France vs Argentina
France didn't show much at the World Cup so far, but truth to be told they didn't need to show that much in order to progress their group. In quite close matches they managed to get narrow victories over Australia and Peru, securing the knockout phase before the third round.
Their third round game against Denmark didn't have so much of importance for the French side, as they used many players who didn't have the chance to play that much in previous two rounds. They had some of the initiative, especially in early stage of the clash but the fact that they didn't need to win made the game quite boring actually.
Some offensive phases were seen and plenty of ball possession but that was all from the French side. No doubt that they have plenty of quality in the roster and game plan, but were simply played "as much as it was needed" till now.
Giroud should be leading their attack in 4-2-3-1 formation. Matuidi, Griezmann and Mbappe should be used as offensive midfielders. Samuel Umtiti remains a doubt, but is expected to be fit in time to face Argentina. Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Corentin Tolisso are one booking away from suspension.
Argentina is probably one of the disappointments of the tournament so far, but they still managed to progress further. After two matches without a victory in opening rounds, a draw against Iceland and a loss to Croatia, they managed to get a much needed narrow 2:1 victory over Nigeria.
However, it must be said that the Argentinians didn't play up to their level once again. Messi brought them into the lead in fourteenth minute mostly thanks to individual class difference, but the Africans were fighting more than well.
Moses leveled up from the penalty in 51st minute and despite much of the ball possession from Argentina they failed to create some really good chances. Moment of inspiration came in 86th minute when Rojo scored the winning goal and Argentina progressed further in competition where they could have easily ended up in the group stage.
Jorge Sampaoli could name the same starting lineup as against Nigeria last Tuesday night. That means that Ever Banega could heep his place. Fitness of Enzo Perez is questionable for now. Few players are one booking away from a ban, but that doesn't matter in do or die game much.
- Argentina have won their last 4 matches against France.
Both of the teams seems to be yet to hit their top form at the World Cup. There's plenty of individual quality in both teams and I see value with goals scored here. Whenever first goal gets scored, the game should become wide open and as said - there's plenty of attacking quality, while the French remain with even more extra power from set-pieces.
France vs Argentina prediction
Over 2 goals @ 1.99 with Pinnacle