Friday, 20 July, 2018

I was informing not consulting Messi, says Argentina coach

Dull Danes and flat French play out mutually beneficial 0-0 draw Dull Danes and flat French play out mutually beneficial 0-0 draw
Betsy Taylor | 30 June, 2018, 12:15

France's smooth advance to the knockout rounds with two wins and a draw has made them favourites to beat an Argentina side who were thrashed by Croatia and needed a late victor against Nigeria to book their place.

France is set to take on Lionel Messi and Argentina as the high-stakes single-elimination round of the tournament soon begins.

First on the agenda is France vs. Argentina, a pairing that would grace a World Cup final but will instead kick-off the round of 16. After their poor draw against World Cup debutants Iceland, Lionel Messi and Co were thrashed 3-0 by Croatia.

Argentina's forward Lionel Messi (C) reacts after Croatia scored their third goal during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Argentina and Croatia at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod on June 21, 2018.

Les Bleus topped Group C, despite a dour 0-0 draw with second-place Denmark in the third match, and the pressure is on to greatly improve against Argentina.

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. I'm sure they feel like going much further in the competition. "He's got outstanding qualities", he said, according to the Daily Express.


The last South American team to beat France at the World Cup were Argentina in 1978.

When and what time is the round of 16 match between Argentina and France? The last time these two sides met was in 2009 in an global friendly which Messi and co had won 2-0.

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 have failed to click as their star-studded attack still struggles to gel as they have only scored three goals in three games.

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

"Leo is completely committed to the team, first and foremost you see this on the pitch", the Argentina coach said. "We have the best player on earth, but we have others who can make things hard for them too".

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