Fixture: Argentina vs France
Date & Time: Monday 13th September - 8:00 AM (ET)/5:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Wukesong Sports Arena, Beijing
Last game result
Argentina: 97-87 victory over Serbia (September 10th)
France: 89-79 victory over USA (September 11th)
Up until Argentina were confronted by Serbia in the Quarters, they never really had a truly intimidating opponent to face, which when coupled with exquisite team-play, possibly explains their unbeaten run so far. Nevertheless, they topped Group B and have been fairly professional in their on-court approach.
On the other hand, the French side made good work of Lithuania as well as got rid of the star-studded Team USA. And in the process, faced defeat (only by 2 points) only once in what was an impressive show against the mighty Aussies. The intimidating one-two punch that Fournier and Gobert bring to the table for France is starting to look medal-worthy.
The last time these two teams clashed in the World Championships was in 2006 when Argentina handed an 80-70 defeat to France.
Argentina - Luis Scola
Luis Scola is now second on FIBA's all-time scoring list and the 39-year-old is not to be taken lightly. The 6-foot-8 veteran is posting majestic averages of 17.8 points and 7.3 boards per game while shooting over 46% from the field across the six games played thus far. His 3-of-4 shooting spree from deep, to tip-off Argentina's WC campaign against Korea proved that he is as lethal from the perimeter as in the paint.
France - Rudy Gobert
NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year has been leaving it all out on the floor for his country. Along with 2.3 blocks per game so far to lead the tournament, Gobert is making his presence felt with a near double-double average of 12.7 points and 9.7 rebounds. Moreover, the 7-foot-1 Utah Jazz center is hooping at a breathtaking 66% conversion rate from the field. His dominance in the paint makes outside shooting that much easier for France.
Predicted starting lineups
Argentina: Facundo Campazzo, Luis Scola, Nicolas Brussino, Marcos Delia, Patricio Garino
France: Frank Ntilikina, Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert, Amath B'aye, Nicolas Batum
France possess a noticeable advantage on the boards in Gobert while their long-range shooting threat in Fournier is equally damaging. The odds are clearly stacked against the Argentines in this one.