World Cup 2018: 3 reasons why Argentina can knock France out of the World Cup
So, the group stage games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup have come to a close and we’ve got 16 teams who will fight each other out for the coveted trophy starting Saturday.
The first fixture of the round of 16 will see Group-C winner France take on Group-D runners-up Argentina at the Kazan Arena.
The two teams had strikingly different fortunes in the group stage. France, by virtue of two narrow wins and a draw, went on to top Group D.
Argentina, on the other hand, was pushed to the extreme by Iceland and Croatia but eventually made it to the knock-out stage by beating Nigeria 2-1.
Les Blues were one of the favourites coming into the tournament but haven’t hit top gear as yet, whereas Argentina will take confidence from their final group stage win over Nigeria.
The last time these two teams met at a World Cup, the South Americans pipped the Europeans in 1978.
So, who will have the last laugh this time around?
Well, predict the winner at your own peril guys and while you do that, just take a look at three reasons why Argentina can knock France out of the World Cup:
#3 Deschamps is unsure of his first XI
There is no denying that the Les Blues are supremely talented and hence; remain one of the contenders for football’s greatest prize. But for all the talent in their ranks, they looked pretty mediocre in the group stage.
Manager Didier Deschamps looked bereft of ideas as he kept on chopping and changing his side in a desperate hope of extracting the best out of his men.
The highly rated front-three consisting of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele didn’t offer much against Australia, forcing Deschamps to bring in Olivier Giroud in a no 9 role in the next match. This too yielded little results as the Chelsea man often looked isolated primarily due to their poor midfield play.
The Les Blues boss made as many as six changes in the final game against Denmark, but to no avail, which only highlights the fact that Deschamps is yet to pin down on his first XI.
Argentina couldn’t have asked for a better time to face France than this. If Samapaoli’s men can get their act together against a puzzled French side on Saturday, they have a very good chance to progress to the next round.