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Croatia, France Ready for Seismic Event, to Claim Russia 2018 Trophy
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 14 - 07 - 2018

Croatia have no major injury concerns going into Sunday's World Cup final despite having played three 120-minute matches and are looking forward to a seismic event for the small Balkan nation, coach Zlatko Dalic said on Saturday.
The Croatians needed penalties to beat Denmark in the round of 16 and Russia in the quarter-finals and extra time to edge England in the last four.
Forward Mario Mandzukic and defender Ivan Strinic had to be taken off injured late in that game.
Croatia's road to the 2018 World Cup final
Croatia's road to Sunday's World Cup final, where they will play France for a chance to lift the trophy for the first time: Croatia 2-0 Nigeria, Group D.
France '98 - when Croatia crashed the World Cup party.
Croatia's appearance in the World Cup final has allowed the current generation to stand alongside the heroes of 1998, who crashed that year's tournament in France to forge an indelible collective memory for the fledgling nation.
Seven years after they gained independence from the former Yugoslavia, Croatia's thrilling and unexpected run to the semi-finals was, for just about everyone except the victorious hosts, the highlight of France '98.
Deschamps looks to his own three Cs for World Cup final success.
France coach Didier Deschamps has instructed his players in his own version of the three Cs -- calm, confidence and concentration -- as preparation for Sunday's World Cup final against Croatia.
The French are favorites to win the World Cup when they take on the Croatians at Luzhniki stadium but Deschamps is well aware they were also fancied to beat Portugal in the Euro 2016 final, which they lost.
France 'in a bubble' to play the perfect final: Lloris
France have shut out all the euphoria back home over their run to the World Cup final in order to play a perfect match against Croatia on Sunday, France captain Hugo Lloris said.
The goalkeeper said the team were not being swept up by the wave of celebrations back home and were keeping their focus firmly on their shot of earning a second World Cup title after 1998 when they take on the Croatians in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.


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