Argentina ended up qualifying for the knockout round of the World Cup in one of the most dramatic ways possible. The Argentines were certainly not at their best in the Group Stage. They drew Iceland in their first match and lost by two goals to Croatia in their second match, putting their World Cup hopes on life support. However, they were given a lifeline when Nigeria beat Iceland, and eventually they took advantage. At that point, they only needed a win to finish in second place in Group D and did just that. Now that there is nothing to lose, they will look to pull off the upset when they face France with a spot in the Quarterfinals on the line.
The most anticipated sporting event in the world comes around once every four years, so don’t miss any of the 2018 World Cup. This match will take place at Kazan Arena in Kazan at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 30, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on FOX.
World Cup Group Stage Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
France has had no such problems at the World Cup. The French were able to take care of business in their matches against Australia and Peru, winning them by scorelines of 2-1 and 1-0, and only needed a draw in their final match to lock up their spot at the top of Group C.
In that match, they got exactly what they wanted in a mundane 0-0 tie with Denmark. France did not play starters like Paul Pogba, Samuel Umtiti, or Hugo Lloris, instead giving them a rest before the elimination rounds. Even without those players, they will still able to dominate possession, controlling the ball for 68 percent of the match, and they only allowed Denmark to put two shots on net.
The hero of the day for Argentina in their 2-1 win over Nigeria was Marcos Rojo. Rojo doesn’t score many goals as a center back, but he was able to drift into the box and smash home a cross in the 86th minute to send Argentina through to the Round of 16. The goal was particularly insane, as Rojo is notorious for only using his left foot, yet he brought Argentina to ecstasy with his right foot.
There has been plenty of speculation surrounding Argentina head coach Jorge Sampaoli. After the loss to Croatia, Sampaoli quickly left the field without farewells for other players or coaches, and rumor has it that there was a mutiny in the locker room afterwards. He has tried to quell such talk, but the rumor has been persistent and has a ring of truth to it.
Before the start of the game with Nigeria, multiple reports emerged that the players voted to start Ever Banega over the objection of Sampaoli. Banega was solid in his start, and Lionel Messi looked stronger with him to play off of. After the match, it was revealed that Sampaoli may have asked Messi before subbing on Sergio Aguero, further calling into question how much power Sampaoli still has. At this point, he looks to be nothing more than a figurehead.
Matchup to Watch
Paul Pogba has had a great World Cup. Pogba has been France’s best player thus far, constantly testing the opposition whenever he is in space. He has been able to carry the ball around defenders in search of the right opportunity, and then set up a teammate for a good opportunity with a nicely weighted pass. He has been the catalyst of the French attack.
Argentina will have a tough time stopping him. The midfielders have really struggled at this World Cup, and they have not been able to win the ball with regularity. That is not the formula needed to stop Pogba.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
It’s going to be a square play, but sometimes squares win. France has looked much stronger to this point, and they are going to get the win in this one. Messi will make some magic happen, but Argentina’s back line won’t be able to keep France at bay.
World Cup Round of 16 Odds: France 2, Argentina 1
BookMaker offers play-by-play betting odds for live sporting events every day! The user-friendly wagering interface on your smartphone provides an easy way to place bets on the go. Mobile betting lines are updated by the minute, so click here to start gambling on thrilling live action at BookMaker Sportsbook!