Argentina and France to meet in a clash of underperforming titans

Dull Danes and flat French play out mutually beneficial 0-0 draw

Dull Danes and flat French play out mutually beneficial 0-0 draw

France will look to keep Messi quiet with three defenders - Samuel Umtiti, Raphaël Varane and Lucas Hernandez - familiar with him from La Liga and the most salient point in Deschamps' show of monotony came when he was invited to reflect on whether such knowledge may count in their favour. They've had hard times and still qualified.

By contrast, France enjoyed serene if uninspiring progress to the last 16, finishing top of Group C with two wins and draw from their games.

'There has been a lot of excitement (in the French camp), because Argentina are a major contender, with great players and many supporters in the stadium.

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.

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"Messi is unique; you can not compare another player with Messi", the Tottenham Hotspur man said.

"As we said, this is a new tournament that begins, and I think we have to depend on our collective strength, on a defensive solidity and we know our attacking potential", Lloris added. On both occasions, they reached the final, losing it in 1930 and winning in 1978.

Asked about comparisons between Mbappe and Messi, France captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris said it is impossible to compare the Argentina and Barcelona star to anybody else in the game. Since then, France are unbeaten in eight World Cup fixtures against CONMEBOL opposition (W4 D4).

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.

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This time, Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has to set up with the right formation and the right players, and follow a plan. As his team-mate, I can say without any doubts that we have always been a better team when he has been there.

FIFA World Cup 2018 France v/s Argentina will take place at Kazan Arena, Kazan. Les Bleus have conceded just one goal in the tournament in Russian Federation and that came on a penalty kick.

The Barcelona legend has only managed one goal so far in Russian Federation, which came in the decisive 2-1 Group D win over Nigeria in St. Petersburg and set up the French encounter. The last time these two sides met was in 2009 in an global friendly which Messi and co had won 2-0.

"What is most worrisome about France beyond their youth is the skill of some of their players", he said.

"We have two completely different styles but I have faith we will impose our own style and dictate the pace and rhythm of the game".

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We don't trust Argentina to shut out France, nor do we expect Les Bleus to deny the South Americans the goals they covet dearly.

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