France vs Argentina. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more
Heading into this Sunday, a line will be drawn at perhaps the most scandalous World Cup in the history of the tournament. The Mundial in Qatar is getting the final that the organizers were reportedly dreaming of after the group stage. South American champion versus world champion. The most outstanding player of the modern era (admirers of Cristiano Ronaldo are, of course, allowed to argue) against his heir — Kylian Mbappé. Moreover, they play for the same club that is owned by the Qataris.
Both France and Argentina have lost just one match each in the group stage and won all their other games. They are equally flamboyant in attack, with the Europeans having scored 13 goals in six games and the South Americans 12. And the teams have only scored fewer than two goals per game in games they have lost.
Which continent’s representative will lift the coveted trophy? We will find out soon enough. Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
France News & Current Form:
France come to Qatar as reigning world champions and have a great chance of defending their title after reaching the final.
Before the start of the tournament, France had lost N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku because of injuries. Lucas Hernandez dropped out in the first leg. And we can already say that Deschamps has managed to cope with these losses, thanks to the depth of his squad and the great talent of his players. But England, Brazil and Portugal had equally talented squads. However, all of them crashed out in the quarterfinals.
Where does the success of Deschamps lie? A number of analysts have pointed out that France’s squad resembles, in some ways, Real Madrid in their astonishing 2021/22 UEFA Champions League campaign. Not in its footballing style, but in its fundamental approach to the game. France knows how to distribute energy in a match, they know when to pass the initiative to their opponents, and vice versa, switch on and apply pressure.
For example, the quarter-final against England, a match worthy of the status of an early final. France gave the illusion that the opponents were сontrolling the narrative of the game, but Deschamps’ charges deliberately allowed England to dominate only in those areas of the pitch that did not threaten Lloris’ goal. Had it not been for a mistake by Theo Hernandez at the end of the match, England would never have had their chance to equalize.
The French play with calmness, and when a team knows what it is doing, it is the result of the coaching staff’s work. And the vast Mundial experience helps here too.
The Morocco national team acted more aggressively than England in the semi-final. The African team conducted vertical attacks, often through the central zone, and Deschamps’ team had problems in places. Youssouf Fofana could not fully replace Rabiot, but France did not commit any serious errors at home and did not concede a goal for the first time at the 2022 World Cup.
Playing on the absence of mistakes is one of Deschamps’ credo. This is what he says about the upcoming final:
“Against Morocco, we could have played better. But we have reached the final and both finalists will play the strongest opponent in the tournament. Maybe the team that makes fewer mistakes will win.”
The likes of Hernandez, Upamecano, Konate, Kounde and Tchouameni have made their way into the French main squad, but the core of the squad remains unchanged. Goalie of Tottenham Hotspur Hugo Lloris and Manchester United defender Raphael Varane are in top form, but France would not be France without Giroud, Griezmann and Mbappe.
If Argentina eventually manages to win the World Cup, it will be like an amazing fairytale with an incredibly emotional ending. However, a different outcome would also spell a fantastic story, although for a very different set of players. For Kylian Mbappe in particular. Only time will tell if the Frenchman can reach the levels of Messi and Ronaldo, and if he will be able to play at the highest level for many years to come. However, his claim to the status of the most legendary footballer in history looks very serious. At the moment, seeing this unbelievable trend, the Frenchman is already ahead of M10 and CR7 in terms of achievements. Mbappe already has one world title under his belt, and could win a second on Sunday – and that at the age of 23!
With his second title, Mbappe is likely to win the first Ballon d’Or of his career. After all, despite Hugo Lloris’ saves, Olivier Giroud’s effectiveness, and brilliant passes of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian is the leader of this French team. It was Mbappe who sealed the key group-stage game for Les Bleus against Denmark, before “burying” the hopes of Poland in the 1/8 final. Kylian remained scoreless in the semi-finals but played a key role in both successive attacks. Now, the Frenchman has five goals and two assists in Qatar.
