FIFA WORLD CUP 2022 – FINAL PREVIEW
And now there are two. As always, comprehensive free live coverage will be offered in the UK by BBC and ITV.
The Final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is set for this Sunday, and it’s the final many people wanted to see. Lionel Messi and Argentina against Kylian Mbappe and France. The game’s greatest player, against the young sensation who is expected to take the torch from his club team mate and be the face of the game moving forward.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will take place in qatar from Sunday 20 November until 18 DECEMBER.
This, regardless of the claims of Gianni Infantino, has not been a great World Cup. The quality of play on the pitch, the purpose of all of this, has not been of a high standard. It has improved as the competition has gone one but how many games will people remember in years to come? Perhaps the Argentina vs Netherlands game? Even then, it’s only really the last 15 minutes or regular time and the 12 minutes of stoppage time that was memorable.
There have been great stories around this World Cup, most notably the incredible run of Morocco that saw them defeat Belgium, Spain and Portugal in their run to the semi-final. To become the first African team, the first Arab team and the first majority Muslim country to reach the semi-final stage of a World Cup is a massive deal and regardless of the outcome of their 3rd and 4th place play-off against Croatia, they go home as heroes and history makers.
Speaking of that 3rd and 4th place play-off, it takes place on Saturday at 3pm and should be a good game. Morocco are likely to be missing a couple of key players due to injury but Croatia might also take the opportunity to give game-time to some of the squad members who haven’t had an opportunity to show what they can do in the competition.
It is the first World Cup to be held at this time of the year, so that has also challenged broadcasters BBC and ITV, who will be sharing the coverage while balancing this tournament with some of their flagship shows.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Final | Argentina vs France
Sunday 18 December | 1500 GMT | BBC Live TV Streaming
Another of the great stories around the World Cup has been Lionel Messi and his quest to finally win the sports greatest prize. The diminutive genius is the greatest player of his generation, and arguably the greatest ever. He might not be the world’s best player on a week to week basis, as he was from 2008 to 2020, but he has lit up this tournament and heads into the final as the likely winner of the Golden Ball for the tournaments best player, and potentially the Golden Boot. Winning the World Cup won’t change his place in history, or at least it shouldn’t, but it might finally get him the adulation he deserves in his homeland.
Messi will never be adored like Maradona. Maradona is more than a footballer in Argentina, he is a god. Messi won’t be treated the same, but the coldness that has existed from the Argentine fans towards him needs to end. It has thawed following Argentina’s triumph at the 2021 Copa America but the nation will put their arms around him and embrace him like never before if he brings home the trophy they crave most.
This final promises to be a fascinating tactical battle between two teams built to play without the ball and try to hit teams on the counter attack. Looking at their last two games, Argentina against the Netherlands and Croatia, and France against England and Morocco, both teams have allowed their opponents the majority of possession, stayed solid in their defensive sets and aimed to take advantage of space and transition.
Argentina’s manager, Lionel Scaloni, has done an excellent job in how he has set his team up throughout this tournament. He has shown a willingness and ability to change the shape and make-up of the team while retaining the fundamental principles of their defensive system. Against Australia in the round of 16 they played a 4-3-3 before switching to a 3-5-2 for the quarter-final contest against the Dutch, and then a 4-4-2 against Croatia in the semi-finals. While the shape changed, and some of the personnel were swapped, the mindset and approach was largely the same.
Scaloni has made brave decision in terms of personnel as well, dropping Leandro Paredes after the first game but bringing him back in for the semi-final. He has put his faith in the brilliant Enzo Fernandez and been rewarded for it. Another big decision was dropping Lautaro Martinez in favour of Julian Alvarez, another choice that has worked for him. Perhaps the biggest was deciding to leave Angel Di Maria out of the team in the semi-final after resting him in the two previous games. Everything he has done to date has worked perfectly, but now he faces the biggest decisions.
Will he play the 4-4-2 that worked in the semi-final, or shift to the 3-5-2 in an effort to stop Mbappe? He will want eight behind the ball, plus the work rate of Alvarez. That takes the burden off Messi defensively and allows him to bide his time and wait for his chances to influence the game, so those two formations are his option. If he goes with the back three, it means Lisandro Martinez coming in and Leandro Paredes sitting out so the choice in shape is also a choice between those two players. The other big decision will be who starts at left back, Marcos Acuna or Nicolas Tagliafico. Acuna is the better attacking player while Tagliafico is the stronger defender so perhaps the choice at left back is linked to the choice of formation, Acuna in the 3-5-2 or Tagliafico in the 4-4-2.
France will play 4-2-3-1 and the majority of their team picks itself but they have had an outbreak of the flu in the squad and it has put a few things up in their air. All going to plan, we know the goalkeeper, three of the back four, the midfield five and the striker. Lloris, Kounde, Varane, Theo Hernandez, Tchouameni, Rabiot, Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe and Giroud. The question is, who is the fourth member of that back four? Who plays at left centre-back? The options are Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate. Upamecano has been the nominal starter in the tournament, but in his three starts and one substitutes appearance Konate has performed far better than his former Leipzig teammate. Konate was arguably France’s best player against Morocco and if Deschamps picks based on form, the Liverpool defender has to start.
Key is the fitness of Rabiot, who missed the Morocco game through the flu. The Juventus midfield, a pariah among French fans four years ago when he refused to be part of the stand-by group having missed out of selection for the 2018 World Cup, has been outstanding throughout the competition and the alternative, Youssef Fofana, has disappointed in both appearances.
This game will hinge on which team wins the possession game, meaning who can force their opponent to have more of the ball. France have more ways to win, but Argentina might have the stronger form at the moment based on performances in the last two games. An early girl will send game plans out the window but the likely outcome feels like a tight tense game that will be decided by a moment of genius by Messi, or an explosion from Mbappe.
It’s a hard game to call, and that’s how a World Cup final should be. While the tournament itself has been somewhat of a letdown, the final has a chance to redeem things and the winner won’t care what came before.
How to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022 from anywhere…
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be streamed live for free on BBC and ITV as well as their respective BBC iPlayer and ITVX apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Smart TV, Now TV, FireTV etc.
But these streaming services are not available to everyone, for example when you load Sky Sport in the USA, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Dubai, Canada etc. you will get an error message.
BBC IPLAYER ONLY WORKS IN THE UK. SORRY, IT’S DUE TO RIGHTS ISSUES. IN THE UK? HERE’S SOME ADVICE.
This is basically because their streaming services are geoblocked based on the IP address being used to access it. You must be a UK domestic web user to access BBC and ITVX live tv streaming.
- Get a UK IP address for the FIFA World Cup 2022 Final
- If you want to watch on your Windows PC, Mac, FireTV, iPhone, iPad or Android then you can get a UK Proxy or VPN Apps from Liberty Shield, FREE for 48 hours and then from only £8.99 per month.
- Prefer to watch on supported media streaming devices like Now TV, Smart TVs, Apple TV, Xbox, PS4, Roku etc? You’ll need a UK configured VPN Router setup as British, available from only £22.99 with Worldwide Shipping available.
Furthermore; BBC and ITVX aren’t the only geographically-censored streaming services a VPN or Proxy will allow you to access. Other UK services like Channel 4, Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and BritBox are available. Plus with the option to switch to our USA service whenever you like, you can access Hulu, HBO GO, Netflix and Pandora. Essentially you can access international content from virtually anywhere!