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FIFA WC: France, Argentina eye quarter-final berth


ANI Kazan [Russia]
France and Argentina will look to book their place in the quarter-finals of the ongoing 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup when they face each other in the first clash of the last-16 round here at the Kazan Arena on Saturday.
The Lionel Messi-led side will look to leave behind their complex start in the tournament and put their best foot forward in the match.
Argentina, who played a dismal 1-1 draw against Iceland and suffered a crushing 0-3 defeat at the hands of Croatia in their second encounter of the tournament, were saved by their 2-1 win over Nigeria which also helped them to qualify for the last-16 round.
France, on the other hand, have had a relatively smooth journey in the World Cup so far.
The two-time champions clinched victories in their opening two encounters against Australia and Peru while settling with a draw against Denmark in their third and final group match.
Finishing on top of the Group C, France have conceded just one goal in the tournament so far and that too in the form of a penalty.
Talking about the head-to-head record, the Argentina team hold a better record against the Frenchmen. In the last eleven encounters, Argentina have defeated the French team six times with three matches being drawn.
In the World Cup clashes as well, Argentina have an upper hand over France. They have beaten France in their two World Cup encounters.
Meanwhile, 14th-ranked Uruguay will lock horns with fourth-ranked Portugal in the second clash of the day.
The Cristiano Ronaldo-led side, who failed to make it through the knockout stage last time, would be looking to not to repeat the same this time around.
On a related note, the full Argentina and France squads are as follow:
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero, Wilfredo Caballero, Franco Armani
Defenders: Gabriel Mercado , Cristian Ansaldi , Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Marcos Rojo , Nicolas Tagliafico , Marcos Acuna
Midfielders: Javier Mascherano , Eduardo Salvio, Lucas Biglia , Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega, Manuel Lanzini , Maximiliano Meza, Angel di Maria , Cristian Pavon
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala , Gonzalo Higuain , Sergio Aguero
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Alphonse Areola
Defenders: Djibril Sidibe, Benjamin Pavard, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane, Presnel Kimpembe, Adil Rami, Benjamin Mendy, Lucas Hernandez
Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Corentin Tolisso, Blaise Matuidi, Ngolo Kante, Steven Nzonzi
Forwards: Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Florian Thauvin, Nabil Fekir, Thomas Lemar.

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First Published: Jun 30 2018 | 1:25 PM IST

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