Sampaoli sure Argentina can find feet against France

Sampaoli sure Argentina can find feet against France

Sampaoli sure Argentina can find feet against France

France coach Didier Deschamps has insisted ahead of Saturday's World Cup last-16 clash with Argentina that the South Americans are more than just superstar Lionel Messi. Currently, they are finding it hard to find their rhythm in the game.

Argentina have defeated France in their two World Cup meetings (1930, 1-0; 1978, 2-1).

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 risky if Argentina were unable to dominate possession.

"We are going to play against a team with great individual players", Sampaoli said.

Instead, it's been suggested he will bring in Cristian Pavon to start the game and play Barcelona star at a false nine, giving him complete freedom of movement in attack.

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.

"Kylian has huge quality and potential, he's fast, explosive, he needs space and I think tomorrow he will get more than he did in the first three matches", added Lloris.

Essam El-Hadary breaks World Cup record for oldest player
Mohamed Salah scores Egpyt's goal against Saudia Arabia at Volgograd Arena on June 25, 2018. Salah's 22nd-minute goal was a typical effort that his fans have grown accustomed to.

As France look to underperforming striker Antoine Griezmann to lift his game, Sampaoli underlined a bigger threat in 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Kylian Mbappe, who struck France's match victor in a 1-0 win over Peru, and 21-year-old Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele.

"He is different with Argentina than with Barcelona". Since then, France are unbeaten in eight World Cup fixtures against CONMEBOL opposition (W4 D4).

FIFA World Cup 2018 France v/s Argentina will take place at Kazan Arena, Kazan.

Messi opened the scoring in a 2-1 defeat of Nigeria that sent Argentina through to the knockout rounds, Sampaoli's side bouncing back from a 3-0 thumping dealt out by Croatia. France, however, has looked like a solid squad. I definitely can't see Argentina winning it because they look a really poor team.

"What is most worrisome about France beyond their youth is the skill of some of their players", he said.

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.

"We want to control the game throughout, if we don't I am sure it will become a very physical game, which will not suit us at all".

Related news