France vs. Argentina: Team News, Live Stream, TV Info for World Cup 2018
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JUNE 26: Djibril Sidibe of France in action during the FIFA World Cup Group C match between Denmark and France at Luzhniki Stadium on June 26, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)
Fred Lee/Getty Images
France and Argentina will kick off the knockout stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Saturday, when two of the favourites for the title meet in Kazan, Russia.
Les Bleus went unbeaten in Group C, while La Albiceleste narrowly escaped from Group D.
Neither side has played up to its full potential, but France have been the better team.
Here’s a look ahead at the contest:
Date: Saturday, June 30
Time: 5 p.m. local time/3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET
Venue: Kazan Arena, Kazan
TV Info/Live Stream: Fox (U.S.), BBC (UK)
According to WhoScored.com, Samuel Umtiti is the only doubt on the French side, but he’s expected to be fit in time for the match.
Hugo Lloris, Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba are all likely to return to the starting XI after the side was rotated against Denmark.
Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Corentin Tolisso are one booking shy of a suspension if France reach the quarter-finals.
Argentina have no injury issues or suspensions, but Ever Banega, Gabriel Mercado, Javier Mascherano, Lionel Messi, Marcos Acuna and Nicolas Otamendi are all one booking away from missing the next match.
Which Version of France Will Show Up?
Les Bleus arguably have more talent than any team in the tournament, with elite players in just about every position.
A midfield of Pogba and N’Golo Kante has the potential to dominate any side they face, and up front, they can afford to leave the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Thomas Lemar on the bench―they are that stacked.
However, manager Didier Deschamps can’t settle on a starting XI or even a formation, and he hasn’t stopped tinkering throughout the tournament. He has even used Matuidi―a holding midfielder―as a left-winger, and he is expected to do so again in the match against Argentina.
It’s fair to say he isn’t making any new fans with his approach:
Argentina have had similar issues but did appear to stumble on a system that works in their last outing, with Banega bringing some much-needed stability to the midfield in the win over Nigeria on Tuesday.