MOSCOW: France and Croatia both avoided any surprises as they named unchanged line-ups for the World Cup final on Sunday, setting up a heavyweight midfield clash between N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba on the French side and Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic for Croatia.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic brushed aside concerns about possible fatigue after his team played extra time in all three of their knockout matches.
Dalic said on Saturday that he trusted his players he tell him if they were not fully fit. “If they will be unable to give their all during the match I expect them to tell us,” he said.
France coach Didier Deschamps has fielded the same starting line-up in every knockout-round match except the quarter-final against Uruguay when Blaise Matuidi was suspended and replaced by Corentin Tolisso.
France won all three knockout ties inside 90 minutes and have had an extra day to recover for the final.