Argentina vs France in the World Cup final.

Messi vs Mbappe. Argentina vs France. World Cup final. Photo by Juan MABROMATA and Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

Argentina vs France: The only World Cup final preview you’ll need

Argentina vs France is a World Cup final that many neutrals wanted. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of an intriguing battle.

Argentina vs France in the World Cup final.

Messi vs Mbappe. Argentina vs France. World Cup final. Photo by Juan MABROMATA and Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

Argentina vs France is the World Cup final that many neutrals would have hoped for, and it’s almost upon us. Here is all you need to know.


  • Date: Sunday 18 December
  • Kickoff: 17:00 (SA time)
  • Who: Argentina vs France
  • Venue: Lusail Stadium

World Cup 2018 throwback: France 4-3 Argentina


If it weren’t for Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann would be the player of the tournament so far. Argentina opted for a midfield diamond against Croatia and they’re unlikely to abandon that tactic against France in the final.

WOW: France striker Karim Benzema AVAILABLE for World Cup final due to stunning loophole

The 2018 champions surrendered possession to Morocco for long periods of their semifinal meeting, with Griezmann occasionally dropping into a holding midfield role. How Enzo Fernández manages (or fails) to disrupt Griezmann’s rhythm will have a large bearing on the outcome. Griezmann has created more chances (21) with a higher expected assists value (3.5) than any other player in Qatar.

Antoine Griezmann at the World Cup
Antoine Griezmann at the World Cup. Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)



Marcos Acuña is back from suspension and will return to the side at left-back. Lionel Scaloni could persist with a midfield diamond that paid such rich dividends against Croatia with Leandro Paredes at its base. Then again, he could revert to a more familiar 4-3-3 with Angel Di María coming in for Paredes. Decisions, decisions.

World Cup final: Win or lose, Lionel Messi is the GOAT and you know it


The Les Bleus camp has been rocked by a bout of flu which initially ruled Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano out of the semifinal win against Morocco. Now, Raphaël Varane, Ibrahima Konaté and Kingsley Coman have also reported flu-like symptoms. Didier Deschamps will be sweating over the availability of that quintet.

Kylian Mbappé: Five stats that define a World Cup great

World Cup final 2022
The irrepressible Kylian Mbappe. Photo by Antonin THUILLIER / AFP)


Argentina (4-3-3):

Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuña; Mac Allister, Fernández, De Paul; Di María, Messi, Álvarez 

France (4-2-3-1):

Lloris; Koundé, Varane, Upamecano, Hernández; Rabiot, Tchouaméni; Dembélé, Griezmann, Mbappé; Giroud

World Cup
Argentina fans enthralled by the action. It was a classic. Photo by JUAN MABROMATA / AFP)


  • Lionel Messi has played 50 matches for club and country in 2022, scoring 33 goals and providing 30 assists in that time. 
  • Messi is aiming to become the first player ever to score in every round at a single World Cup.
  • No side has conceded fewer shots in their six games leading to the final (1986 onwards) than this Argentina team. 
  • In the 359th appearance of his career (club and country), 23-year-old Kylian Mbappé is bidding to become the youngest player to get on the scoresheet in multiple World Cup finals.
  • France have never lost a World Cup match they’ve been leading at half-time (W25 D1). 
  • France attacker Kolo Muani scored 44 seconds after coming on as a substitute against Morocco.
  • France had just 38% possession in their 2-0 semifinal win against Morocco. 

ICYMI: Argentina 3-0 Croatia: Record-breaking Lionel Messi sends Argentina to Sunday’s World Cup final

world cup 2022 messi Argentina vs France
Aerial view of a mural depicting the Argentine football star Lionel Messi in Rosario, Argentina. Photo: Luis ROBAYO / AFP.

What a spectacle we’re in for on Sunday. Who you got?

Meanwhile, you can get more insights, analysis and love for the beautiful game from James Freemantle

Also keep up on daily football trivia via football stats nerd foodball_za.