FIFA World Cup – France-Argentina

We are heading to the Kazan Arena in the city of Kazan, where France faces Argentina in a match from the 1/8-finals of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

France won their group, just as it was expected, having achieved two wins and one draw, while Argentina qualified for the elimination phase thanks to a goal from Marcos Rojo in the last minutes against Nigeria.

The French team is regarded as one of the big favourites to win the World Cup this year. Didier Deschamps have an incredibly talented squad, filled with impressive individuals. It’s true that Les Bleus didn’t show their best against Peru, Australia and Denmark in the group stages, but they showed that they can get a positive result when it’s needed. In other words, Deschamps’ team won 7 points in the group stage, without being brilliant. Let’s see how they will do in the knockout phase.

Four years ago Argentina reached the final of the World Cup, but right now Albiceleste look like a team with serious problems. Argentina did very unconvincing in the group stage. They had some serious luck to qualify for the 1/8-finals. Their performance was not good and many people wonder if they really have a chance against a strong team like France. So far Argentina faced just one of the really strong teams in Russia – Croatia and they suffered a 0-3 defeat.

In three games played so far, Argentina’s head coach Jorge Sampaoli tried three different formations. The one which worked best was the 4-3-3 against Nigeria. We shall expect Sampaoli to use this tactics again. And to be honest – he doesn’t have many other options on the table right now. Most probably he would keep the same XI from the match against the Super Eagles. The only change he could make would be replacing Gonzalo Higuain with Sergio Aguero. Higuain started against Nigeria, but he didn’t do much on the pitch.

Here’s the moment to remind that France are usually playing very good against South American teams at the World Cup. They have gone 8 games unbeaten against teams from this continent. The last time they lost a game against South American team was in 1978, when they lost exactly against Argentina.

Didier Deschamps is stil about to choose what formation to use against Albiceleste. He can use the more defensive 4-3-3 with an extra man in midfield or the more offensive 4-2-3-1 with Griezmann, Mbappe and Dembele playing behind the lone striker Olivier Giroud.

We believe that France are favourites in this match against Argentina at the World Cup. Les Bleus have a better team and they are in a better mental state than the Albiceleste. But in same time, Argentina are motivated and hungry for the win after their successful bout against Nigeria. It won’t be surprising if this match goes in extra time as well. Be careful with your pick here, because it’s a tricky game to predict – that’s for sure.