Argentina | France | Lionel Messi | Jorge Sampaoli | World Cup | 2018 | Football | Onmanorama

Francia pendiente de Messi Dinamarca se las verá con Croacia en octavos

Argentina had a roller-coaster ride in the group stages as odd tactics, ineffectual play, an unpopular manager and awful chemistry saw them only pick up one point from their first two games.

Messi, his World Cup legacy and Argentina's over-reliance on the Barcelona forward, however, have dominated the narrative leading into Saturday's clash at Kazan Arena.

"They've won the World Cup in the past so it will be a big, hard match and we'll have to step up our level".

"Lionel Messi is Lionel Messi", said the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship-winning former captain.

Argentina scraped into the knockout stages thanks to a dramatic late win in their final Group D game against Nigeria.

In addition, the playmaker has to cope with the expectations of his countrymen, who are banking him to come home with the World Cup, it is looking like his last opportunity to lay claim to the $20m worth trophy.

Les Bleus topped Group C, despite a dour 0-0 draw with second-place Denmark in the third match, and the pressure is on to greatly improve against Argentina.

Pompeo says won't put timeline on North Korea denuclearization steps
The decision comes after the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, met Donald Trump in Singapore this month in a historic summit . North Korea's state-run media is broadcasting the message of relaxed tensions across the country.

Much has been made of Messi's influence on the Argentina side, but France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rejected suggestions they were a one-man outfit. The last time these two sides met was in 2009 in an worldwide friendly which Messi and co had won 2-0.

Six Argentina players (Ever Banega, Gabriel Mercado, Javier Mascherano, Lionel Messi, Marcos Acuna and Nicolas Otamendi) and three France players (Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Corentin Tolisso) are one booking away from a one-match ban.

This World Cup notwithstanding, France has lost just once in its last 15 matches. The teams will score at least one goal apiece, so bettors should take the over. He's yet to register a shot on target at this year's World Cup, having spent 200 minutes on the pitch.

Sampaoli could decide to start the game without a natural striker, leaving Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero both on the bench.

"I see him everyday". Even though the numbers look quite solid (two wins in three matches and only goal conceded), the stats do not tell the whole story.

Now, the Soccerbot has digested the film, crunched the numbers and broken down every single player on France and Argentina.

Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe scored France's victor in their 1-0 victory over Peru and Lloris said he expected the 19-year-old to shine against Argentina.

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