Just like that, the tournament has gone by in a flash and we are at the final. On Sunday (3pm GMT; TV: Live on BBC1 & ITV1), two footballing heavyweights in France and Argentina, who between them already have four World Cup titles, will clash in the 2022 World Cup Final at Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Who will come out on top? This World Cup Final preview with betting tips aims to find out.
How did they get here?
For the Argentinians, getting this far was not easy. They could not have started with a worse result, losing to Saudi Arabia on match-day one, the tournament’s first real shock. However, they have since recovered, and recovered well, but their path to the final was not always assured.
On match-day two, the Argentines were struggling. The Mexicans had dug in their heels and creativity was proving hard to come by. When his nation needed him the most, Lionel Messi came up with the goods, finishing accurately from outside the box, a goal which lifted his team’s spirits and ultimately paved the way for qualification from the group stages.
In the knockouts, we started to see what Lionel Scaloni’s team really has to offer. They are very good at dictating games, while with Messi seemingly firing on all cylinders, they were never going to find it hard to create chances or score goals. They have scored at least twice in three out of three in the knockouts, scoring a total of seven goals. Defensively, they have not always been perfect, but they have got star quality in the final third and now look very much like a team determined to go all the way.
As for the French, well, there was no slow start for them, even if they did go a goal down early on during the opening game against Australia. On that occasion, they eventually ran out comfortable winners, winning by four goals to one. They have not looked back since, beating Denmark on matchday two, qualifying with a game to spare.
They swept aside Poland in the Round-of-16, before battling hard to show that they can win in different ways against the English, who certainly gave Didier Deschamps’ men a test. On that occasion, though, we saw that the French really do have a strong underbelly. They are a team well equipped to deal with high-pressure knockout games, as we once again saw against Morocco in the semi-final. Despite being pegged back and pressured, they stood strong, before showing that they need few opportunities to kill a game at the other end.
How will the 2022 World Cup Final unfold?
All throughout the tournament, the Argentines have looked to dictate games. They want to get on the front foot, and they want to get their magic man Messi on the ball as much as possible. To do that they need lots of possession, so it is likely that they will take control of the ball early in this one, which probably won’t bother the French.
We know that Les Bleus can operate in several ways. With the likes of Antoine Griezmann, who alongside Lionel Messi, has probably been the best player of the knockout stages, they have the quality to dictate and create chances that way, but they are also well versed to sitting back and playing on the break. With the pace of Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe, the French can be incredibly threatening on the counter, so letting the Argentines come at them is not something that the reigning world champions are likely to fear.
How to bet on the final?
As should be the case ahead of a World Cup final, this game is very tough to call. A case can be made for both, and with good reason, which is probably why they simply cannot be separated in the early betting.
In the match betting, both teams can be taken at around 7/4, while the draw isn’t considered to be much less likely at 2/1.
At the current odds, ‘Both Teams to Score’ stands out as a viable option. For starters, the pair have only failed to score in one of their combined ten matches at this tournament, and in the knockouts, they’ve both scored at least twice in three out of three. That tells us that their forward lines have been in form, while anyone who has watched the recent games of both will know that creating clear-cut chances is not a problem for either.
Additionally, both teams have scored in four of France and Argentina’s six combined knockout matches, while at no point has it appeared that either is good enough defensively to keep the other one out. Whoever comes out on top here is likely to do so by outscoring their opponent, as opposed to playing it cautious and stealing the win.
An extra play is ‘Kylian Mbappe to Score’. With five goals, Mbappe is the joint top-scorer at this tournament, and although he has not scored in either of his last two, do not discount him ahead of the biggest game of all.
The PSG forward notched in the final four years ago, while if we look at him against other strikers from Europe’s top leagues, in the last year, he ranks inside the top 1% for non-penalty goals and shots total, and the top 2% for expected goals.
At the end of the day, whatever happens in this fixture, this preview is talking about an incredibly explosive forward, who most back-lines simply cannot handle, and as a player who is no stranger to scoring on the biggest stage, Kylian Mbappe looks far too big at odds of 2/1 in the ‘To Score’ market.
- Both Teams to Score (BTTS) in 90 mins @ evens with Bet365 or William Hill.
- Kylian Mbappe to score at any time (in normal time) @ 2/1 with Bet365 and BetVictor.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.