SHARPEN UP: Olivier Giroud. Photo:  MARTIN MEISSNER/AP
SHARPEN UP: Olivier Giroud. Photo: MARTIN MEISSNER/AP
CONSTANT TREAT: Croatia winger Ivan Perisic. Photo:  ALASTAIR GRANT/AP
CONSTANT TREAT: Croatia winger Ivan Perisic. Photo: ALASTAIR GRANT/AP
ON FLANK PATROL: France's Lucas Hernandez. Photo: VADIM GHIRDA/AP
ON FLANK PATROL: France's Lucas Hernandez. Photo: VADIM GHIRDA/AP

The World Cup comes down to two teams, one match, one prize.

France and Croatia face off in Sunday’s Moscow decider for the title after battling their way to the final.

Les Bleus will be hoping for repeat the heroics of 20 years ago when they lifted their first and only title, while little Croatia are chasing the dream in their first final.

Here we look at the key men ahead of the 5pm kickoff.

France

Paul Pogba

The midfielder has grown at this World Cup, embracing what coach Didier Deschamps wants him to do.

He has impressed with his box-to-box play and cut out some of the mistakes that life for him at Manchester United so tough this past season.

His defensive and creative qualities will be crucial if France hope to win the midfield duel against the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

Lucas Hernandez

France’s first-choice leftback faces a tough test against Croatia’s wide men.

With attackers Ante Rebic and Ivan Perisic switching flanks often, he has to be on top of his game after a nightmare against Eden Hazard in the semifinal.

Olivier Giroud

The France frontman has not scored in Russia, but he has brought Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe and others into the game in the final third.

But in a game that is expected to be tight, Giroud will want to make the difference and he must be more ruthless to do that.

Croatia

Dejan Lovren

The Liverpool centreback won his duel with Harry Kane on Wednesday night, exorcising demons from a 4-1 defeat to Spurs last season.

But he faces the biggest test of his nerves in his career on Sunday when he will have to marshal his backline and fight off Mbappe and Griezmann, while enduring a tussle with Giroud.

That is a lot of work to get through.

Luka Modric

The Real Madrid maestro has been pulling the strings of his team’s run to the final with the authority of a general.

His manne have followed his promptings on the field through three periods of extra-time in the knockouts.

Now he has to find the killer passes once again, while trying to evade guard dog N’Golo Kante.

Ivan Perisic

What a revelation Perisic has been. Against England he never gave up asking questions of their defence, with his running, his interplay, crosses and shooting.

The Inter winger was a beast.

If he can cause that sort of trouble for France, manne like Mario Mandzukic and Rebic can add to the threat to a solid-looking backline.

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