France vs Argentina | 30 Jun 2018

Posted June 30, 2018

The World Cup knockout stage begins on Saturday when France take on Lionel Messi and Argentina in a blockbuster clash in Kazan between two of the tournament favorites.

"They have had hard times and still have been able to qualify".

Neither Argentina or France have looked impressive as of yet but surely they will turn it on for the knockouts?

"I was simply communicating this, saying that we were going to use one of the strategies we had rehearsed to use more attacking players".

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Either France's or Argentina's 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign will end in disappointment.

"When you play Argentina and Messi, there are several ways to limit his impact, at least".

"Kylian has huge quality and potential, he's fast, explosive, he needs space and I think tomorrow he will get more than he did in the first three matches", added Lloris.

Asked about comparisons between Mbappe and Messi, France captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said it is impossible to compare the Argentina and Barcelona star to anybody else in the game.

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As France look to underperforming striker Antoine Griezmann to lift his game, Sampaoli underlined a bigger threat in 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Kylian Mbappe, who struck France's match victor in a 1-0 win over Peru, and 21-year-old Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele. Since then, France are unbeaten in eight World Cup fixtures against CONMEBOL opposition (W4 D4). On both cases, Argentina reached the Finals.

The goal-shy Argentina we saw on Gamedays 1 and 2 will lose to France, but the hungry and confident group that beat Nigerian on Gameday 3 will beat France. The last time these two sides met was in 2009 in an global friendly which Messi and co had won 2-0. I've seen something from France that tells me they could click at some point, however, I look at Argentina and they are an old team.

If a manager's demeanour in front of the cameras is an indication of the state of his team then France risk staring into the void. Nobody present came away feeling remotely illuminated as to how his team may galvanise themselves to overcome Argentina on Saturday, although they did, at least, depart reassured Deschamps knew the identity of their bete noire.

Like many of his compatriots, Griezmann has fallen short of expectations and, with just a goal to his name, is promising fans there's more to come.

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"Honestly, I have not decided yet on the starting lineup".