Argentina and France to meet in a clash of underperforming titans

Argentina and France to meet in a clash of underperforming titans

Argentina and France to meet in a clash of underperforming titans

Messi has never scored in the knockout stages of the World Cup: 666 minutes, 0 goals. "He knows all the passion I put into everything I do", Sampaoli said.

There were no prizes to guess Argentina's key player - their captain and best player, Messi.

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

Five Paris St Germain players could feature in the game with Argentina's Giovani Lo Celso and Angel Di Maria and France's Presnel Kimpembe, Kylian Mbappe and Alphonse Areola. Out of the 11 times they have locked horns, two matches ended in a draw and the rest had a result.

"As we said, this is a new tournament that begins, and I think we have to depend on our collective strength, on a defensive solidity and we know our attacking potential", Lloris added.

"Now, I see him a lot more comfortable now".

Argentina lead 6-3 against France in global tournaments including the World Cup and friendlies.

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.

For France, progress was more serene as they topped Group C with two wins and a draw in their three games - although many question whether their uninspiring performances bode ill for the tougher tasks ahead in Russian Federation. He is the last Argentinean player to score against France, back in February 2009 in a friendly (2-0). Les Bleus have conceded just one goal in the tournament in Russian Federation and that came on a penalty kick.

Sampaoli could decide to start the game without a natural striker, leaving Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero both on the bench. On the performances so far these are the two sides I can't see winning it.

France will look to boss the midfield in a bid to limit supply to the lethal 31-year-old, who has struggled to impose himself in the tournament.

Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe scored France's victor in their 1-0 victory over Peru and Lloris said he expected the 19-year-old to shine against Argentina.

"What is most worrisome about France beyond their youth is the skill of some of their players", he said.

We don't trust Argentina to shut out France, nor do we expect Les Bleus to deny the South Americans the goals they covet dearly.

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