France vs. Argentina: 2018 World Cup – Match Preview

Two former World Cup winners meet in the first knock out round fixture of the 2018 edition this afternoon as France face Argentina.

France qualified top of Group C and despite playing poorly, managed to claim seven points from three games.

They started with wins over Australia and Peru, ending with a goalless draw against Denmark to top the group.

Argentina’s passage was slightly more dramatic, as they claimed just a single point from their first two matches.

With five minutes remaining of their fixture with Nigeria they were heading out, however Marcos Rojo scored a superb volley to send them through.

Incredibly the two nations have met just twice since 1986, both in friendlies, with Argentina winning both games.

The other last 16 tie on Saturday see’s Portugal face Group A winners Uruguay.

Team news
France made wholesale changes vs. Denmark but are expected to revert back to their favoured XI here.

Olivier Giroud will lead the line as France set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Blaise Matuidi in a wide midfield role.

Argentina will name a similar XI to the one that beat Nigeria, however Gonzalo Higuain could miss out.

Javier Mascherano was poor vs. Nigeria but will remain in the XI.

Expected starting XI’s
France (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Pavard, Umtiti, Varane, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba; Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi; Giroud
Argentina (4-3-3): Armani; Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Mascherano, Banega, Perez; Pavon, Messi, Di Maria

Predictions

Result: France (7/5 with Bet 365)

Correct Score: 2-0 (10/1 with Bet 365)

Anytime Goalscorer: Olivier Giroud (13/5 with Paddy Power)

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