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On the eve of the decisive match, Deschamps should not only be concerned about the fantastic form of Leo, but also about the illness of three key players in his own team: Adrien Rabiot, Dayot Upamecano and Kingsley Coman.
Argentina News & Current Form:
And so Argentina reached the final and few can say that the team did not deserve their slot in this match. Of course, the Champion of America title as well as a generally excellent selection of players gave reason to see La Selección as the face of the tournament. However, this is football, and straight away in the first match of the 2022 World Cup we saw a sensation as the modest Saudi Arabian national team unexpectedly stunned Scaloni’s boys (1-2).
However, it only turned out to benefit the South Americans and they instantly recovered from the shock, pulled themselves together, changed a few details and have since won every match of the Mundial, showing unflappable character and will to win.
There were many challenges, and they were all diverse, sharpening and hardening Argentine in various ways. For instance, they beat Australia 2-1, and snatched victory over the Netherlands only in a penalty shoot-out (the game ended 2-2 in regulation time).
As a result, we have a team in top form, with the players more cohesive than ever, as Scaloni and his band have perfected the game mechanisms through a number of tough situations. And so we saw the fruits of that progress and maturity in the World Cup semi-finals, as Scaloni’s men crushed Croatia (3-0) without too much trouble. They simply demolished a team that had previously been renowned for their sturdiest defense and spirit.
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Now the Albicelestes approach the finals with 100 percent confidence, with all the players in the squad ready to help their homeland make a mark on the map of football history.
All eyes, of course, are concentrated on the exceptional figure – Lionel Messi. It is not only because the generation’s idol has put in a remarkably fine and consistent performance at the tournament, displaying some of his best form in recent times – the striker has scored five goals in six games and notched three assists.
The thing is that everyone is well aware that for Messi, this game will probably be his last in the World Cup. And his teammates are very motivated by his leadership, helping and building their game around La Pulga.
“There are a lot of similarities between the campaigns of this Argentina team and the one of 1986. There is a similar story. In 1986, the team realized that if you build the game around the best player in the world – back then it was Maradona, and now it is Messi – then everything is possible. I think this is the main reason why the Argentine national team reached the final.”says ex-PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino.
“It’s not just the performances, which are what we expect. People think he is quiet, but sometimes what you perceive from the outside is wrong. He has a very strong character. He doesn’t talk too much, but he talks when he needs to. Maybe we see him talking more now because of the cameras and the technology. We are seeing the real Messi. He was always like this. People like to talk about myths and we all know there are a lot of those in football. Right now, Messi is performing at his best in every single area, and when you have that on your side, only good things can happen.”
Basically, it works like this – defend and get the ball back, deliver it to Leo and he’ll do his magic. In this tournament, it’s working perfectly and the Argentines believe in success with everyone doing their jobs in their roles at 110%. There’s a very good chance that this team, led by such a strong leader, is unstoppable right now. If anything, it will be very difficult to stop them, and France are probably the only worthy opponent capable of bringing La Selección down to earth at the moment.
France form guide: W-W-L-W-W-W
Argentina form guide: L-W-W-W-W-W
France vs Argentina Head-To-Head Record:
The last time Argentina and France met at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Les Bleus won 4-3 in a thrilling 1/8 final to pave the way for the forthcoming trophy. However, the statistics for this clash favour the Albicelestes. The Argentines have won two of their three head-to-head World Cup matches and six of their twelve in total.
- June 6, 1978: France 1-2 Argentina (FIFA World Cup);
- March 26,1986: France 2-0 Argentina (International Friendly);
- February 7, 2007: france 0-1 Argentina (International Friendly);
- February 11, 2009: France 0-2 Argentina (International Friendly);
- June 30, 2018: France 4-3 Argentina (FIFA World Cup).
France vs Argentina Predicted XI:
France’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud.
