a way to aid the nation and stop the slide.

Needless to say the recent 3-0 victory of Germany will have raised hopes once more.

All of the talk of single figure millions will sound like a drop in the ocean to any follower of and English Premier League side, but outside the bubble that Sky and BT provide – this is how football is for many leagues all over the continent.

Perhaps other countries could ask their regular European teams to forgo a small percentage of their added income to aid both club and country?

The media have labelled it all “the stronger the opponent, the stronger you will become,”

Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord have shown the way for others to follow.

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Image sourced from @caughtoffside‘s Twitter page

Jadon Sancho – A BIG future

This week saw the unexpected yet deserved inclusion of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming Uefa Nations League games against Spain and Croatia. With him being a relative unknown to many, it’s worth profiling this exciting attacking talent and detailing why he is in the Bundesliga and not the EPL.

Sancho, at the age of 17, made the brave decision to leave Premier League title favourites Manchester City last summer.

The Cityzens had offered fresh terms and had planned to take him on their pre-season tour of the USA in order to provide him with some game time.

Like many an Englishman before him Sancho decided that his future lay elsewhere after becoming worried that his 1st team involvement would be limited at The Etihad.

The soon-to-be England international joined City from Watford at the age of 14 and played regularly in 2016-17 in the under-18 league and the Uefa Youth League – as well as seven appearances in the Premier League 2, England’s reserve league.

On deadline day in August 2017 the surprise move to Borussia Dortmund came about.

Sancho was instantly given the squad number of 7, left vacant by Ousmane Dembele’s switch to Barcelona. The transfer fee a reported £8m.

The teenager was called up to the England Under-17 World Cup squad in October 2017, although Dortmund were reluctant to allow him to leave to represent his country at this level.

Sancho scored three goals in three group games – but was then recalled by the German club before the knockout stages on the understanding from all parties, including the FA that Sancho was about to be unleashed in the yellow and black.

Sancho duly made his Dortmund debut days later, as a late substitute against Eintracht Frankfurt, and also featured against Bayern Munich two weeks later.

England deservedly went on to win the Under-17 World Cup, with Sancho getting a winner’s medal.

He ended the season with one goal and four assists from 12 Bundesliga games, including seven starts.

The International Champions Cup competition, the new pre-season friendly threw together Sancho and City.

The winger impressed with his quick feet and ability to take men on as the Bundesliga side beat the Premier League champions 1-0 and this set him up for this current season firmly in manager Lucien Favre’s plans.

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He has had a brilliant start to the 2018-19 season and has set up more goals than any player in the Bundesliga, the Londoner has set up six league goals in as many appearances.

Sancho has also added his name to a scoresheet with a strike in a 7-0 demolition of Nuremberg recently.

He has started both Champions League games this season.

He has set up a total of eight goals, including one in the German Cup against lower league Greuther Furth.

Rumour also has it, that he has had his wrist slapped for continuously nutmegging his team mates in training, perhaps the exuberance of youth but experience will teach behaviours.

Perhaps most importantly his form has been rewarded with a contract extension seeing him put pen to paper on a deal until 2022.

He could well be the future of the English national side and Man City’s loss could be a nation’s gain.

Image sourced from; www.fourfourtwo.com

UEFA Nations League – What is it? How does it work?

UEFA’s latest competition is underway and whilst it is just getting started the format does leave a lot of individuals confused.

All 55 UEFA nations have been split into 4 tiers (Leagues A-D)

Each league has league has 4 groups and for some there is the hope of Euro 2020 qualification.

The sides in each group will play home and away in a 10-week period between September and November 2018 , with the team finishing top of each section being promoted to a higher tier and the nation finishing bottom dropping down one.

Still with us?

In a final flourish, the four nations who win the groups in the top tier (League A) will advance to a knockout finals next June to decide the Nations League winner. So there will be some silverware on offer for those superior nations.

With the winner of the Nations League decided, what about this Euro 2020 qualification hope? This is where it all becomes REALLY confusing!

