The first match of the knockout stages will see 2-time World Cup winners Argentina facing off against 1-time winner France in what looks to be the match to look forward to in the round of 16 fixtures.
France vs Argentina: World Cup 2018 last 16 prediction, betting tips, odds, live stream online, kick-off time, team news and line-ups, what TV channel, head to head
Argentina’s road to the knockout stages was far from comfortable as they started off their campaign against Iceland in a lacklustre draw that saw Lionel Messi missing another penalty kick as well as being manhandled by the Icelandic players after a Sergio Aguero goal had given Argentina the lead. The lead only lasted for 4 minutes as Iceland drew level as Alfred Finnbogason scored for Iceland resulting in the match ending 1-1.
The second match saw Albiceleste facing off against a Croatian side high on confidence, after winning their match 2-0 against Nigeria. In one of the shocks of the tournament, Croatia outclassed the Argentinians 3-0 to leave them at the mercy of a Nigerian victory over Iceland.
With a lifeline offered by Nigeria, as they won 2-0 against Iceland Argentina prepared for their match against Nigeria with Lionel Messi taking the mantle from their coach Sampaouli, with a victory and nothing else separating Argentina from the knockout stages. It was the man himself, their Messiah, Lionel Messi who scored the first goal of the match. Nigeria soon drew level as Victor Moses cooly tucked home a penalty after Mascherano was deemed to have fouled a Nigerian player inside the box.
The final minutes of the match saw Argentina mounting attack after attack in search of their elusive girl which would take them to the knockout stages. Finally, they broke through as Marcus Rojo scored the decisive second goal of the match as whole Argentina celebrated their goal. The final whistle of the match ended with Argentina 2 Iceland 1 with Argentina qualifying to the knockout stages as runners-up in Group D.
Will the real France finally turn up?
With a young and vibrant France whee touted as one of the favourites to win the World Cup this year. But an unimpressive campaign that saw France scraping through Australia with a 2-1 victory courtesy of an Australian own goal as well as a 1-0 victory over Peru. The last match of the group C saw France facing off against Denmark, in a match that ended a run of 37 games without a goalless draw in the World Cup as France drew 0-0 against Denmark helping them qualify as Group C champions.
Argentina predicted XI: Franco Armani, Marcus Rojo, Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico, Ever Banega, Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez, Angel Di Maria, Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain.
France predicted XI: Hugo Lloris; Benjamin Pavard, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele; Olivier Giroud
Head to Head Stats
This is the first fixture between two previous World Cup champions in this World Cup.
Argentina has registered 6 wins and only lost 2 against France in their previous 12 meetings. This will be the first time that these two teams have met in the knockout stages of the tournament.