FIFA 2018: Argentina To Face France In Knockouts Opener

| June 30 , 2018 , 16:52 IST

The Knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup will commence from Saturday in Kazan where Argentina will take on France in the knockouts opener.

Both the teams have been title favourites since the start of the tournament.

Les Bleus have been splendorous throughout the group stage of this edition, finishing as group winners with seven points whereas Argentina team, after losing from Croatia was deemed dead and buried before Marcos Rojo struck late to send his team through the round of 16.

Both the teams have met 11 times since 1930, in which Argentina had won six, two have been won by France while the other three ended in draws. Both the teams last met in 2009 when Argentina beat France 2-0.

Argentina's coach Jorge Sampaoli is under colossal pressure as a result of some low performance in the start of at the beginning of the tournament. The side led by Messi needs some special performance from the star players such as Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala.

France, on the other hand, needs to work on the midfield as they have not performed as per their image in the tournament.

If Argentina and Portugal won their respective matches today, then the viewers will witness the two legends Ronaldo and Messi in the next stage on July 6.

Possible line-ups
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