ARGENTINA will be determined to snatch France's crown in a tantalising World Cup final THIS AFTERNOON – and it's not to be missed.
Croatia fell victim to a Lionel Messi masterclass in Tuesday's dominant semi-final encounter as Argentina went through.
But things will certainly be tougher for the little magician as he will be taking on a French side that managed to stop high-flying Morocco in their semi-final.
However, it's all set up for Messi to bow out on a perfect note with the golden boot up for grabs too… unless Kylian Mbappe has something to say about it.
- Kick-off time: 3pm GMT
- Live stream: BBC iPlayer and ITV X
- TV channel: BBC One and ITV
- Argentina XI: To follow
- France XI: To follow
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How did they get here?
Argentina suffered a nightmare start to their tournament with a shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia.
But they battled back to top Group C with 2-0 wins over Mexico and Poland, setting up a last-16 meeting with Australia.
After seeing off the Socceroos 201, they scraped past Holland on penalties in the quarters before breezing past Croatia.
France also won two and lost one of their group games – although their defeat to Tunisia came after beating Australia and Denmark.
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Les Bleus saw off Poland and then beat England in that dramatic quarter-final before eventually ending Morocco's run on Wednesday night to secure their place in back-to-back finals.
What is the team news and any injuries to worry about?
Neither side have any suspensions to deal with after yellow cards were wiped after the quarters and may well be unchanged after semi-final wins.
Argentina can welcome back full-backs Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel from their one-match bans while Lisandro Martinez may return to the starting XI if Lionel Scaloni goes for a back five.
Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot sat out of the Morocco win with illness as France kept their first clean sheet – but will be hopeful of coming back in.
The rest of the team should stay the same – although Karim Benzema could be a shock inclusion on the bench as he is back in Real Madrid training.
Who will be the star men?
Well, obviously Messi and Kylian Mbappe are the two main men for their respective nations – and all eyes will be on who comes out on top.
Elsewhere, Julian Alvarez will want to continue on from his two goals in the semi-final while Enzo Fernandez may be tasked with stopping Antoine Griezmann.
On the other side, Griezmann and Olivier Giroud will fancy their chances of scoring in the final.
Aurelien Tchouameni is in strong form in midfield while Raphael Varane will lead his back line.
What's the head to head?
The two heavyweights of international football have met 12 times in total – the first time coming in the first World Cup in 1930.
Argentina have six wins, France have three wins while there have been three draws.
But the French side came out on top in their most-recent clash – a thrilling 4-3 win in the last 16 of Russia 2018.
Argentina 3-2 France
When is Argentina vs France?
- Argentina's eye-catching World Cup final contest against France will take place TODAY – Sunday, December 18.
- It is scheduled to kick off at 3pm UK time.
- Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar is the allocated arena for this mammoth final fixture and it can host a whopping 88,966 spectators.
- Kylian Mbappe's second-half double sent Argentina crashing out of the World Cup when the sides last met in 2018.
What TV channel is Argentina vs France on and can it be live streamed?
- The World Cup final between Argentina and France will be shown LIVE on both BBC One and ITV 1.
- Coverage on BBC One is set to commence from 1.50pm UK time while ITV 1 get their show on the road from 1.30pm UK time.
- Viewers can also head to BBC iPlayer or ITV X if they prefer to stream the action online via tablet and mobile devices.
- You can listen to radio coverage of the match on talkSPORT – stream online, via smartphone apps or DAB radio.
Can I watch the World Cup final for free?
YES! The mouth-watering World Cup final in Qatar can be watched for FREE on both channels as long as you hold a valid TV licence in the UK.
What are the odds?
Argentina win 9/5
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France victory 9/5
Odds courtesy of Betfair correct as of December 16.
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