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Can Kante defuse Modric?

  • Published at 10:00 pm July 13th, 2018
  • Last updated at 10:12 pm July 13th, 2018
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France's N'Golo Kante and Croatia's Luka Modric

There will be a key battle taking place when the grand finale of the 2018 Fifa World Cup gets underway at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia Sunday.

The battle will be in the midfield between Croatia captain Luka Modric and French enforcer N’Golo Kante. Both the midfield superstars have enjoyed a wonderful World Cup, playing vital roles for their respective countries.

Modric is the powerhouse of the Croatian side and has played more minutes (603) than any other player in the Russia World Cup. The Real Madrid talisman has also covered the most distance in the World Cup so far, with 63km, more than any other player.

But in Kante, Modric will be up against a formidable opponent as the Frenchman has thwarted many an opposition attack in this tournament. Modric has been at the heart of everything good for Croatia in this World Cup.

He has played the most number of passes, created the most number of chances and it is largely thanks to him that the Vatreni have dominated more possession than the opposition in five of the six matches. The 32-year old will need to continue in the same vein Sunday.

At times in Russia, Modric has struggled when he was asked to play deep by manager Zlatko Dalic but he looked more authoritative up front against England in the semi-final, with Marcelo Brozovic just behind him. He will probably start in the same fashion against the Les Blues so Kante will have a tough task in hand.

The Chelsea man has been fantastic behind France’s run to only their third ever World Cup final in history. He kept breaking up opposition plays with his trademark interceptions, tackles and tireless running, thus creating a platform for the more attacking Paul Pogba to shine upfront.

Among the participating teams, only Russia’s Roman Zobnin has made more tackles and interceptions than Kante prior to the start of the tournament. Kante intercepted 14 times in Russia and made a total of 19 tackles in six matches.

And Sunday, he need to do more of the same in order to stifle Modric and give the Les Blues their second world title.