The knockout stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia ™ kick off on Saturday with France and Argentina meeting in Kazan for the first round of the round of 32. These two heavyweights in international football are still among the favorites to lift the trophy, and boast some of the biggest superstars of the game, from Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann to Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria. It's a duel to warm the hearts of all fans of the beautiful game.
The Habs team crossed the group stages with two wins and one draw. If the team of Didier Deschamps has not yet faced a real challenge, it certainly did not dazzle either. The 1998 world champions will have to improve their speed even more. Will the conservation of energy and the rest of some of their biggest names in the last group match against Denmark benefit France? The Europeans seem to have the measure of the South American teams after eight undefeated World Cup ™ matches against these teams - but who else was the last to beat Les Bleus in 1978?
After finishing second in Brazil 2014, La Albiceleste narrowly avoided the same fate as Germany, the defending champion in the group stage. The tournament is now starting seriously for the two winners of the World Cup. A difficult start to the competition could be exactly the motivation that the South Americans need to improve their game against better teams and exploit their huge attack potential, which is centered around Lionel Messi. Argentina emerged victorious from the previous two World Cup games, eventually reaching the final each time.
Did you know?
757 - France have not conceded a goal in their last seven World Cup matches (757 minutes) against the South American opposition. The last man of this continent to score against Les Bleus was the Brazilian Careca in 1986.
France: Hugo Lloris; Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez; Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante; Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele; Olivier Giroud
Argentina: Franco Armani; Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico; Never Banega, Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez, Angel Di Maria; Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain
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