The knockout courses of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia ™ begin on Saturday, with France and Argentina set to meet in Kazan for the first Round of 16 encounter. These two heavyweights of international football are always Among the favorites to lift the trophy, and boast of Reviews some of the game's biggest superstars, from Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann to Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria. It is a duel to warm the hearts of every devotee of the beautiful game.
The Tricolore team navigated their way out of the group with two wins and a draw. While Didier Deschamps' star-studded squad have not yet faced a truly challenging test, they have certainly not dazzled. The 1998 world champions will have to step up to one more gear. Will conserving energy and resting some of their biggest names in the last group? The Europeans seem to have the measure of South American teams, having gone eight FIFA World Cup ™ matches unbeaten against these sides - the last nation to defeat The Blues in the competition in 1978 was Argentina - who else?
Having finished as runners-up at Brazil 2014, the Albiceleste narrowly avoided suffering the same fate as reigning champions Germany in the group stages. The tournament now begins in earnest for the two-time World Cup winners. A tough start to the competition could be exactly the motivation of the South Americans to make their game against better teams and their huge attacking potential, which centers around Lionel Messi. Argentina has emerged victorious from both sides of the world in previous World Cup meetings, ultimately reaching the Final on both occasions.
Did you know?
757 - France have not conceded a goal in their last seven World Cup matches (757 minutes) against South American opposition. The last man from this continent to score against The Blues was Brazil's Careca back 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; Ever Banega, Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez, Angel Di Maria; Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain
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