We can limit 'outstanding' Messi, says France coach Deschamps

Hope Soto
June 30, 2018

The coach said France's characteristics of quick ball recovery and pace on the break through Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud would make them particularly unsafe if Argentina were unable to dominate possession.

Despite topping Group C with seven points from two wins and a draw, France haven't touch their best yet.

France's Olivier Giroud has failed to score in his last 357 minutes at World Cup/Euro, his longest drought at major tournaments, with his last goal dating back to the Euro 2016 quarter-final against Iceland.

Sampaoli came under huge fire after Argentina drew 1-1 with Iceland in their first match in Russian Federation and were thrashed 3-0 in their second by Croatia, all amid reports of unrest in their camp. Nearly getting crashed out of the tournament, a late victor from Marcos Rojo against Nigeria gave Argentina a ticket into the knockout level.

That should be the task of N'Golo Kante, who has been impressive so far, and Paul Pogba, who must show he has the steel to become the next great France player.

"When you play Argentina and Messi on the pitch there are several solutions to limit his impact". All eyes on Saturday will be on Messi, who is playing his fourth World Cup and is still eyeing his maiden major trophy with his country.

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France cruised to the round of 16 stage with much ease after registering two wins and a draw in group stages while on the other hand, Argentina stuttered in the first two games but ultimately secured qualification for advanced stages by winning the final group match. It's Argentina vs. France in Kazan with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line. The last time these two sides met was in 2009 in an global friendly which Messi and co had won 2-0.

The Argentina starting 11 against the Super Eagles was the oldest ever in the nation's World Cup history - with an average age of 30 years and 189 days - and the issue of aging stars such as Javier Mascherano and an imbalanced team have made this a hard World Cup so far for the team.

Argentina have won the World Cup twice (1978, 1986), France once (1998).

Argentina have gone past the first round for the 12th time in their last 13 World Cup appearances, the only exception coming in 2002.

The FIFA World Cup 2018 France vs Argentina Round of 16 match begins at 7:30 pm (IST).

The live TV coverage of the match will be available on Sony Ten 2 in English and Sony Ten 3 in Hindi.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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