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Steve McManaman shared his World Cup knockout predictions after the group stage

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France and Croatia are due to go head-to-head in Moscow on Sunday afternoon in the 2018 World Cup final.

Didier Deschamps' side beat Belgium 1-0 to reach the final while Croatia came from behind to beat England 2-1 in extra time.

It was England's first World Cup semi-final since 1990 and Gareth Southgate suggested his players "came of age" despite losing to Croatia.

"There'll be a new benchmark and level of expectation," said Southgate, as per the BBC.

"To become a winning team there are hurdles you have to overcame - and we've surpassed many of them."

He added: "Many of our players have come of age on the international stage."

It's been a thrilling tournament in Russia but one pundit has known for some time that England would lose to Croatia in the last four.

Steve McManaman's predictions

Two weeks ago, former England international Steve McManaman was asked on ESPN to predict the results of the knockout stages.

The 46-year-old pundit absolutely nailed it.

While most of his colleagues picked a Brazil v Spain final, McManaman barely put a foot wrong and backed France to beat Croatia in the final.

England lost 1-0 to Belgium in the group stage and they'll meet again in a third-place play-off game on Saturday.

FBL-WC-2018-MATCH63-BEL-ENG

"The honest thing is it's not a game any team wants to play in," manager Gareth Southgate said, as per Sky News.

"We have two days to prepare. We will want to give a performance of huge pride. There's no question about that.

"It's always there every time we wear the shirt of our national team, we want to play with pride, we want to play well and win.

TOPSHOT-FBL-WC-2018-MATCH62-CRO-ENG

"Of course it is going to be a really difficult task over the next 24 hours to assess everybody and to get everybody mentally back to where we want them for a game like that.

"But that will be the challenge. I think it is too easy to move on immediately from what we've just been through.

"But we will do that and we'll make sure we are ready as a group to go again because the group have huge pride in their performances, in the way that they work."

Could Croatia pull off an unlikely upset in the final? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Topics:
Steve McManaman
Football
Gareth Southgate
Croatia Football
Didier Deschamps
France Football
Belgium Football
England Football
World Cup

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