Saturday 30 Jun

France vs Argentina - Match Preview

30 Jun 2018 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: World Cup, Knockout stage
INTERNATIONAL: World Cup, Knockout stage

France

  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

vs

Kick-off
14:00 GMT
30 June 2018

Argentina

  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Kick-off
14:00 GMT 30 June 2018

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final just over two weeks away, it’s time to begin the knockout stage of the tournament after each group has reached its conclusion. The first of the Last 16 ties is one of the biggest as France take on Argentina in Kazan on Saturday afternoon.

STATS

  • France cruised through Group C, remaining unbeaten in all three matches. However, they didn’t look as convincing as many people expected with two narrow victories as well as the first goalless draw of the World Cup. Knowing that a point would be enough to see them through as group winners in their final game, France coasted against Denmark, drawing 0-0.
  • Argentina made sure of their place in the knockouts in the hardest possible way with a very late Marcos Rojo goal in the dying minutes against Nigeria sending them through. This came on the back of two very disappointing results: a 1-1 draw with Iceland and a 3-0 hammering from Croatia. They can consider themselves lucky to still be in the tournament.
  • France have only scored three goals at this year’s World Cup, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe are the scorers of those goals.
  • Like their opponents, Argentina have only scored on three occasions, they have Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi and Marcos Rojo to thank for getting on the scoresheet.

HEAD TO HEAD

France and Argentina have met three times on the international scene and the record certainly doesn’t make good reading for French fans. Argentina have won all four times with two games coming at previous World Cups. In 1930, they won 1-0 and in 1978, a 2-1 win was enough to see them through their group on the way to winning the famous trophy. The most recent meeting came in 2009 where Argentina ran out 2-0 winners in France courtesy of goals from Jonas Gutierrez Lionel Messi.

FRANCE NEWS

The vast amount of changes made by France in the final group game are expected to be reversed so that their best players are on the pitch. Although, they could be without Samuel Umtiti who is a major doubt for the match.

Latest matches: France

26.06.2018 Worl Denmark France 0:0 D
21.06.2018 Worl France Peru 1:0 W
16.06.2018 Worl France Australia 2:1 W
09.06.2018 Int. France USA 1:1 D
01.06.2018 Int. France Italy 3:1 W

ARGENTINA NEWS

Of all three group games, Argentina found their rhythm most in their last one, therefore, no changes are expected. They must step up their performance if they are to progress.

Latest matches: Argentina

26.06.2018 Worl Nigeria Argentina 1:2 W
21.06.2018 Worl Argentina Croatia 0:3 L
16.06.2018 Worl Argentina Iceland 1:1 D
29.05.2018 Int. Argentina Haiti 4:0 W
27.03.2018 Int. Spain Argentina 6:1 L

SUMMARY

This tie wouldn’t look out of place in the semi-final or the final and promises to be a mouth-watering clash. However, with neither side looking particularly strong, it could come down to a misplaced error or a moment of pure class. France are considered as favourites as Argentina have seemed all over the place so far and it is the French who should set up a quarter-final match against either Portugal or Uruguay.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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