France vs Argentina
2018 World Cup Round of 16
Date: Saturday, 30 June 2018
Kick-Off at 16:00 GMT +2
Venue: Kazan Arena, Kazan.
France, guided by their 1998 World Cup-winning captain Didier Deschamps, cruised to the Round of 16, rather relaxed, but their placidity has led to a lot of criticism back home.
On the contrary, Jorge Sampaoli just about managed to pull Argentina through to the knockout stage. Lionel Messi finally shed his cloak of despair for factory overalls and Marcus Rojo’s 86th-minute winner carved Argentina’s passage to Kazan.
Deschamps seems to know how to go about it from personal experience. The pace of Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe down the flanks is the newest weapon most defenders are wary of. The worrying point for Argentina is that Gabriel Mercado and Nicolas Tagliafico are not known for handling pace well. Even Nicolas Otamendi and Javier Mascherano struggled to keep an eye on Ahmed Musa the other night in Saint Petersburg.
With Pogba, Ngolo Kante, and Blaise Matuidi in midfield, and twinkle-toed
Antoine Griezmann up front, France look upbeat. Still, Les Bleus do not have a Messi who takes a wink to come alive, sensing before anyone that Ever Banega has found his range.
France to win: 2.43
Argentina and France to win: 3.1