Argentina vs France – FIFA World Cup Final Preview

Argentina vs France – FIFA World Cup Final Preview

After 62 games and nearly a month of unstoppable action, we have our two finalists at the FIFA World Cup as France take on Argentina in the tournament’s showpiece event in Qatar on Sunday. The two nations have been head and shoulders above the rest of the competition in Qatar this winter and will battle it out for the ultimate prize in football at the Lusail Stadium.

Road to the Final

Argentina are the first nation since Spain in 2010 to reach the final of a World Cup after losing their first game. The South Americans suffered a shock upset in their opening game in Qatar, losing to Saudi Arabia after Herve Renard’s side produced a stunning second-half turnaround to steal the three points.

The Copa America champions were on the brink of elimination after that early loss but bounced back admirably with victories over Mexico and Poland to top their group. In the knockout stages, Argentina suffered some nervy moments against Australia and the Netherlands in the round of 16 and quarter-finals but powered past Croatia with a 3-0 victory in the semis to reach their first World Cup final since 2014.

France, meanwhile, came out flying from the gates with victories over Australia and Denmark to start the tournament before suffering a surprise loss to Tunisia in their final group game. Goals from Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe powered the defending champions past Poland in the last 16 before Les Bleus edged past continental rivals England in a cagey affair in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals, France produced a clinical performance to outmatch a spirited Moroccan side, sending Didier Deschamps’ side to their second consecutive World Cup final.

Player to watch out for

Lionel Messi

All eyes will be on Lionel Messi in the final on Sunday as the Argentine magician looks to seal his last chance of securing footballing immortality and win the World Cup. The 35-year-old has been outstanding over the last four weeks for his country, scoring five goals and supplying three assists, dragging his team into the final on the back of some superlative performances in the knockout stages.

Messi has been nigh-on impossible to stop at this World Cup for Argentina, and how France deal with the threat of the PSG forward will play a major role in deciding which side will come out on top on Sunday.

Team News

France will be boosted by the return of Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot to the starting XI after both players missed the semi-finals due to illness. Argentina, meanwhile, also welcome the return of left-back Marco Acuna following his suspension from the semi-final due to accumulation of yellow cards.

Possible XI’s

Argentina: Emiliano Martinez, Nanuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna, Enzo Fernandez, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo de Paul, Alexis Mac Allister, Lionel Messi, Julian Alvarez

France: Hugo Lloris, Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamecano, Raphael Varane, Theo Hernandez, Adrien Rabiot, Aurelien Tchouameni, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud

Writer’s Predictions

Argentina 2-1 France