The Knock-Out Stages | Round Of 16 Match: France Vs Argentina
After the group stages that produced some thrills and spills alike, with the best of the lot prevailing we head into the Round of 16. This is were players become champions, Heroes become Gods. It is part of the tournament that brings out the best from every participating player and team.
We have Argentina playing France in the First Round of 16 matches. France Vs Argentina is going to be a cracker of a contest as we are about to witness two heavyweights and its a disappointment that either of these two teams will be eliminated so early going into the tournament. But with the Top 16 teams of the world present, every fixture would be competitive in our quest for the Numero Uno football team. Both Argentina and France had quite a different road to the Round of 16 clash of France Vs Argentina.
Both the teams have faced each other on 11 occasions in which Argentina has won 6 times and the French winning 2 games and three matches ending in a draw.
Argentina also has the upper hand in World Cup ties winning both the France Vs Argentina matches. Also to be noted is that, Argentina has reached the Final both the times they have faced France in a Knock-out Game.
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) June 30, 2018
However, France have a stunning record going into the knock-out stages as they have lost only one of their last 11 games excluding Penalties.
Road To RO16:
Group C: Denmark, Peru, Australia, France
All the three goals have been from different scorers with Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe finding the net for the Les Blues.
World Cup Group C Final Standings:
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) June 26, 2018
Though France has topped the group they have failed to hit the top gear and are still yet to showcase their full potential. It will be interesting to see if they do so in the France Vs Argentina clash.
Battle Of The Coaches:
The current France team is one of the strongest team in this World Cup. They have a very dependable back-line in Varane, Umtiti, Pavard and Hernandez. Kante has been their engine in midfield going into attacks as well as in preventing counter-attacks from turning into goals.
With the likes of Pogba, Mbappe and Griezmann in the attacking department, they have all bases covered. But somehow they have played timidly in the opening matches. After starting with a 4-3-3 formation in the opening match, they switched to 4-2-3-1 against Peru but both haven’t been productive in terms of scoring opportunities. An important news from Deschamps, however, is that Benjamin Mendy will miss the Round of 16 clash of France Vs Argentina.
— City Watch (@City_Watch) June 29, 2018
It would be interesting to see what formation head coach Didier Deschamps fields against Argentina. Nabil Fekir, who impressed in the last match against Denmark may come in later during the France Vs Argentina match. France have conceded only one goal and have let the opposition take least number of shots in the whole tournament.
Antoine Griezzman (Atletico Madrid)
Griezmann showed everyone that he can score in decisive matches when he put 2 past Germany in the Euro 16. With the Argentinian defense struggling, he would be looking to capitalize on the scoring opportunities which will only bolster France’s chance of winning the France Vs Argentina match.
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) July 7, 2016
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
The midfielder scored the winner against Australia in the dying minutes and he might as well be the difference when France face Argentina in a must win Knockout game.
Paul Pogba netted his only World Cup goal to date in that game. ?? pic.twitter.com/ZWsixr87ni
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 30, 2018
France will likely play in a 4-2-3-1 formation they played against Peru.
Lloris, Pavard, Hernandex, Umtiti, Varane, Kante, Pogba, Matuidi, Griezmann, Mbappe, Giroud
Road To RO16:
Group D: Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria, Argentina
This turned out to be one of the toughest groups in the FIFA World Cup with Croatia finishing top. The other three teams were all in contention for the final spot on the last match day. Thanks to Marcus Rojo’s late goal against Nigeria, Argentina sealed their spot for the knock-out stages.
— Fifa World ? Rusia 2018 FINAL (@FootPlay24) June 26, 2018
Argentina drew their first match with Iceland (0-0) before losing to Croatia (3-0). They needed a victory in the last game against Nigeria and managed the same (2-1). They managed to get the second place with 4 points.
Amidst news being reported about a rift between the players and the coach, Argentina just saved themselves and the coach.
Battle of Coaches:
Argentina breathed life as Rojo scored what looked like a lifeline to their team. Jorge Sampoli has come under lot of criticism off lately for starting differential lineups and players accounting for their losses. He started with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Meza, Messi and Di Maria behind Aguero and saw them reap no goals.
After such a performance he switched to 3-4-2-1 dropping Di Maria and Rojo which turned out to be a humiliation at the hands of Croatia. This meant a possible Doom for Jorge Sampaoli and his job with news reports going as far as players taking side against the manager making the rift public.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 29, 2018
However, it will be intriguing to see what Sampaoli does to the formation problem and which players start for the France Vs Argentina fixture.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
After all his Plethora of trophies and goals for his club, he has failed to emulate the same for his country. Messi himself admitted that he would like to trade a Barcelona Title for a winners medal with Argentina. All said, Argentina wouldn’t have got this far if it weren’t for his 3 goals in a must win final Qualifiers match. As they say when the going gets tougher, the toughest gets going. It will it be Messi’s chance for revival in the France vs Argentina match
Argentina are expected to start the same 4-4-2 formation they played against Nigeria. Ever Banega who impressed in the last match should definitely start in the heart of the midfield for the South Americans.
Armani, Tagliafico, Otamendi, Rojo, Mercado, Di Maria, Banega, Mascherano, Perez, Higuian, Messi
It would be a face off between Messi and the French defense as Argentina’s chances pretty much rely on him. Although, it might look pretty much even on paper, looking at Argentina’s form in the current World Cup France have the upper hand.