As the time passes by, we are getting close to getting a new Football World Champion. Knockouts are to start from Saturday, with the first match to be played between France and Argentina. While, the former reached knockouts by topping their group, the latter had a tough time sorting their way out. A late goal by M. Rojo has given us a resurgent Argentina and the sluggish French would like to set the pace up.
France has not been up to the spectacular best as they could boast of being on the sheet. The likes of Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and others are yet to fire. Though they topped Group C by getting a draw against Denmark, the atmosphere was not as electric as it should have been. The talismanic striker, Antoine Griezmann carries a lot on his shoulders, if Les Bleus have to advance further. They face an Argentina taken apart by perennial dark horses Croatia who were possibly rejuvenated by Marcos Rojo’s last-gasp heroics against Nigeria. On and off the field, with reports of mutiny after the Croatia loss, Messi’s men are the tournament basket case. Jorge Sampaoli’s side may have disappointed but their rejuvenation seems laudable as Messi seeks redemption of earlier losses.
Players to watch
France would like to hop on the attacking tendency against the shaky defence of the Argentine, who at the most occasions, rely on magical services of Messi. Work for French striker, N’Golo Kante gets a boost this time if they aim to nullify Messi. To be regarded as French great, Paul Pogba has a long way to go and this match is sure en route to that path. The French defence has not conceded a single goal in the tournament and to continue that against Argentina is a tough task. In his last 8 matches for Argentina, Gonzalo Higuain has not been able to score a single goal. Keeping this in mind, eyeballs get to roll on him.
All things considered, the first knockout game apart from deciding the first quarterfinalist will give us hint about Messi’s future. With so many heartbreaks on earlier occasions, Argentina would not let this slip by, while France would like to pace it up and give their fans reason to cheer.