2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: France vs Argentina

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Verdict: France to win – yes

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

France and Argentina will officially kick things off in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Round of 16. Les Bleus enter this game after topping Group C, while La Albiceleste finished in second place of Group D. Alireza Faghani will be the referee in this game. It will be played at Kazan Arena, and kick-off is slated for 15:00 hrs (BST).


France are quite a tough team to analyse heading into this match. On one hand, they have one of the most talented squads in the competition and should be considered a contender even if their play does not live up to the expectations. And on the other hand, they play has been downright awful. Even though the numbers look quite solid (two wins in three matches and only goal conceded), the stats do not tell the whole story. France barely topped Australia (2-1) and Peru (1-0) in their first two matches, and finished things off with a boring scoreless draw against Denmark where they already had qualified. That’s very poor for a team that features names such as Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and others on a regular basis. Argentina will be their toughest test to date, and it will provide  good measure of where France really are. Can they live up to the expectations around them?

Team News

Didier Deschamps’ men will be at full strength ahead of this game.

According to the latest reports, the French side is fully fit ahead of this match. That includes the full-back duo of Benjamin Mendy and Djibril Sidibe.


If we talk about expectations, we might as well not mention Argentina at all. La Albiceleste has been under heavy scrutiny during the current World Cup campaign – and for good measure, considering how poor the team has been. Argentina kicked things off with a 1-1 draw against Iceland where Lionel Messi missed a penalty shot, and later crumbled after a heavy 0-3 defeat against Croatia. The two-time World Champions had their backs against the wall in the group finale against Nigeria, but they pulled through and secured a 2-1 win thanks to a late goal from Manchester United centre-back, Marcos Rojo. That win did not stop the criticism under Sampaoli, and now this will be the team’s biggest challenge: to face a true contender, one filled with world-class players on both ends of the pitch. Argentina have a fair share of talent as well, but things are simple: they will need to produce their best display in the tournament to have any chance at avoiding a Round of 16 exit.

Team News

Manager Jorge Sampaoli will make a few changes into this game. The most important one is the presence of Cristian Pavon in place of Gonzalo Higuain, as part of a tactical change that will feature Lionel Messi on a “False 9” role.

The entire side will be available with the exception of Enzo Perez. The former Benfica and Valencia midfielder is dealing with physical problems, and will be a game-time decision.

Key Factors to Consider

  • We will have two Manchester United players going head to head in this one. Marcos Rojo will represent Argentina, and Paul Pogba will do the same for France.
  • This will be their 12th meeting across all competitions. Argentina have the edge on the head-to-head record, registering six wins against three draws and only two defeats.
  • Two of France’s games during the current World Cup have seen under 2.5 goals scored. To make a comparison, two of Argentina’s have seen over that same amount.
  • Argentina have defeated France in their two World Cup meetings (1930, 1-0; 1978, 2-1). On both cases, Argentina reached the Finals.


This will be an extremely intense game between two attacking-minded teams that need to win in order to secure a spot in the next round.

We could be in line for a high-scoring affair, but recent form and overall talent give France the edge. As such, I believe Les Bleus will take home the win and a spot in the quarterfinals.

Verdict: France to win – yes

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

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