Argentina vs France Preview

 

Argentina vs France Preview

Argentina vs France, Lionel Messi vs Kylian Mbappe… the thrilling heavyweight finish that this sensational 2022 World Cup has deserved.

Officially by the FIFA rankings, this is No. 3 vs No. 4, but on the whole, the two most deserving teams reached the end of the road.

Despite a host of injuries before the tournament started, France have been sensational, overwhelming teams with a pace and precision on the counter-attack run by Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann. Add in the great form of No. 9 Olivier Giroud, and they’re a formidable opponent.

Yet Messi and Argentina will be licking their chops after watching the long stretches of pressure Les Bleus faced in their semifinal against Morocco. The Albiceleste are built well to possess the ball against the France setup and deal with the pace on the counter.

Argentina vs France team news

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni officially has a fully healthy squad, which is a rarity at this stage of the competition after a grueling, month-long journey in Qatar. The only slight questions are the fitness of Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala, as the former was an unused substitute against Croatia in the semifinal, while the latter saw just 16 minutes off the bench, his first appearance of the tournament. It’s been no matter, as Julian Alvarez has been outstanding in support of star Lionel Messi.

France have weathered their early injury crisis with aplomb. Les Bleus are without Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema, Presnel Kimpembe, Christopher Nkunuku, and Mike Maignan, who all missed the tournament with pre-World Cup injuries. They then lost Lucas Hernandez to a torn ACL in the opening match. Yet, they’ve made use of their world-class depth, as Lucas Hernandez has stepped in for his brother admirably and Olivier Giroud has been fantastic up front in Benzema’s absence.

Argentina vs France key stats

Argentina and France have played three times previously at the FIFA World Cup. Argentina won the first two meetings in 1930 and 1978, while France knocked Argentina out of the 2018 World Cup in the Round of 16.

If Kylian Mbappe continues at his current pace for the French national team, by age 30 he will have amassed 153 international caps and 79 goals. At that rate, he would catch Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 118 international goals in his 229th cap at age 36.

Should Argentina win the final, Lionel Messi would become the fourth-oldest player to win a FIFA World Cup in which he played, behind Miroslav Klose, Nilton Santos and 40-year-old Italian record-holder Dino Zoff

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