FIFA World Cup 2018 is getting even hotter as we enter the crucial knockout stages. For the first time in 36 years, Africa will not be represented in the last 16 after the last team Senegal was the last to be eliminated by Colombia on Thursday. Argentina and France will open the fourth round this Saturday and then Portugal will entertain Uruguay later in the same day. The competition will now become stiffer because there is no second chance like we saw in the group stages. It is the reason why we want you to be cocksure when and where to invest your hard-earned cash. Who will come out on top? Take a look at the following tips and predictions; we hope this information helps you make an informed decision courtesy of Betin Uganda.
Round of 16 Game 1 – CAT: 1600, EAT 1700
France Vs. Argentina
Saturday 30th June:
3pm – 🇫🇷 France vs Argentina 🇦🇷
7pm – 🇺🇾 Uruguay vs Portugal 🇵🇹
What a day of football! pic.twitter.com/lPkAGx8Phj
— The Futbol Page (@TheFutbolPage) June 27, 2018
Argentina World Cup campaign was about to end prematurely but Marcos Rojo late goal against Nigeria saved them from early elimination. France has not been convincing so far in the tournament but they got the job done with a 0-0 draw against Denmark in their final Group game. Didier Deschamps knows Lionel Messi will be difficult to stop but the game plan must be more detailed.
The South Americans weakness lies in midfield going behind. The forward players can destroy Le Bleus if allowed to enjoy some freedom. Jorge Sampaoli was criticized for leaving Benega and Di Maria out in the 3-0 defeat to Croatia. He started both against the Super Eagles. The European side is no doubt strong in both midfield and attack. Samuel Umtiti has not been convincing at the back so far.
This game is likely to be won or lost in midfield. Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kante can decide this match if utilized well. The French boss needs to come up with a strategy similar to what Croatia adopted to deny Messi and his dangerous partners upfront the ball.
However, history favors the South Americans. They have faced each other four times in their history. This consists of two friendly matches in 2007 and 2009 and two competitive ties in 1930 and 1978 World Cup finals. Argentina won all four matches. This means this match can go either way. However, the decisions made by the two coaches will be very important. Deschamps might just be too smart for Sampaoli on this one.