World Cup 2018: 4 Things Argentina must get right against France
The group stages are done and dusted, and now it's time for the knockout rounds of the World Cup. No more second chances, no more time to experiment, now teams must get everything right or they go home.
Argentina did not have the greatest of starts to their World Cup campaign and the South American side were threatened with an early exit from the tournament after their disappointing games against Iceland and Croatia.
It was the 86th-minute goal by defender Marcos Rojo that took that took them through to the knockout stages, saving them from the humiliation of a group stage World Cup exit.
Argentina's next opponent is the young and talented France side who topped their group ahead of Denmark conceding just one goal in their three group stage matches.
Here is a list of things that Sampaoli and his men must get right in their tie against France.
It is the duty of the manager to send out his best possible side for every game and Jorge Sampaoli has to get it right against the elites of Europe. Three at the back does not work for Argentina. That was evident in their 3-0 loss Croatia.
Also, Ever Banega who came on as a substitute against Iceland and was only an unused sub against Croatia proved to be Argentina's most dangerous player in their tie with Nigeria.
Sampaoli must find a way that not only fits Ever Banega in the team but also solves their defensive problems. Also, he must find a way to use Messi to the most of his abilities.
The Barcelona forward got very limited opportunities to get on the ball and make things happen in their group games, especially the first two games. Sampaoli must address this situation.
Banega showed what he is made of in the game against Nigeria when he found Messi with a brilliant airborne pass that gave Argentina a must needed early lead. His pass that allowed Di Maria to get in behind the Nigerian defence was another display of his vision and execution.