At 16:00 CEST on Sunday, 18 December, the 2022 FIFA World Cup will crown its new world champion, with Argentina meeting France at the Lusail Stadium in Doha. In Spain, you’re guaranteed to be able to watch it in any sports bar, or you can tune in on Televisión Española (RTVE) at home.
While Spain bowed out in the last-16 and England couldn’t make it beyond the quarter-finals, people all over both nations will be watching the final. If nothing else, Argentina vs. France will showcase the player considered to be the best of his generation in his last World Cup against the leader of the next generation.
This is the first time that France and Argentina have met in the World Cup Final, but there are a couple of ways that history can repeat itself in Qatar this Sunday.
How the experts expect the game to go
In the Argentina vs France odds, the South Americans are the narrow underdogs at 1.90 to the 1.80 of Les Bleus to life the trophy. During the game, Lionel Messi is expected to rise to the monumental occasion. He’s the favorite to get an assist in the game at 3.30, just ahead of Antoine Griezmann at 3.75, and he’s at 2.80 to score anytime.
It’s anyone’s guess which way the experts behind the World Cup 2022 predictions see this one going, as there’s simply going to be so much talent on the field. Will it be the next-gen star powering the French to victory again, or will Messi go out in a way befitting of his incredible legacy? Perhaps the fact that Argentina have averaged far fewer shots against per game than France (5.7 to 10.0) will have the more defensively savvy side favored.
Of course, the odds are meticulously calculated to reflect the likelihood of the events occurring, so by the model of the oddsmakers, France is the favorite. In the Five Thirty Eight calculations, however, Argentina is given a 53 percent chance to win over France’s 47 percent. These figures essentially reflect how close the game is in the odds, just flipped to give La Albiceleste the edge. History is also against the French.
Back-to-back winners are rare
In 1934 and 1938, the second and third-ever FIFA World Cups, Italy took home the trophy. In 1958 and 1962, Brazil repeated the feat of Italy to become the second and last back-to-back winners. Being a defending champion in the final isn’t overly rare, but since 1962, Argentina in 1990 and Brazil in 1998 have failed to retain the throne.
Then there’s also another possible little harbinger of doom for France. In 2006, Australia made its first appearance in the last 16. They lost to Italy by one goal, and the Italians went all the way to the final, defeating, of all teams, France on penalties. This year, the Socceroos escaped the group for the second time in their history and bowed out to Argentina in a 2-1 game. Now, Australia’s conquerors face France in the final.
The main storyline coming into the final will be that this is Messi’s last World Cup. Already a legend of the sport and national hero in Argentina – and Spain – Messi has announced that this, his fifth World Cup, will be his last as he doesn’t think that he’ll be able to do four more years of football. A World Cup win is what a player of his ability deserves.
Of course, one player doesn’t make a team, and there’ll be 11 Frenchman lining up on Sunday to try to stop the magician from claiming the trophy.