2022 Men's World Cup Final Predictions

2022 Men's World Cup Final Predictions

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2022 Men's World Cup Final Predictions

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Via The LA Times

After nearly a month of some of the most competitive and scintillating soccer you can ask for, the Qatari World Cup comes to its conclusion on December 18 at 10 a.m. EST. It is a storybook matchup, one that has the potential to be lauded by pundits for generations.

Only aged 23, will Kylian Mbappé lead France to its second consecutive World Cup triumph as he rapidly races towards being one of the legends of the game himself? Or will Lionel Messi, in historic form at this World Cup and on a mission to eliminate the only scar from his legacy, finally erase the ghosts of Diego Maradona and lead Argentina to be world victors? 

Which sentiment comes to fruition, we don’t know yet, but TWSN is here to give you our predictions heading into the penultimate match.  

Argentina vs. France: 

Christian De Block:

Argentina vs. France has the chance to be one of the best matches we have ever seen in a World Cup Final. Lionel Messi is one win away from his biggest achievement as a footballer, and Kylian Mbappé could be a two-time World Cup winner at the age of 23 if France were to be crowned champions. The hype around this match is at an all-time high, but which team has the edge in this one?

The combination of Messi and Julián Álvarez has brought the best out of Argentina, as the two compliment each other very well. Manager Lionel Scaloni has stuck with Álvarez over Lautaro Martínez, who came into the tournament as the preferred striker. Argentina played a brilliant match against Croatia in the semi-final, dominating from start to finish. 

France is in a bit of a different position going into this match, as some of the players in the squad are feeling unwell. Raphaël Varane and Ibrahima Konaté, who both started at centre-back in the team’s 2-0 win over Morocco, could miss the final if they are unable to recover from the illness. Jules Koundé could shift over from right back to play alongside Dayot Upamecano, although he [Upamecano] has had a shaky tournament to say the least.

Regardless of who will be available for Sunday’s match, the expectation for the French team will still be to win. This is a group that is more than capable of beating any opponent, even if a few starters were to be absent from the matchday squad. France has played well at times in this tournament, but they will need to be at their best to beat Argentina. 

Reports have surfaced that 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema could rejoin the French squad ahead of Sunday’s match. The 34-year-old striker suffered a thigh injury in training prior to the start of the World Cup, which was supposed to rule him out for the entirety of the tournament. Benzema is now back in full training at Real Madrid and could return to Qatar if manager Didier Deschamps believes he can play a role in this match.

Olivier Giroud is having a fantastic tournament for France, as his hold up play and ability to get on the end of crosses has been evident in all six of their matches. His link-up play with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé has allowed the team to flourish in the attack. Benzema as an individual talent may add something different, but Giroud is a nailed-on starter barring injury. 

Listen, this match could legitimately go either way. A strong case can be made for France or Argentina to lift the trophy. To me, the team that makes the most of their opportunities on the counter-attack will win this match. Based on the way they played in the semi-finals, I have to lean towards Argentina in a high-scoring affair. Lionel Messi cements himself as the best player to ever grace the pitch with one last moment on the biggest stage.

Score Prediction: Argentina 3-2 France

 

Shaun Chornobroff: Can Argentina keep France off the scoresheet is going to be the question in this one. There have been long spurts of positive defending. Against Croatia Argentina finally played 90-minutes of completely dominant soccer, looking the part of world champions. However, after seeing what the big framed Wout Weghorst did to Argentina in the quarterfinal, the idea of this defense containing Olivier Giroud makes me scared. With reports also stating Real Madrid Karim Benzema may be returning to the fold and Mbappé in positive form, this France attack could be too much. But sometimes sport defies all logic. And for nearly two decades, Lionel Messi has found a way to surpass all reason and for this Argentina team, there’s a pure desperation with it being their stars last time at the competition. Argentina is well managed, has a knack for timely goalscoring and most importantly, is peaking at the right moment. I’m taking Messi to fill the vacant place in his trophy case. 

Score Prediction: Argentina 2-1 France

 

Marissa Myers: For the 2022 World Cup, we get Lionel Messi and Argentina going against France and Kylian Mbappé! Both Messi and Mbappé lead their respective teams in goals with five each, so both will be the key to getting their team a score. Argentina is riding a wave of momentum with a goal shooting accuracy of 45% overall and coming off a game where they were 77% accurate. France, on the other hand, has been accurate 35% of the time. As the tournament has gone on, Argentina has continued to get better, while France has struggled to keep a clean sheet. Argentina is going to play with immense momentum and get Messi his championship. 

Score Prediction: Argentina 2-1 France

 

Matt Levine: This is honestly the best matchup that we could have hoped for in the conclusion of this World Cup tournament. Argentina and France are similar but both do very different things on the pitch. Lionel Messi is looking for some redemption after the 2014 World Cup Final as he trys to grab that final trophy to his legendary career. France is the defending champions and is looking to repeat. This game has it all. Star power, explosive offenses, storylines, etc. I think the key to the game will be how Argentina deals with Kylian Mbappé. He is a star in every sense of the word and can change a game instantly. France knows they need to deal with Messi so for the Argentinian side, someone else may need to step up. France has so many weapons that Mbappé doesn’t have to be the focal point. However, I think sometimes in sports that stories get finished. I think this is that time for Messi. Give me Argentina to come home with the World Cup win.

Score Prediction: Argentina 3-France 2

 

Dash Pederson: Argentina looked the better side in the semifinal round. Not only did they score more goals than France, but they also had much more control of their respective game. France scored first against Morocco but once they had the lead, Morocco took control of the game even though they were unable to capitalize. France was scrambling on defense which resulted in plenty of attacking opportunities for their opponent. If they can’t tighten up, Argentina will take advantage of this in the final. Against Croatia, Argentina looked dominant. They dictated the flow of the game and constantly threatened to score, netting three goals. If they can keep the pressure on France and limit the amount of touches that go to the likes of Mbappé and Giroud, I believe the Messi magic will continue in the finals. With rumors circling that Karim Benzema could return for the final, that may swing the tide in favor of France. However, form is what will matter most in a one game sample size and Argentina has been on unparalleled form. I’m not convinced Benzema could step right in and dominate the first game back despite his world class ability. I believe Argentina will prevail in a great game and bring the World Cup trophy back to South America.

Score Prediction: Argentina 2-1 France

 

Tayyib Abu: The reigning world champions against the reigning South American champions, you could not set up a World Cup Final any better. The storylines and stakes are salivating; France is attempting to become the first team since 1962 to defend a World Cup successfully, while Argentina is aiming for its first title since 1986.

And the individual stories are fascinating; French stars Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Raphael Varane, and Hugo Lloris are looking to etch themselves as gods in France. As for Lionel Messi, a win will cement his GOAT status.

Tactically, France probably holds the edge. Giroud’s size and power may outmatch Argentina’s smaller central defenders. Add Mbappe’s speed and Griezmann’s ingenuity, and France boasts more threats. However, Argentina has Messi. And he has been the best player of the tournament. Messi is the great equalizer, and Argentina’s ferocious passion and football culture could overwhelm France. Pair that with home advantage, and the Argentinians will have factors on their side. However, the French know the big stage inside out. The atmosphere will not faze them, and head coach Didier Deschamps is a man made for the big games. He captained France to World Cup glory in 1998 before winning it all as a manager in 2018. His experience and ice-cool leadership will be the difference.

It will be tight, dramatic, and emotional. But ultimately, France’s experience will get them over the line.

Score Prediction – France 2 – 1 Argentina

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