France shattered Morocco’s dreams of making it to the World Cup Final within five minutes when Theo Hernandez’s strike hit the back of the net, which ended up being the fastest goal scored in the semi-final of a World Cup. Despite Morocco having good spells during the match, Les Bleus managed to hold on and also kept a clean sheet for the first time during this year’s edition of the tournament.
Argentina became the second team to win by a semi-finals match by more than two goals, the first of which being Germany’s 7-1 slaughtering of Brazil back in 2014, after beating Croatia 3-0. Josko Gvardiol has been a stand-out performer during this World Cup but even he couldn’t handle the greatness of Lionel Messi as he put on yet another mesmerising performance for Argentina.
2018’s final was the biggest mismatch we’ve seen in the modern World Cup Finals (since 1990) and we have to go back to 1958 to find a final that had more goals with Brazil beating Sweden 5-2. With six goals in the previous final, we can’t expect that to happen again and despite both teams having key players in attacking areas, finals in all major competitions don’t usual end with lots of goals, especially if the two teams are evenly matched like France and Argentina.
Under 1.5 Goals
Every match outcome is around the same odds, with only a difference of +0.3 on the draw compared to either of the two nations. Stalemates in the World Cup Final are a fairly common occurrence, with four of the last eight going to extra time and two of those went to penalties. Six of the last eight finals also ended with a draw at half time and considering the price is around evens this seems like decent value, with five of them being 0-0.
Both teams to score doesn’t seem to be a likely occurrence, with this happening only twice in the last eight finals (France v Italy 1-1 in 2006, France v Croatia 4-2 in 2018), although you could argue that it is more likely than the stats might suggest because of both sides relatively weak defence compared to attack.
Overs/Unders seems like a market you could find some value in with the under 1.5 line, exactly half have finished with under 1.5 goals and this is being price around three which is certainly a price we can get behind.
In recent history, international football has been dominated by the CONMEBOL (South American) and UEFA (European) Nations, with five of the last eight finals having a nation from each of these continents face off against each other. The European nations just come out on top with three of the five wins (Germany beat Argentina twice and France beat Brazil).
0-0 Half Time Score
Even though both sides have seen a fair share of goals during this tournament, that doesn’t always translate to a higher output in the final. Before the 2014 Final between Spain and Netherlands, the Dutch had four of their six games leading up to the final finish with overs, yet still the match finished 0-0.
Argentina To Score First
Argentina have been a force to be reckoned with over the last year and half and have proven it by only losing one of their last 41 matches. Their run of scoring first is also immense, with them doing so in in all of their last 14 matches which includes every game in the World Cup so far.
Across the aforementioned 41 games, they managed to score first in 34 of them and conceded first in four, whilst the remaining three all finished 0-0.
0-0 HALF TIME SCORE
UNDER 1.5 GOALS
ARGENTINA TO SCORE FIRST
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