France and Argentina will square off in a blockbuster Round of last 16 match in the World Cup, both teams looking to avoid a disappointing early exit.
The French won their group pretty handily with 7 points, but in fact their performance was far from impressive and winning the group was more about a combination of average opponents and good luck. France defeated Australia 2-1 in the first match, a game they had absolutely no business winning, and were again a bit fortunate in their next outing against Peru – playing unimpressive football to beat a spirited Peru side 1-0. France’s last game against Denmark was the ugliest of the World Cup, with neither team playing anything and both settling for a convenient 0-0 draw.
Argentina’s struggles in this World Cup have been well documented, Messi’s side needing some help from Nigeria (who beat Iceland) and an 85th minute goal in the last group game against the same Nigeria in order to advance. With the oldest team in the World Cup, the Argentinians couldn`t really get anything going and seemed to be totally dependent on Messi – who was OK, but couldn`t make the difference by himself on a consistent basis.Bet on France vs Argentina and claim your 100% (100 Eur) bonus at Ohmbet now!
Team news & lineups:
Mendy is unavailable for France, while Umtiti is a doubt, but he`s expected to play. Argentina has Enzo Perez doubtful.
France: Lloris – Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez – Matuidi, Kante, Pogba – Mbappe, Giroud, Griezmann
Argentina: Armani – Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico – Perez, Mascherano, Banega – Di Maria, Higuain, Messi
Argentina has been under the spotlight for almost missing out on qualification and they have been criticized for good reason, as their old squad doesn`t look good enough to make a real impact at this World Cup. However, France was equally disappointing and a (very) fair case could be made that they simply had better luck than Argentina.
After all, if Argentina would have been awarded a clear late penalty in a first round against Iceland (or Messi hadn`t missed one), and France didn`t get a controversial penalty (or a fluke deflection) in their opener against Australia, the roles would have likely be reversed with Argentina qualifying easily and France sweating until the last minutes.
France seems to have real problems in this World Cup which are more complex and dangerous than just playing bad. They looked completely disjointed and discombobulated on offense, with no cohesion and no communication. The easiest of passes were often misplaced with players not being on the same page. These are problems which don`t seem like they can be fixed during a competition.
Of course Argentina isn`t much better, but they do have Messi, and they are also the underdogs here. Also, they earned a massive morale boost after their dramatic qualifications, which could have an impact.
All in all this looks like it could be a poor game between two out of shape teams. Both will probably be cautious knowing their shortcomings, especially with this being an elimination game.
Expecting under 2.5 goals makes sense, but the odds are too low at around 1.50 on that bet, so the best value is on the draw as far as I`m concerned. I will back the draw but with security in case Argentina pulls it off, so my tip will be a Draw – Argentina win no bet. Prediction: France – Argentina 0-0 (0-1 extra time).