France vs Argentina World Cup 2018
France’s World Cup campaign so far has almost exactly mirrored their efforts in qualifying for the tournament – solid but not spectacular. As a former French defensive midfielder, manager Didier Deschamps won’t care one bit that their narrow victories over Australia and Peru and dour draw with Denmark were not visibly entertaining. The fact is that his team topped the group, and the first goal is complete.
Perhaps then it is ironic that in topping the group France will now meet original Group D favourites Argentina instead of a supposedly easier opponent, although as we have seen so far in 2018, the South Americans have been just as indifferent on the pitch as their French counterparts – the only difference is that Argentina’s opposition put up more of a fight.
This should be a game worthy of a semi-final or even final given the talent on show for both sides. France’s squad boasts players on the bench that most sides can only dream of having, while Lionel Messi’s Argentina are a headline act.
There are two questions that must be asked when looking at this match. Can France step up when it is required or will their lacklustre showing carry over into this crucial fixture? And can Argentina shut out the drama (and their opposition for a change) and move into the quarter-finals?
As far as predictions go, this one is tough. Argentina have conceded in all three games, including four goals against European opponents. France though have offered so little in attack, scoring only one goal that has not come from the spot or from a freakish deflection.
Argentina certainly boast the players to break down the French defence, and with VAR available the chances of a 0-0 occurring at this tournament continue to be slim (well 1 in 48 at last count).
France look to have the edge, and the +129 available makes them a decent pick as the favourite. They haven’t lost to a South American team at the World Cup for 40 years. Yet Argentina have a superior record over the French, and at +248 present a worthy outsider option.
We think this match will go to extra time, and for that reason our pick is a draw in the head to head market (paying +198). A 1-1 scoreline seems the most likely.
As for the team to progress, we are tipping France to somehow get through, although neither team really deserve to be in the next round based on what we’ve seen.
France vs Argentina Preview
France vs Argentina will kickoff at 10am ET and will be played at Kazan Arena in Kazan.
France Likely Starting XI
- Hugo Lloris
- Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez
- Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante
- Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe
- Olivier Giroud
It’s amazing that this attacking lineup hasn’t produced any notable goals. Giroud should be a feature due to Argentina’s physicality, particularly at the back.
Antoine Griezmann is one of the world’s best, and it’s time that he showed it on the world stage. His combination with Dembele and Mbappe is crucial.
Argentina Likely Starting XI
- Willy Caballero
- Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico
- Javier Mascherano, Ever Banega
- Maximiliano Meza, Angel di Maria
- Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi
If anyone has a chance of eliminating France it’s this team – if they are united and don’t implode like they did against Croatia. Otamendi is a rock at the back and will need to be at his best to keep Giroud quiet.
Lionel Messi is the big name that delivered once more in the Nigeria game, and Argentina’s chances are always improved when he is in the lineup.
Other Betting Opportunities
Remember that the head to head market is relevant for the result at the end of 90 minutes, and in the event of the match going to extra time or penalties the ‘draw’ option would be the winner. Statistics show that matches between two top-ten ranked teams at the World Cup go to extra time approximately 42% of the time, which is a decent figure, and for that reason we’re tipping the game to go to an additional 30.
If you think there is the possibility of extra time, the ‘will there be an overtime’ market from Sports Interaction is paying +181.
If you would rather take the option of picking which team will progress, Betway offer a ‘to qualify’ line, and are paying -150 for a France win regardless of whether penalties are required to separate the teams. Argentina are at +125.
Of course, there are plenty of other markets that could provide a decent outlay, and may be a safer bet than the head to head opportunities.
Plenty of matches at this World Cup have been level at half-time, and this should continue in the tighter knockout stages. As we’ve predicted a draw for the 90 minute outcome, why not punt on ‘draw – draw’ in the half-time/full-time market? Odds of around +340 are available for that pick.
Lionel Messi is a great chance to score in this match, and is paying +163 in the ‘anytime goalscorer’ market. Considering how close this match will be and also taking into account the number of penalties that have been awarded at this tournament, it will be a smart bet to pick a penalty taker.
Picking the correct score is tough, although there’s plenty of reward for your risk. At +459, our 1-1 prediction will provide a decent outlay.
FIFA World Cup Knockout Stage Odds
***Round of 16
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
Match 50: France vs Argentina Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 49: Uruguay vs Portugal Odds (2 p.m. ET)
SUNDAY, JULY 1
Match 51: Spain vs Russia Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 52: Croatia vs Denmark Odds (2 p.m. ET)
MONDAY, JULY 2
Match 53: Brazil vs Mexico Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 54: Belgium vs Japan Odds (2 p.m. ET)
TUESDAY, JULY 3
Match 55: Sweden vs Switzerland Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 56: Colombia vs England Odds (2 p.m. ET)
FRIDAY, JULY 6
Match 57: Match 49 winner vs. Match 50 winner (10 a.m. ET)
Match 58: Match 53 winner vs. Match 54 winner (2 p.m. ET)
SATURDAY, JULY 7
Match 60: Match 55 winner vs. Match 66 winner (10 a.m. ET)
Match 59 Match 51 winner vs. Match 52 winner (2 p.m. ET)
TUESDAY, JULY 10
Match 61: Match 57 winner vs. Match 58 winner (2 p.m. ET)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11
Match 62: Match 59 winner vs. Match 60 winner (2 p.m. ET)
SATURDAY, JULY 14
Match 63: Match 61 loser vs. Match 62 loser (10 a.m. ET)
SUNDAY, JULY 15
Match 64: Match 61 winner vs. Match 62 winner (11 a.m. ET)
=> World Cup Final Odds