France v Argentina: 31-year-old to make World Cup headlines for wrong reasons



France and Argentina lock horns at the Kazan Arena in the last-16 of the World Cup on Saturday afternoon. Les Blues reached the knockouts after finishing top of Group C with seven points, while Argentina finished second in Group D with four points.

Lionel Messi helped keep Argentina in the competition with his opening goal in a 2-1 win over Nigeria, but the 31-year-old could struggle against a resilient France side. He could end up making headlines for the wrong reasons.

France are 11/8 to win against Jorge Sampaoli’s side in 90 minutes, Argentina are 5/2 to win against Didier Deschamps’ men before extra time. France and Argentina are 2/1 to draw in normal time.

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France are favourites to come out on top, having been more convincing in the group stages by maintaining an unbeaten run and failing to concede a goal in their last two games.

Argentina, however, have been rudderless and only progressed in their last group game after picking up one point from their first two matches. Sampaoli’s side haven’t kept a clean sheet in the tournament and have led for just 44 minutes out of a possible 270.

With Les Blues boasting an excellent defensive record and Argentina having scored just once in their first two group games, backing Total Goals Under 2.5 at 1/2 looks a smart bet.

It wouldn’t be surprising if all the action came in the second-half either, as three of France’s last four goals in all competitions have been after the restart – Argentina have shipping four of their five World Cup goals in the second half. France and Argentina to draw at half-time and Les Blues to win at full-time is 9/2.

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