Messi - Argentina

World Cup 2018 | France v Argentina Tips | 30th June 2018

THE Last 16 of the 2018 World Cup gets underway on Saturday afternoon as France face Argentina in Kazan. Ben Levene shares his thoughts on the best betting angle.

France v Argentina | Saturday 30th June 2018, 15:00 | BBC

 

France and Argentina open up the Last 16 in what could prove the tie of the round. Should either side progress, things won’t get any easier. Uruguay, Portugal, Brazil and Belgium are all located in the same half of the draw.

France topped Group C without needing get out of first-gear. Single-goal wins against Australia and Peru awarded Didier Deschamps the luxury of making changes against Denmark last up.

Argentina, on the other hand, left things late. Their group stage experience was quite the rollercoaster. They were sent through via late Marcos Rojo winner against Nigeria, following a rumoured players revolt that saw Jorge Sampaoli on the touchline without any influence. It’s very possible that the Argentina camp are now galvanised, and with Lionel Messi in their ranks, they will always be a danger.

Expect a slow start

Knockout ties have historically proved tense affairs. Since 1998, 75% of knockout games have been drawn or settled by just the single goal.

The weather during the day in Kazan is expected to be scorching, and that could affect the intensity of the game. The only other game held at this time in Kazan so far this tournament saw South Korea beat Germany 2-0 through two stoppage time goals. It’s very possible that the weather leads this game to a slow start, especially with the stakes as high as they are.

France have looked better defensively than they have going forwards. The only goal they’ve conceded came via the spot. Meanwhile, Argentina proved better organised against Nigeria after a shift in system.

We can back Under 2 Asian Goals at 10/11. This sees our stake void if exactly two goals are scored, while a winner is paid if the net is found fewer times.

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France v Argentina – Under 2 Asian Goals (10/11)