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Argentina are more than just Lionel Messi - France boss Deschamps

30 June, 2018, 12:12 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Dull Danes and flat French play out mutually beneficial 0-0 draw

"We are preparing to play in a last-16 game against Argentina, so we have to be at our top level", he told reporters ahead of Saturday's match.

While France's setup appears to have struggled to get their best out a star-studded squad, Argentina nearly went off the rails entirely with reports that Messi and Javier Mascherano are calling the shots.

The Round of 16 matches will kick-off at 10 a.m. eastern time when Argentina is scheduled to take on France. The most important one is the presence of Cristian Pavon in place of Gonzalo Higuain, as part of a tactical change that will feature Lionel Messi on a "False 9" role.

Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Nigeria and Argentina at Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 26, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Argentina could stick with the same team that defeated Nigeria on Tuesday night.

Just as France know the threat of Messi, Argentina coach Sampaoli is fully aware of the dangers of an on-form France - led by Paris St Germain teenager Kylian Mbappe.

"We feel that, if we won't win the World Cup in Russian Federation, the only way will be to give up the national team", Barcelona man Messi told La Cornisa. On both occasions, they reached the final, losing it in 1930 and winning in 1978. The last time these two sides met was in 2009 in an worldwide friendly which Messi and co had won 2-0.

Before you lock in your 2018 World Cup picks, you need to see what European football expert David Sumpter has to say.

France's Olivier Giroud has failed to score in his last 357 minutes at World Cup/Euro, his longest drought at major tournaments, with his last goal dating back to the Euro 2016 quarter-final against Iceland.

"Argentina called me to play for the team even though I wasn't starting for Benfica".

"I see him everyday. We have the best player on earth, but we have others who can make things hard for them too". On the other hand, you have an Argentinian attack with so much quality that Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala regularly find themselves on the bench.

Now, the Soccerbot has digested the film, crunched the numbers and broken down every single player on France and Argentina.

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