The traditional qualifying groups for Euro 2020 will still go ahead, finish in the top 2 in your group and you’re in the finals. Boom, nice and simple.

However with 10 groups x 2 qualification places that would leave Euro 2020 four nations short.

Back we go to the Nations League…

The four group winners in each tier will then play-off in March for a first crack at claiming one of those four vacant spots.

However, should a nation already have qualified, their place will go to the next highest-ranked team from their Nations League tier. To confuse things further, that will not necessarily be the runners-up in their group.

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If we haven’t explained it properly or your head is extremely sore we’ve included the links for the official videos below:-
https://www.uefa.com/uefanationsleague/video1
https://www.uefa.com/uefanationsleague/video2

The official line from UEFA is “different, not complex”

Not sure we agree, but it will certainly be fun trying to work out what’s going on as this competition progresses.

Qualification image sourced from; www.goal.com

Scotland vs England – European Nights

It took extra time at the end of Thursday’s 2nd leg to see EPL side Burnley finally overcome a spirited Aberdeen side at Turf Moor, however let it be said that there was no disgrace in the defeat for the side from north of the border, you could argue that they could even stake a claim for a moral victory.

With both legs finishing 1-1 it was a Jack Cork header and an Ashley Barnes penalty that sent Derek McInnes’ men home, home with their heads held extremely high.

The much maligned Scottish game has been given a further shot in the arm this week with the progression of Celtic, Rangers and Hibs in their respective ties with hope of group stages still burning.

Burnley finished 7th in the “best league in the world” last season banking an estimated £120m.

In comparison Aberdeen finished 2nd in the Scottish Premiership adding a staggering £2.5m to their bank account.

Chris Wood is Burnley’s record signing (£15m) and scored their opener in the 2nd leg. Aberdeen’s starting frontman was a £20k purchase from Carlisle this summer.

Burnley’s Starting XI cost £38.85m vs Aberdeen’s starting XI at £190k

We feel we’ve made our point but just to add further proof, If you look back at the clashes since the 1980’s you’ll probably be surprised by the numbers…

The last 5 ties between Scottish and English club sides in competitive football have all ended as stalemates.

Played 34: Scottish Wins – 7     Draws – 14     English Wins – 13

Aberdeen 0-1 Liverpool, 1980/81 European Cup first round
Liverpool 3-1 Aberdeen, 1980/81 European Cup first round
Ipswich 1-1 Aberdeen, 1981/82 UEFA Cup first round
Aberdeen 3-1 Ipswich, 1981/82 UEFA Cup first round
Nottingham Forest 0-0 Celtic, 1983/84 UEFA Cup third round
Celtic 1-2 Nottingham Forest, 1983/84 UEFA Cup third round
Manchester United 2-2 Dundee United, 1984/85 UEFA Cup third round
Dundee United 2-3 Manchester United, 1984/85 UEFA Cup third round
Rangers 2-1 Leeds, 1992/93 UEFA Champions League second round
Leeds 1-2 Rangers, 1992/93 UEFA Champions League second round
Celtic 2-2 Liverpool, 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round
Liverpool 0-0 Celtic, 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round
Celtic 1-0 Blackburn, 2002/03 UEFA Cup second round
Blackburn 0-2 Celtic, 2002/03 UEFA Cup second round
Celtic 1-1 Liverpool, 2002/03 UEFA Cup quarter-finals
Liverpool 0-2 Celtic, 2002/03 UEFA Cup quarter-finals
Rangers 0-1 Manchester United, 2003/04 UEFA Champions’ League group stage
Manchester United 3-0 Rangers, 2003/04 UEFA Champions’ League group stage
Manchester United 3-2 Celtic, 2006/07 UEFA Champions’ League group stage
Celtic 1-0 Manchester United, 2006/07 UEFA Champions’ League group stage
Manchester United 3-0 Celtic, 2008/09 UEFA Champions’ League group stage
Celtic 1-1 Manchester United, 2008/09 UEFA Champions’ League group stage
Celtic 0-2 Arsenal, 2009/10 UEFA Champions League play-offs
Arsenal 3-1 Celtic, 2009/10 UEFA Champions League play-offs
Manchester United 0-0 Rangers, 2010/11 UEFA Champions’ League group stage
Rangers 0-1 Manchester United, 2010/11 UEFA Champions’ League group stage
Hearts 0-5 Tottenham, 2011/12 UEFA Europa League play-offs
Tottenham 0-0 Hearts, 2011/12 UEFA Europa League play-offs
Hearts 0-1 Liverpool, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League play-offs
Liverpool 1-1 Hearts, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League play-offs
Celtic 3-3 Manchester City, 2016/17 UEFA Champions’ League group stage
Manchester City 1-1 Celtic, 2016/17 UEFA Champions’ League group stage
Aberdeen 1-1 Burnley, 2018/19 UEFA Europa League qualifying
Burnley 1-1 Aberdeen, 2018/19 UEFA Europa League qualifying

