AND so it will be Argentina vs France in the 2022 World Cup final.
Will Les Bleus become the first team to retain the crown since Brazil in 1962 or will Lionel Messi finally win the big one?
It’ll be a nerve-racking few days for fans of the finalists and more than a few Dream Team World Cup gaffers may have butterflies in their stomach too, especially those in contention to claim a chunk of the £50,000 prize pot!
Those fighting for mini-league glory will also need to get their teams in order ahead of the final game – but which strategy is best?
Don’t neglect the third-place play-off
The first thing to note is that the third-place play-off is an eligible fixture (why wouldn’t it be) and so there could be points on offer.
Plenty of nations would see Saturday’s game as an annoyance but both Croatia and Morocco would take great pride in earning the bronze medal.
Both sides are lacking a finisher or two in the final third so there could be more clean sheet points for the likes of Achraf Hakimi, Dominik Livakovic and Dejan Lovren.
Hakim Ziyech (18 points) and Youssef En-Nesyri (21 points) are probably your best bets going forward but it wouldn’t be wholly surprising if this encounter finished goalless.
As for the final, your strategy will depend on your current standing.
If you’ve got a decent cushion at the top of your mini-league then an even mix of France and Argentina assets would be no bad thing – hedge your bets to avoid a disaster and clinch victory.
However, if you’re aiming to leapfrog a rival (or several of them) then you should pick a side and back them to the hilt.
Hernandez bagged 18 points against Morocco
Combining Hugo Lloris, Theo Hernandez, Jules Kounde, Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate would pay huge dividends if France are able to keep Argentina at bay.
The alternative batch being: Emi Martinez, Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi and (probably) Nicolas Tagliafico.
If you’re going to mix defensive assets then you should back those who are most likely to contribute a goal or assist – Hernandez and Molina have scored decisive goals for their respective nations in the knockout stage.
In midfield, Ousmane Dembele is the standout option as a genuine winger who is primarily tasked with attacking.
In terms of points, Adrien Rabiot and Enzo Fernandez are the leading performers in their position among the finalists with 16 points each, although the former missed the semi-final against Morocco with illness.
You’re spoiled for choice up front with no fewer than FIVE premium options.
Lionel Messi (65 points) and Kylian Mbappe (51 points) are the two runaway leaders in Dream Team World Cup and both feature in the majority of teams, which makes sense given the two superstars are in direct competition for the Golden Boot with five goals each.
gettyDream Team World Cup’s top star[/caption]
If you back both of the No10s (which seems reasonable) then you’ll only have one spot remaining in your forward line if you opt for a 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 formation.
There’s not much between Olivier Giroud and Julian Alvarez, who are level on four goals each heading into the final, and Antoine Griezmann also deserves consideration.
The 31-year-old has played as a midfielder in Qatar and he barely shoots at all anymore but he’s been one of the best creators on display at this World Cup.
In fact, Griezmann (30) has two more points than Alvarez (28) at this stage.
Finally, you should avoid conflicts of interest where possible.
For example, if you do decide to back an all-France defence then you should also pick Giroud or Griezmann over Alvarez as a goal for the latter would wipe out your clean sheet points and therefore be a net negative.
But of course it’s equally likely that both teams will score and in that eventuality, a mix of attacking assets may be most profitable.