Argentina’s possible starting lineup (4-4-2): E. Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez.
Statistical preview of the match France vs Argentina:
The final could see a number of achievements, both for teams and individuals. In particular, France could become only the third team after Italy (1938) and Brazil (1962) to defend their World Cup title. The French also have a chance of coming close to the record of the Brazilians, who have won nine consecutive matches in the play-offs — the Three-Colours are now at seven wins. Also, Didier Deschamps could become the second coach in history to win two consecutive World Cups. Currently, this unique achievement belongs to Vittorio Pozzo, who triumphed in 1934 and 1938 with the Italian national team.
As for the players’ achievements, Hugo Lloris may become the first to win two successive Mundial as team captain. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi will evidently become the World Cup record holder in terms of the number of matches played. It is Leo who is in the spotlight ahead of the final, but mostly for a very different reason.
Even before the tournament began, Messi had suggested that the World Cup in Qatar would be the last of his career. Leo made a similar statement on the eve of the final.
“I am very happy to finish my journey in World Cups in a final, to play the last game in a final. That is really very gratifying”
In other words, the Lusail match is Messi’s last opportunity to win a trophy that is missed in his rich collection. The missing trophy to stand alongside the most outstanding players in football history – Pele and Diego Maradona.
What has been said before the match:
Didier Deschamps said about the upcoming match:
“I don’t have any particular worries or stress about the game. When you prepare for a game like this you need to keep your focus, remain composed, but, of course, in a World Cup final especially you have the match and the whole context behind that”.
“I know Argentina and many people around the world, and maybe some French people as well, would hope that Lionel Messi could win the World Cup, but we’re going to do everything to achieve our objective”.
“It is not up to me to decide who comes to watch the game, former players or injured players, I focus on my squad and the players at my disposal. We have lost three Christopher Nkunku, Karim Benzema and Lucas Hernandez and I lost them even though they were in the squad to begin with. So now I am focusing on my 24-man squad and they are the ones I will have at my disposal tomorrow”
French captain Hugo Lloris said:
“We came into this competition looking to go as far as possible. Lots of people didn’t believe in us but here we are back in the final again”.
Argentinian coach Lionel Scalloni said:
“It’s a match between Argentina and France, it goes beyond Messi and Mbappé. In both teams, we have a lot of weapons and other players can decide the outcome of the match, not only these two. Leo is fine and we will hope things turn out in our favor”.
“The game will be more of a collective effort and not individual effort. Mbappe is a great player, but France has many good players around him and that makes him an even better player”.
Lionel Messi said:
“Everything I experienced in this World Cup has been emotional, seeing how much it has been enjoyed in Argentina. There are a lot of years from this year to the next one. I don’t think I will be able to do that. To finish this way is brilliant. We are going to do our best, as we have done up until now, so that this time it really happens – we really win it”.
France vs Argentina Prediction:
On the eve of the final, there were many different opinions. Some believe that Lionel Messi has been predetermined “from above” to win the tournament. Conspiracy theorists believe that the Argentine’s administrative resources will help him fulfill his dream – and this seems to be almost the main reason for the player’s move to PSG.
Apart from all the non-football stuff, obviously, the teams’ chances of winning look roughly equal. However, France looks more preferable. The Argentines look more vulnerable defensively than Les Bleu=s and are too dependent on Messi. Deschamps’ band proved in the quarterfinals that they can get things done even without Mbappe, who has been thwarted by the English. That’s firstly.
Secondly, although there are immense expectations from both camps, the Albicelestes will feel more responsible for the result. 36 years without a trophy, Messi’s last chance: all this will put a lot of pressure on Lionel Scaloni’s team. The French will feel much more at ease in this respect. That said, the French defense is not exactly reliable too – especially with the possible loss of Varane. Therefore, considering that the chances are 50/50 the most credible option is to state that both teams will manage to score.
Parimatch News staff prediction:
We say: both teams to score – Yes.
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