The World Cup final is a dream match for every football fan.
It pits two giants of modern football featuring some of the greatest players of all time.
If Argentina win, then Lionel Messi will finally achieve his “impossible dream” of winning the World Cup, in a match that he has declared will be his final World Cup match.
If France win, Les Bleus will be the third nation in history to win back-to-back World Cup titles.
Italy was the first, winning in both 1934 and 1938.
Brazil became the second to win back-to-back World Cups, first in 1958 and then in 1962.
Head To Head
Sunday’s final will mark the 13th meeting between Argentina and France in all competitions.
The South American champions have picked up six wins so far compared to just three for their European counterparts.
La Albiceleste came up trumps in the first two World Cup clashes between the two teams in 1930 and 1978.
Another three have ended in draws.
However, the most recent showdown between the two sides ended in a thrilling 4-3 Bleus win during the 2018 World Cup last 16.
The highlight of the match was a goal of the tournament – a Benjamin Pavard thunderbolt that smashed into the back of the net, shattering the hopes of an entire nation.
Two Argentinians were forced to miss the semi-final after picking up their second bookings of the tournament against the Netherlands.
However, Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel are at Scaloni’s disposal once again.
Montiel might still lose out to Nahuel Molina on the right, but Acuna can feel confident of taking Nicolas Tagliafico’s place in what will most likely be a four-man backline.
Lisandro Martinez could be restricted to substitutes again.
In the France camp, the constant air conditioning in Qatar claimed many victims.
Dayot Upamecano, Adrien Rabiot and Kingsley Coman was also feeling under the weather before the semi-finals due to flu-like sysmptoms.
They were followed by Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate.
However, all five players are said to have reported back for training but the doctors will still need to give a last-minute green light.
The key player for France will be Kylian Mbappe.
Should he net again, he would become the youngest player to get on the scoresheet in multiple finals at 23.
Also, Griezmann or Mbappe could become the fifth man to score in two finals in a row (after Brazil’s Vava in 1958 and 1962).
For Argentina, Messi will be the talisman again. His five goals and three assists, including that beautiful assist for Julian Alvarez against Croatia last time out, at this tournament have boosted the 35-year-old to a joint-record 19 goal involvements across his World Cup career.
Messi will look to exploit spaces in the French backline left by the marauding Theo Hernandez.
Argentina Likely 11:
E. Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez
France Likely 11:
Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
France to win in extra-time 1-0.