The first match of the Round of 16 of the World Cup 2018 is the clash between France and Argentina. These two heavyweights certainly didn’t want to meet so early in the tournament, but one of these teams will have to pack their things and go home after the duel at the Kazan Arena. So, which team is going to stay in Russia? Find out in this match preview!
Although they’ve been far from impressive so far, no one can argue that France haven’t done their job. They qualified for the knockout stage from the top position in the Group C, with two wins and one draw. Considering that they’re still thought of as one of the biggest contenders for the World Cup title, winning the group isn’t too large achievement. Moreover, to be completely frank, France had a pretty easy group.
France played against Australia, Peru, and Denmark in the group, teams that are nowhere near Argentina in terms of quality. France players will now have to step up and give their utmost if they want to stay in the competition for the world champion title.
The vice-champions of Europe definitely do have the quality to see Argentina off. France might not have Messi in the team, but they’re strong in all positions, unlike their next opponent. This team seems to be equally good when it comes to defending and attacking, while there are a couple of French players who seem capable of beating Argentina on their own. If they have their day, players like Griezmann or Pogba could absolutely demolish Argentina.
Their performance in the match against Nigeria almost gave Diego Maradona a heart attack. The result was 1:1 until very late in the game, when their defender Marcos Rojo scored the game winner with his weaker foot. This is something that doesn’t show that Argentina are strong in all areas, but proves that even their final third has some serious problems.
Even though Argentina are considered to be the most powerful team when it comes to attacking, their forwards haven’t been too impressive so far. Lionel Messi, one of the best players in history, scored his first goal on the tournament in the game against Nigeria. Aguero has also been uninspiring and the same goes for Higuain, Di Maria, and their manager’s favorite Maza.
Speaking of Argentina’s manager, Jorge Sampaoli, he seems to have lost his authority completely. He was spotted in the game with Nigeria asking Messi whether to make a substitution or not. It seems that Messi is the one making all decisions in this team, so it’s fair to expect basically the same team to take on France as the one that beat Nigeria.
Lloris – Umtiti, Varane, Pavard, Mendy – Kante, Matuidi, Pogba – Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud
Armani – Rojo, Otamendi, Mercado, Tagliafico – Mascherano, Banega, Perez – Di Maria, Messi, Higuain
France vs. Argentina Match Preview
There’s no doubt that Argentina are superb when it comes to attack, but their midfield and defense are terrible. At least, compared to France…
I honestly can’t see Argentina’s forwards getting too many useful balls from their midfielders, who are gonna get run over by Kante, Matiudi, and Pogba. Unless Messi creates a real wonder, Argentina won’t get to the quarter final.
Whether France will manage to beat them in 90 minutes remains the question, but I’m pretty sure luck won’t serve Argentina once again. France will advance to the next stage!
France vs. Argentina Betting Tips
- France to Qualify @1.66 (bet365)