World Cup Project: Day 25

The Final: France – Croatia

This report is focused on the analysis of the 2018 FIFA World Cup final game, between France (FIFA ranking: 7) and Croatia (FIFA ranking: 20). The team of D. Deschamps, reached the World Cup final, being undefeated in 6 games (5 wins and only 1 draw). France will compete in a World Cup final for 3rd time during the last twenty years and aims to win its second World Cup trophy. On the other hand, the team of Z. Dalic reached the final after eliminating England on the extra time. Croatia, will play for the first time of its history in a World Cup final.



Possession Yellow Cards
 Pass Success Rate Interception


Interception Yellow Cards
Saves Shots on Target



  1. France is expected to try at least 6 shots during the game. Almost half of the shots are going to be on target. Moreover, based on its World Cup stats, France has tried so far 58 shots in total and almost 45% of them are shots on target.
  2. France has scored so far, 10 goals in 6 games in the World Cup. Based on its preliminaries and World Cup stats, when France faces teams of a similar FIFA Ranking as Croatia, it is expected to score at least 1 goal.
  3. On the other hand, France is expected to receive at least 2 yellow cards during the game. Based on its preliminaries and World Cup stats it usually receives in average 1 yellow card per game. But, when it faces difficulties against teams of a similar FIFA Ranking as Croatia, it is very often to receive even more yellow cards. 
  4. When France faces teams of a similar FIFA Ranking position as Croatia, it usually wins the ball possession rate AND tries in average 4 shots on target. Moreover, it is expected to have higher pass success rate than its opponent.


  1. Croatia’s average Goal+ rate during the European preliminaries was almost 1.6 goal/game, by scoring 19 goals in 12 games. While, in the World Cup, Croatia has scored so far 12 goals (2 goals per game). If Croatia, is going to reach a pass success rate, close to its average rate (80%) AND try at least 3 shots on target, then it has many chances to score at least 1 goal.
  2. When Croatia faces teams of a similar FIFA Ranking position as France, it usually tries at least 3 shots on target AND reaches a ball possession rate close to 50%. But, on the other hand it receives in average 2 yellow cards. Thus it is expected  to receive at least 1 yellow card AND expected to try at least 3 shots on target.
  3. Croatia, is also expected to win the interceptions and to have more saves than France. But on the other hand, Croatia is expected to lose the ball possession from France.


The following graph illustrates the estimated probabilities regarding the result of this game (α=0.05):


Both of the teams will be banned with at least 1 yellow card and the referee is expected to show at least 3-4 yellow cards during the game. France is expected to win the ball possession and to have higher pass success rate than Croatia, while Croatia is expected to win the interceptions in a very ambiguous World Cup final game.

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