Saturday, May 15, 2021

Russia 2018: Match of the day – France vs Argentina Preview


tiamin rice

In the opening game of the round of 16, 2014 finalist, Argentina play against France for a place in the next round.

Argentina barely scrapped into the round of 16 after defeating Nigeria in the final game of their group stage game while France sat pretty with seven points atop Group C. The Argentine side have been less than impressive despite having a formidable squad. It took a goal from their talisman and a late winner from Marcos Rojo to steal second place in Group C amidst rumours of Jorge Sampaoli’s lack of influence over the squad.

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It remains to be seen if La Albiceleste have turned a corner or are still a side less than the sum of their parts. France, on the other hand look a quality side still unable to work their best attacking combinations. With Olivier Giroud brought into the side as the focal point of the attack, France have looked marginally better but the feeling remains that the team is capable of being better if they attain better cohesion.

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Argentina have won all four of their meetings with France.

Possible line-ups

France: Hugo Lloris; Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante; Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele; Olivier Giroud

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Argentina: Franco Armani; Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico; Ever Banega, Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez, Angel Di Maria; Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain

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