The first knockout round game of the 2018 World Cup is a fabulous matchup between former champions as France and Argentina square off. The winner faces either Uruguay or Portugal in the quarterfinals. MyBookie Sportsbook oddsmakers favor that to be the French.
If you want to keep up with everything around the 2018 FIFA World Cup Round of 16, be sure to check our soccer news page on a daily basis, which includes previews, reviews, predictions, and more.
France vs Argentina 2018 World Cup Round of 16 Betting Preview
— French Team (@FrenchTeam) 27 de junio de 2018
- When: Saturday, 10 AM ET
- Where: Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia
- TV/Stream: Fox/Fox Sports Go
- 2018 World Cup Betting Odds: France +126 / Argentina +235 / Draw +200 (Total 2)
Head to Head
- Games Played: 11
- Argentina Victories: 6
- Argentina Goals: 12
- France Victories: 2
- France Goals: 7
- Draws: 3
Why Bet on France?
- Confederation: UEFA
- Head coach: Didier Deschamps
- Captain: Hugo Lloris
- FIFA Ranking: 7
- World Cup Appearances: 15
The French won Group C with seven points. They closed the group action with a scoreless draw vs. Denmark, which was a great result for Denmark as it advanced with the point. It was the first time this tournament that France didn’t score; it was the first goalless draw of this World Cup. With Peru beating Australia in the other final Group C game, neither side seemed to care much about going for the win.
“We really don’t care. It was not a nice game to watch. Denmark didn’t want to make any effort and neither did we, said French star Antoine Griezmann. “The most important is to be in the last 16. This World Cup is hard, tougher than the one in 2014 I feel.”
Didier Deschamps made six changes to France starting XI that beat Peru in the previous game. Mandanda replaced Lloris in goal, while Kimpembe and Sidibe replace Pavard and Umtiti in defense. Nzonzi, Lemar, and Dembele entered for Pogba, Matuidi and Mbappe. France’s reserves showed vs. Denmark why they’re not in Deschamps’ plans as they prepare for their round of 16 match. It was Deschamps’ 79th game in charge of France, equaling Raymond Domenech’s record with the national team.
Deschamps was satisfied with the draw as it meant the top spot in Group C and a meeting with Argentina, but the coach admitted that his team’s momentum suffered as he made six changes to get more squad members a chance to play.
France has gone unbeaten in the group stage in consecutive World Cup tournaments for the first time (P3 W2 D1 in 2014 and 2018). Since their defeat to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final, France has only lost one of their last 13 games in competitive action (W9 D3).
France defender Presnel Kimpembe on Argentina: “Obviously, their forwards are very dangerous! Messi, Higuain, Aguero and Di Maria – this is a very high level of attackers. But they have shown some defensive weaknesses as well, as they conceded goals in each of their three matches in this World Cup, so we are counting on our forwards.”
- 1-H. Lloris
- 4-R. Varane
- 5-S. Umtiti
- 21-L. Hernández
- 2-B. Pavard
- 6-P. Pogba
- 13-N. Kanté
- 12-C. Tolisso
- 7-A. Griezmann
- 11-O. Dembélé
- 10-K. Mbappé
Why Bet on Argentina?
- Confederation: CONMEBOL
- Head coach: Jorge Sampaoli
- Captain: Lionel Messi
- FIFA Ranking: 5
- World Cup Appearances: 17
The Argentines were in serious danger of not advancing but finished second to Croatia in Group D. Argentina got a thrilling 2-1 win over Nigeria to move on. Nigeria was just minutes away from advancing before central defender Marcus Rojo superbly volleyed home a Gabriel Mercado cross from the right for the winning goal in the 86th minute.
Lionel Messi had put Argentina ahead in the 14th minute with a fabulous goal but the Africans equalized through a Victor Moses penalty in the 51st minute. It is widely thought that this is Messi’s last shot at World Cup glory.
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli was on the brink of losing his job and faced allegations of infighting within the squad.
Sampaoli went for five changes in the Nigeria match and 4-4-2, his third different formation of the World Cup. The team defended better as Argentina were able to close the paths to their own goal. Unlike their previous games, Argentina regained their composure after the setback of conceding to Nigeria.
“My players put their hearts out, with a lot of courage, in a very difficult moment. They have achieved a triumph which is very important for the future and that will strengthen us going further,” Sampaoli said.
Messi’s first-half goal for Argentina ended a run of 662 minutes without a goal in the World Cup – his last goal came in June 2014, also against Nigeria. Messi (2006, 2014 and 2018) is the third Argentina player to have scored at three different World Cup tournaments, alongside Diego Maradona (1982, 1986 and 1994) and Gabriel Batistuta (1994, 1998 and 2002).
Argentina has qualified from the World Cup group stages for the fourth consecutive tournament (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018). Argentina is unbeaten in their last 40 World Cup games when opening the scoring (W35 D5), since a 3-1 defeat against Germany in 1958.
France has never beaten Argentina in five attempts, and Argentina won 2-1 against France in the 1978 World Cup group stage in their last competitive meeting.
“We have watched every single France game. We follow every game. France is a very good team with skilled individual players,” Messi said. “They have very fast players who can really make a difference.”
- 12-F. Armani
- 14-J. Mascherano
- 2-G. Mercado
- 17-N. Otamendi
- 3-N. Tagliafico
- 15-E. Pérez
- 16-M. Rojo
- 7-E. Banega
- 10-L. Messi
- 11-A. Di María
- 9-G. Higuaín
Expert Final Score Prediction
France 2 – Argentina 1
More 2018 World Cup
- Keep track of the World Cup betting lines to make sure your set to make the most from this tournament.
- Tune into the FIFA World Cup special edition episodes on Sports Gambling Podcast to get the FIFA preview you’ve been waiting to hear.
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