By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 30th June 2018
Saturday 30th June
Kick-off: 3:00pm BST
Stadium: Kazan Arena, Kazan
Live on BBC
France vs Argentina odds
The France vs Argentina odds have Les Bleus as 13/10 favourites to win without recourse to extra time or penalties, with Jorge Sampaoli’s men 12/5 to do the same and the normal time draw priced up at 2/1.
Antoine Griezmann and his colleagues are likely to the jollies in the to-qualify betting (check back here for odds), while la Albiceleste are expected to be outsiders in the market, where the winner of this tie will meet either Uruguay or Portugal.
France vs Argentina team news
Didier Deschamps is likely to continue to experiment with his starting line-up as he searches for the ideal configuration between the many talented players at his disposal.
Hugo Lloris, Samuel Umtiti, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe are likely to return to the XI after missing their final group game against Denmark, while Djibril Sidibe may be preferred to Benjamin Pavard.
For their foes, Gonzalo Higuain’s insipid showing against Nigeria, will likely see him replaced by Sergio Aguero or Juventus’ Paulo Dybala. Third-choice stopper Franco Armani is expected to continue between the sticks.
Argentinian outlet La Nacion say that Cristian Pavon for Higuain and Lionel Messi to play false nine is being considered by Sampaoli.
France vs Argentina predicted line-ups
France will be without Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy, who is sidelined with a muscle problem.
Argentina have no fresh injury concerns, and may start with the same team that beat Nigeria 2-1.
Javier Mascherano, Argentina’s unacknowledged captain, reportedly led a delegation of senior players to Sampaoli after the defeat to Croatia urging their coach to switch tactics and personnel.
Mascherano dismissed suggestions in the Nigeria pre-match press conference that his peers had taken control of proceedings in the camp – instead doubling down on his support and confidence in his coach.
But that hasn’t stopped people speculating that Lionel Messi and others were picking the side after a video emerged of what appeared to be Sampaoli asking Messi in pitch-side dialogue whether he should bring on Sergio Aguero.
“I was simply communicating this, saying we were going to use a strategy we had rehearsed to use more attacking players,” Sampaoli said.
“It was a simple exchange I had with one of my players, that is all.”
France captain Hugo Lloris believes Les Blues will have to be at their best to stand a chance of beating Argentina in this last 16 match.
“We should make all of the effort possible and leave the pitch without regretting anything because each pass, kick or throw-in may be the last in the competition.” Said Lloris.
French midfielder Nabil Fekir may be in contention to start against La Albiceleste following some impressive substitute appearances during the group matches.
France (4-2-3-1): GK Lloris, RB Sidibe, CB Varane, CB Umtiti, LB Hernandez, CM Pogba, CM Kante, AML Matuidi, AMC Griezmann, AMR Mbappe, ST Giroud
Argentina (4-4-2): GK Armani, RB Mercado, CB Rojo, CB Otamendi, LB Tagliafico, DM Mascherano, CM Banega, CM Perez, LW Di Maria RW Pavon ST Messi
France vs Argentina match stats
France have not lost to South American opposition at the World Cup in 40 years – since being defeated by Argentina in 1978.
Argentina have played seven competitive games in 2017/8 and scored once or less in five of them, drawing a blank three times in that sequence.
At the 2018 World Cup, the sides have failed to strike more than once in five of their six combined outings. Understandably, under 2.5 total match goals is available to punters at slim odds of 4/9.
Penalties have been awarded in three of la Albiceleste’s last four fixtures (two for and one against).
The Argentines have lost three of their last four penalty shootouts. France are can be backed to win on penalties check back here for the odds.
Les Bleus have lost just once in their last 15 fixtures, winning ten of those, whereas their round-of-16 opponents have recorded seven successes, four stalemates and as many defeats in the same timeframe.
The last South Americans to beat France at a World Cup were Argentina in 1978. They’re unbeaten in eight World Cup fixtures against CONMEBOL opposition since (W4 D4).
Deschamps’ men have made it past the round of 16 stage every time they’ve reached it since its introduction in 1986, (1986, 1998, 2006, 2014).
The former Monaco manager’s defensive approach may not have endeared him to neutrals, but his side have conceded only five shots on target in their group games. The only goal they let in was a penalty.
France vs Argentina key players to watch
Lionel Messi has scored four of Argentina’s seven goals across their last seven competitive fixtures – the Barcelona man is 4/1 to score first against France after notching the opener against Nigeria.
However, he has struck just once in his last ten internationals against European opposition and his blank against Croatia extended his goalless run against sides from the continent to five games.
Furthermore, Messi has never scored in the World Cup knockout stages, a 666-minute goal drought. He is the last Argentinean player to score against France, though, back in February 2009.
Marcos Rojo bagged a winner for his country against Nigeria for the second World Cup running last time out, and the defender is 16/1 chance at the anytime scorer odds for clash with Deschamps’ charges.
France’s Olivier Giroud has yet to register an effort on target at this year’s World Cup, despite having spent 200 minutes on the pitch.