It’s about time we put all of this “pub league” nonsense to bed, football in Scotland can provide just as much quality as the game in England. Despite all of the social media rubbish posted by clueless supporters looking for a cheap like or comment.

Money runs the game as we all know – but just try telling that to Sean Dyche who was probably wondering how he would explain a defeat to a Scottish side to the media after their recent scare.

Aberdeen, you did yourselves, your fans and your nation proud.

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England & Scotland fan image sourced from; www.mirror.co.uk

Russia 2018 – The Final Showdown

32 nations arrived in Russia last month to contest the 2018 World Cup, we’ve seen some surprises amongst the shocks and now we’re left with just two nations, both desperate to get their hands on the Jules Rimet trophy.

Sunday in Moscow will see 1998 winners France, take 1998 3rd placed Croatia, in what has turned out to be an all European final. Somewhat hammering home the recent dominance to those in South America.

Image result for france vs croatia

France under Didier Deschamps appear to have put the disappointment Euro 2016 behind them by making a 2nd successive major final (just as they did back in 98 & 00) and will start the game as favourites given their navigated route and the players at their disposal. A magnificent 5th final in 20 years is something special, just like this French team.

Deschamps himself has the chance to add his name to an exclusive list – by winning the World Cup as both player and manager, only 2 others have achieved this magnificent feat before. All this, after calls for him to go during the qualification stage after a home draw with Luxembourg.

Other than a drab draw with Denmark in the last group game, Les Bleus have been impressive and deserve their final berth given the level of opposition that they’ve seen off. The successes over Belgium, Uruguay and Argentina in the knockout stages have been impressive.

With Lloris, Varane, Kante and Griezmann the spin of the side is remarkably strong and they’ll be looking to rid themselves of a disappointing extra time defeat to Portugal in the Euros.

Croatia have made the final by whatever means possible, all 3 knockout games have required settling out with the originally scheduled 90mins. Penalty defeats of Denmark and Russia were followed by a Mandzukic winner deep into extra time vs England.

Appearing in their 1st final it will be up to the likes Modric and Rakitic to impose themselves in the midfield to give the Croats any chance.

Coach Zlatko Dalic only took the post last October following the sacking of Ante Cacic, upon arriving, Dalic announced that he would only remain head coach if Croatia qualified for the tournament. Safe to say he could potentially have a job for life should Sunday’s game swing in their favour.

Past meetings

  • July 8, 1998 FRANCE WON 2-1 (1998 World Cup)
  • November 13, 1999 FRANCE WON 3-0 (International Friendly)
  • May 28, 2000 FRANCE WON 2-0 (International Friendly)
  • June 17, 2004 DRAW 2-2 (Euro 2004)
  • March 29, 2011 DRAW 0-0 (International Friendly)

History will point to a straight forward victory and a 2nd title for France and we don’t disagree with what the stats show.

We are predicting a comfortable 3-1 win for the French in a game that will prove a step too far for Croatia.

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All the best to both nations, let’s hope for a fitting final for what has been a great tournament.

France v Croatia Image Sourced From; www.thetelegraph.co.uk/world-cup
Russia 2018 Trophy Image Sourced From; www.theweek.co.uk