When is the World Cup final?

Lionel Messi will hope to finish the job against France
Lionel Messi will hope to finish the job against France / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

There have been 62 games to enjoy during the 2022 Qatar World Cup, with some being better than others. Plenty of teams have been whittled away, and now only two remain.

The third-placed play-off between Morocco and Croatia is still to be played, but all eyes have now switched to the World Cup final which will be contested by Argentina and France at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.

The game is going to take place at 15:00 GMT on Sunday 18 December. For those in Europe, that's 16:00 GMT while for American viewers, it is 10:00 ET and 07:00 PT.

Team news ahead of Argentina v France

As far as team news in the run-up to a World Cup final goes, this week has been pretty dramatic. Starting with Argentina, talisman Lionel Messi was absent from the most recent training session ahead of the final.

It is believed that he has not been at 100% for the whole tournament, even though he has scored five times and got three assists, but he was seen holding his hamstring during the 3-0 win against Croatia in the semi-final.

Argentinian media saw part of the Thursday training session and Messi was not involved, building anxiety around whether he will be fit enough to play in the final.

Things look even worse for France, as they now have three players who are ill and could miss the final. Both Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano missed the semi-final with a virus, and now Kingsley Coman is also ill. The air-conditioning systems in the stadiums have been rumoured as a cause.

It seems that there will be important team news right up until kick-off in this one, but here are our predicted line-ups as things stand.

Argentina Starting 11 (4-3-3): E Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez.
Bench: Armani, Rulli, Li Martinez, Pezzella, Foyth, Paredes, Rodriguez, Palacios, Almada, Correa, Dybala, La Martinez, Tagliafico, Montiel.

France Starting 11 (4-3-3): Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, Hernandez; Griezmann, Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Giroud, Mbappe.
Bench: Areola, Mandanda, Disasi, Saliba, Konate, Pavard, Veretout, Camavinga, Coman, Guendouzi, Kolo Muani, Thuram, Fofana.

Argentina and France's routes to the final

Argentina started this World Cup in pretty shocking style, as they were beaten 2-1 by Saudi Arabia. They soon got their act together though and have grown into the tournament. They beat Mexico and Poland to secure their place in the round of 16.

That is where they then beat Australia 2-1, before facing the Netherlands in the quarter-final. The Albiceleste needed a penalty shoot-out to defeat Louis van Gaal's side, before then easily besting Croatia 3-0 in the semi-final.

France did their group stage the other way around as they beat Australia and Denmark first and secured their place in the round of 16, before then losing to Tunisia in their final group game.

Poland awaited in the last 16 but they did not cause France any issues as Les Bleus won 3-1. The hard-fought 2-1 win over England in the quarter-final followed, and then Didier Deschamps's side did very well to beat Morocco 2-0 in the semi-final with goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani.