World Cup 2018 Final: France – Croatia

In this post we give our prediction for the World Cup 2018 final between France and Croatia. While France has eliminated Belgium in their semi-final match, Croatia has beaten England after extra time in the semi-finals. For many experts France seems to be the big favourite, but we want to quantify the chances for each team in terms of probability. We have updated our model by incorporating the results up to the semi-finals in order to forecast the final.

We present the probabilities for each team to win the final. This takes into account a victory after 90 or 120 minutes according to our model. Furthermore, we give the probability for a penalty shoot-out. Our model favours France clearly, although Croatia still has a chance of roughly 25%. Nonetheless, the outcome of the match will also depend on unpredictable factors like the performance of the teams on the match day and the willingness to fight till the end. A decision by penalty shoot-out is rather unlikely according to our model. (We recall from our previous posts: We believe that penalty shoot-outs are very difficult if not impossible to model and hence we do not give any further forecasts in this case.)


Analogously to our previous posts during the group phase of the tournament, we present the probabilities for the match after 90 minutes: we favour a 1-0 or 2-0 victory of France, followed by a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.


Since the probability for a draw after 90 minutes is not low, we also present the expected results after 120 minutes in the case that the match goes into extra time (ET):


Hence, the estimated probability that France wins 2-1 after extra time is 2.9%. This includes the cases of a 0-0 or a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes. According to the above table we rather expect a penalty shoot-out if the match goes into extra time, but France seems to have better chances to win during extra time.