Messi to face Griezmann, Pogba & Mbappe in World Cup last 16 clash

Messi to face Griezmann, Pogba & Mbappe in World Cup last 16 clash

"We've studied their group games, which gives us an indication, but we know players like Messi can step up his own level and decide the fate of the match, as he does with Argentina and Barcelona. We have to do everything possible to make sure it goes well for us".

"Ronaldo and Messi are two vast players, with a totally different style, but their influence on their teams is quite similar", Deschamps said. "With the talent he has, the smallest thing can create a spark, his unpredictability sets him apart".

"When you play Argentina and Messi, there are several solutions to limit his impact". As a team, Argentina will have to do much better against France, who have, on paper at least, one of the most talented squads at this World Cup. After scraping through the Group Stage, Argentina will face a tough challenge from France's young, balanced squad, who dominated their group to advance with little trouble.

He said: "The Argentinians are a very experienced side".

"This is the first time (the fair play rule) has been used in a senior World Cup in this way".




As well as putting the brakes on Messi, key to France's last-eight bid will be Atletico Madrid striker Griezmann.

Griezmann, particularly, is facing increasing scrutiny two years after his six-goal, seven-assist tally steered France to the final of Euro 2016, where France lost to Portugal. If Argentina show up, and can get anything near the best out of Messi then they have a good chance, of course, but the balance of probabilities suggests France by a hair.

France have one injury doubt in Samuel Umtiti, but we should expect to see a vastly changed team from the second string lineup that started against Denmark, with Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe expected to return to action.

Messi of course is the main dangerman, and today could well come down to how well France are able to muzzle him. "He has great qualities, but he needs opportunities and I think he'll have more than he did in the first three matches".

Debate was still raging on over Japan´s approach to their final group game against Poland after the Asian side sneaked into the last 16 on the back of their superior disciplinary record.

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