Bets: Argentina to win 2-0, 16.5 (Betfair)
Stake: 4 points
France had conceded in each game before the Morocco game, with an expected goals against of:
1.7 v Poland; 2.0 v England; 0.9 v Morroco = 4.6 xGA, but they actually conceded 2 goals.
Their main goal scorer is Mbappe who has scored 5 and has an XG of 3.4. In Ligue 1 last year, he scored 28 goals compared with an Xg of 26.4, so he did marginally better but only marginally. He might play best in big games, but most likely he has been slightly overperforming.
Griezeman has been quietly influencing games, with the main attention being taken by Mbappe. He has three assists (xA of 3.54). His role has got more exposure after his impressive run to initiate the opening goal against Morocco and his superb assist for Giroud in the quarter final against England.
Deschamps has also managed the selection, tactics and subs very well in each game. There have been no situations where they were not in comfortable control of the game (excluding the loss to Tunisa as they had already qualified).
Something that has also come out of the semi-final is that the Moroccan starting lineup had at least six players carrying a knock or injury; three of them initially named in the team either did not start or were subbed before the second half began. Despite this, once Morocco switched back to their back four, they started creating a lot more chances.
Argentina will likely replicate the tactics of Morocco and England to create changes and to stop Mbappe. Griezeman and Messi have free roles, so it will be interesting to see how both side adapt.
For me, Messi is playing more freely than in past finals, and Alvarez is on form. The French are extremely tournament-savvy, and it will be a close game. However, I’m colling it as Argentina -1 within 90 minutes.
Update: Final score in normal time was 2-2. I cashed out to cover the stake of €4 in the second half so no profit or loss on this game. Screenshot to follow.