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Preview: Argentina VS France - Predictions, Team News, Lineups

Preview: Argentina VS France - Predictions, Team News, Lineups

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Preview: Argentina VS France - Predictions, Team News, Lineups

Preview: Argentina VS France - Predictions, