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Davis Cup 2018: Can Champions France Ward Off Croatian Challenge?

From November 23 to 25, 10 professional men’s tennis players from Croatia and France have the chance to take home the biggest international prize in tennis and the sport’s World Cup, the Davis Cup.

Here is the tale of the tape for the meeting of the two tennis powerhouses:

French Champions to Protect Home Court

The reigning World Champions and this tournament’s first seed defend their title at their home, the indoor clay court of Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille. They have called upon one of the most recognizable names in French tennis nowadays, world ranked 259th Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who would want to end his injury-plagued 2018 in a high.

Meanwhile, ranked 32th Lucas Puille, ranked 40th Jeremy Chardy, doubles ranked 11th Nicolas Mahut, and doubles ranked 12th Pierre-Hugues Herbert complete the French squad.

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Visiting Croatians to Storm the Hosts

Croatia, seeded fourth, aims to go further than their finals loss to Argentina two years earlier. The team traveling to Central Europe is spearheaded by Croatian stalwart and world ranked seventh Marin Cilic.

Coming along with the 30-year-old Grand Slam winner are ranked 12th Borna Coric, doubles ranked 4th Mate Pavic, doubles ranked 28th Franko Skugor, and doubles ranked 35th Ivan Dodig.

Perfect Tie to Break the Stalemate

The upcoming final match is only the third time France and Croatia will meet each other in international competitions. The first can be traced back in 2004 when the French won 4-1 at the World Group first round. The Croatians exacted revenge years later, dumping France out of the 2016 semifinals with a 3-2 win.

In both matches, the home team has won the tie. The upcoming final, however, could be tricky as France will host a Croatian side unbeaten away since 2015.

What better way to settle the score between two nations and determine who has, at least for a while, the upper hand than the Davis Cup Final?

Betting odds from many online sportsbooks are now available for the three-day 2018 Davis Cup Final in Lille. As of November 20, William Hill had Croatia as favorites with the 4/7 odds, shorter than France’s 11/8.

The same could be said at bet365, which had a Croatian win at 4/7 and a French victory at 5/4. Meanwhile, Unibet priced the odds of Croatia becoming the champion at 47 and France defending the title at 7/5.

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