France vs Argentina World Cup Final Betting Preview: Can Lionel Messi Capture That Elusive World Cup Title?
Picking up where they left off in 2018, the French National Team led by 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe have found their way back into the finals as they look to be the first back-to-back World Cup Champions since Brazil’s dominant runs in 1958 and 1962. Standing between that incredible feat for the defending champions is Argentina, who currently have their superstar, Lionel Messi, in top form. Messi is finding ways to create passes no one can see and he’s done it multiple times, assisting three goals (tied for the most) throughout the tournament. The legend is also scoring goals of his own and is tied with Kylian Mbappe (5 goals) for Golden Boot honors in this year’s World Cup. Regardless, soccer fans around the world are in for a treat on Sunday at 10:00 AM EST as two of the best players in the world face each other for their country’s World Cup glory.
After winning Group D, France defeated Poland in the Round of 16, England in the quarterfinals, and a strong Morocco team in the semis to advance to the Final. On the other side of the bracket, Argentina won Group C and dispatched Australia in the Round of 16. Messi and the Argentinians were then tested in the quarterfinals, needing a penalty shootout to defeat the Netherlands after blowing a late two-goal lead. Finally, Argentina played perhaps their best match of the tournament against Croatia in the semi-finals, winning 3-0. Now the stage is set for a blockbuster finale between two powerhouses featuring some of the top players in the world.
Note (from FanDuel Sportsbook): No team will play at home during Qatar's World Cup. For betting purposes, FanDuel explains that: “Home Team refers to the team listed first, Away Team refers to the second team listed.”
Argentina (-104) vs. France (-112)
Argentina Keys To Victory
Lionel Messi has played incredibly for Argentina throughout this World Cup. He is leaving opposing defenders in the dust, taking on multiple players at once, dragging them away from his teammates, which is opening up the field for his fellow goal scorers. Every time Messi has the ball at his feet, there seems to be more than one threat. Messi is playing just as well as he always has in 2022. He’s served his team as a playmaker and as a goal-scorer in Qatar. He’s also had some help from Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez who’s scored a handful of goals in this World Cup (including two in Argentina’s decisive victory over Croatia). If Alvarez and Messi are able to link up while on the attack, the depleted French defense and midfield could be in for some trouble.
France Keys To Victory
One of the biggest headlines heading into this World Cup Final is the return of French striker Karim Benzema. The Real Madrid star and winner of this year’s Ballon D’Or hurt his hamstring in one of France’s first practices soon after arriving in Qatar. He flew back to Madrid where he immediately completed his recovery work which was set at three weeks from the time of injury. Right now, Benzema is flying back to Doha and could be starting for France in the final. At the moment, France’s HC Didier Deschamps has declined to comment on whether or not he will be including KB9 in the starting lineup. France’s ball movement has been excellent throughout the tournament, but their key to victory against Argentina will be efficient defense. Over the last few games, France’s defense seems to have slowed down. Not only will they need to stop Messi, but they will need to turn defensive stops into counterattacks. Mbappe and Olivier Giroud (four goals thus far in the tournament) will need to be electric on offense and test the Argentinian keeper. Antoine Griezmann may be an x-factor for France as he has three assists in this World Cup and was inches away from scoring against Morocco.
It’s only fitting that Lionel Messi will finally hoist the World Cup trophy in his last World Cup match. Expect him to score a goal and lead his team to victory in a tightly contested battle.
The Pick: Argentina (-104)
World Cup Final Best Prop Bets
Kylian Mbappe: To Score Or Give Assist (+100)
Mbappé has been relatively quiet over France’s last few games. Still, he is the main wing on France’s team who is capable of breaking down defenses through his skillful technique and ridiculous speed. He currently is tied with Messi for the most goals in the 2022 World Cup. If he isn’t able to score in this game, then expect him to at least make an assist. For France to win this one, the 23-year-old will need to have a big game.
Lionel Messi: Anytime Goalscorer (+190)
Messi has stepped up his performance big time this World Cup. If you have watched Argentina play in this tournament, you know how crucial of a role Messi has played in the team’s success. He is tied for the most goals in the tournament with Mbappe and has a great chance of putting the ball in the net at some point during Sunday’s big match. This is a particularly great prop to target since Messi takes all of Argentina’s penalty shots and has converted four-of-five throughout the tournament.
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As Ferris Bueller might say: The world of sports moves pretty fast.
If you don't stop and look around at least once a week, you could miss it. Here we'll review what you might have missed in the past week all in one place. Why spend hours scrolling through Twitter to catch up on the news you want? We've already done that for you, so remember to check back every Monday to get your dose of weekly sports review.
The World Series was decided last Tuesday night and it was the Los Angeles Dodgers who claimed their seventh title, and first in 32 years. After making it to the WS in three of the past four years, LA finally gets a win. Dave Roberts became the first manager of Asian heritage to win a WS.
His dad died last year and was a huge Dodgers fan. With his dad’s hat and shirt in his hand, he watched them win… https://t.co/csUnXty8UB— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) 1604252500.0
Corey Seager won World Series MVP and did it all throughout the postseason including the matchup against the Rays. Seager had a .400 batting average in the WS and hit two home runs, five RBI, scored seven runs, had a stolen base, and played excellent defense.
Seager is only the eighth player in league history to win the MVP award in both their League Championship Series and the World Series.
In 1988, the Lakers and the Dodgers won their respective league titles, making Los Angeles the first city to win a… https://t.co/rrHlfgGcog— Front Office Sports (@Front Office Sports) 1603857377.0
In Game 6, Rays manager Kevin Cash made a questionable decision to pull starter Blake Snell in the 6th inning after allowing a single to Austin Barnes with the top of the order coming up. Snell was only at 73 pitches and had gone 5 ⅓ allowing 2 hits, no walks, no runs, and had struck out nine. Six of those strikeouts were against Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner, who had struck out in every at bat against Snell in Game 6. What ensued was a Betts double, a run scored on a wild pitch, and an RBI infield single to give the Dodgers the lead they would never relinquish.
Cody Bellinger has a chuckle over Kevin Cash lifting Blake Snell in the sixth. https://t.co/JeCgsrg3Wd— Kenny Ducey (@Kenny Ducey) 1603858440.0
Randy Arozarena finished with 10 home runs, 29 hits, and 64 total bases during the 2020 postseason. All are MLB records for a single postseason. His 14 extra base hits tied him with David Freese for most ever in a single postseason. Arozarena leads a young core for Tampa Bay who should have a window of opportunity to make it back to the World Series over the next few seasons. Most of their players are either under contract or arbitration eligible through 2023.
RANDY. AROZARENA. AGAIN. Starts off Game 6 with his 10th home run of the postseason 🤯 (via @MLB) https://t.co/C1CwSRLJWF— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) 1603844026.0
Clayton Kershaw had two wins for the Dodgers in the WS. Throughout the playoffs he went 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA .91 WHIP, and struck out 37 over 30 ⅔ IP. This championship cements his legacy as one of the best pitchers of his generation adding the one thing that's eluded him during his illustrious career.
The October stage has been so cruel to Clayton Kershaw. But now … a curtain call. Take a bow, @ClaytonKersh22. 💍 https://t.co/YYoeKE0QwS— The Athletic MLB (@The Athletic MLB) 1603856648.0
Week 8 in the NFL saw its fair share of upsets. Most notably Joe Burrow led the Cincinnati Bengals to a win against the Tennessee Titans 31-20. Burrow had 249 passing yards and two touchdown throws. Giovani Bernard had two scores on the day. For the Titans Derrick Henry had 112 yards and a touchdown as Tennessee loses their second game in as many weeks.
Joe Burrow escapes inside pressure & tosses one up for Tee Higgins, goodness what a haul - https://t.co/hkV4gWh2mF— Michael Kist (@Michael Kist) 1604326405.0
Tua Tagovailoa earned his first NFL win in his first NFL start against the Los Angeles Rams. The Dolphins defense and special teams helped get the W for Miami as Andrew Van Ginkel scored a touchdown off of a fumble recovery and Jakeem Grant scored on a punt return.
The Vikings upset the Packers 28-22 in a division matchup behind the performance of Dalvin Cook. Cook had 163 yards and three rushing touchdowns, and added 63 yards receiving with another touchdown through the air. Aaron Rodgers finished with 291 yards and three touchdown passes, all of them to Davante Adams. The Packers drop to 5-2 and hold a slim advantage over the Bears for the NFC North.
The Raiders embarrassed the Browns 16-6 in a snoozer. Coming off a five touchdown performance in Week 7, Baker Mayfield was unable to find anything downfield, and the explosive offense we've come to expect from Cleveland was nowhere to be found on Sunday. With the Bengals looking to be trending up, the Browns will need to get back on track quickly if they want to avoid a collapse that could find them at the bottom of the division by year's end.
UEFA Champions League Group Stage Matchday 2 (10/27 and 10/28)
The UEFA Champions League held its second matchday in the group stage on Tuesday and Wednesday. Bayern Munich defeated Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 and lead Group A with six points. Manchester City dominated Marseille behind goals from Ferran Torres, İlkay Gündoğan, and Raheem Sterling. Man City leads Group C with six points.
Caption this! #UCL https://t.co/kjgbcgDwRS— UEFA Champions League (@UEFA Champions League) 1604325293.0
A much anticipated fixture between Juventus and Barcelona didn't yield as exciting of a result as hoped. Barcelona saw Ousmane Dembélé score in the 14th minute and Lionel Messi added a goal off a penalty kick in extra time to seal the win. Juventus was unable to score and Barcelona now has a three point advantage in Group G over Juventus.
Messi said goodbye to Bonucci 👋 https://t.co/vMMDI8dqZw— Goal (@Goal) 1604323740.0
Other notable wins from Matchday 2 included Manchester United with a resounding 5-0 win over RB Leipzig, Dortmund defeated Zenit 2-0, Chelsea beat Krasnodar 4-0, and Liverpool over Midtjylland 2-0. Matchday 3 continues this week beginning Tuesday 11/3 and continues into Wednesday 11/4.
Deontay Wilder has accused Tyson Fury of loading his gloves with "Something the size and shape of an egg weight".
Deontay Wilder releases a video accusing Tyson Fury of cheating. (via @BronzeBomber) https://t.co/NFJULVNtHJ— DAZN Boxing (@DAZN Boxing) 1604172742.0
Furthermore Wilder is accusing his former coach Mark Breland and the training staff of putting a "muscle relaxer" in his water from that fight. Wilder's actions and statements of late have been erratic and not helping his cause in getting the rematch he wants with Tyson Fury.
Gervonta Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) and Leo Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs) fought in a highly anticipated matchup between the young prodigy and the veteran champion. "Tank" Davis delivered a Knockout of the Year contender Saturday night on his way to winning the WBA World Super Featherweight and the WBA World Lightweight championships.
Gervonta Davis (-600 ML) puts Leo Santa Cruz to sleep in the sixth round #DavisSantaCruz https://t.co/LelZWUImpu— Barstool Sportsbook (@Barstool Sportsbook) 1604202530.0
Davis fights for Mayweather Promotions and is the protégé of the former champ, Floyd Mayweather. With this win he has justified his rise to stardom and put two divisions on notice. Whatever is next for Davis, it's sure to be in the main event.
Dana White believes there's a strong possibility that Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to attempt to finish his career with an even 30 wins. Currently, Khabib is 29-0-0, and his early retirement was focused around the loss of his father and coach and not a decline in ability. White feels strong enough about the potential for one more fight that Nurmagomedov will remain lightweight champion rather than vacating it in lieu of his retirement announcement.
Dana White also told me Khabib Nurmagomedov is still the lightweight champion. He's not SURE Nurmagomedov will retu… https://t.co/o8u0z8AUVW— Brett Okamoto (@Brett Okamoto) 1604198299.0
White also announced that Israel Adesanya will be moving up to compete for the light heavyweight championship against Jan Blachowicz. A win for Adesanya would make him a two-division champion.
I have heard that Israel Adesanya wants to face me next. No problem, If you are ready to fight in March, let's do t… https://t.co/8VxSRtu35v— Jan Blachowicz (@Jan Blachowicz) 1603991515.0
Anderson Silva took a loss in what was billed to be his final fight inside a UFC octagon. Uriah Hall won by TKO in the fourth-round, but Dana White spoke about how disappointing the performance was for both fighters. Noting that Hall only threw 11 punches in the second round and seemed to be allowing Silva to stay in the fight. White flat out stated he doesn't believe that Silva should fight again. Even though Silva was hesitant to confirm his retirement in his post fight interview, it appears unlikely he would be offered the opportunity by the UFC.