World Cup reaches knockout stages and the first round of 16 match will be between France and Argentina on Saturday, 30th June 2018 at the Kazan Arena in Kazan. France qualified as group winners but never looks convincing in the three games they played while Argentina had a roller coaster of a ride so far and had to wait in the last moments of their third group game to clinch their qualification. Argentina look out of ideas and it will be a big turn around if they can get the better of France on Saturday.
Argentina vs France Preview: The first game of the last 16 is mouth watering clash between France and Argentina. However things could have been different had Marcus Rojo did not score that late goal which ultimately clinched Argentina’s knockout berth. There have been all sorts of problems in Argentina camp with players unhappy with the coach tactics, players sulking on and off the pitch while heavily reliant of Messi.
France on the other hand enter the tournament as one of the favorites but they are yet to hit top form and failed to impress in the opening three games. However won the group with 7 points and remain undefeated. Both teams look out of sorts going into the knockouts and both camps don’t know their best XI which kind of make it a unpredictable game.
Team News & Possible Starting Lineups: Its hard to predict how both teams will lineup considering they just can’t seem to find their best XI even after the opening three games. Argentina are likely to keep Armani in goal while the back four of Tagliafico, Marcus Rojo, Nicolas Otamendi and Mercardo should remain unchanged. They do have big dilemma about their midfield as the trip of Banega, Mascherano and Enzo failing to control games. I expect Argentina to start with 4-2-3-1 with either Enzo likely to be dropped while Pavon to start alongside Lionel Messi and Di Maria in attacking roles behind either Aguero or Higuain.
This is how I expect both teams to lineup on Saturday.
France on the other hand have a very established back four and midfield but they do have problems upfront with Griezmann struggling to link up with Olivier Giroud and I expect Fakir to come in alongside Griezmann and Mbappe in three man attack.
Match Predictions: This one is as tricky as you get, Lionel Messi is due a big performance in this World Cup and this might be the game for him as unlike the group stages he will have more space to work with unless France park the bus. However Argentina are more likely to concede than they are to score and even when they take the lead, its hard for them to defend it. France are struggling to score but with the pace of Mbappe is crucial in this game as Argentina are much more open than any of the three teams France have faces so far. I am going with a French win in this one and Argentina to finally run out of their luck.click here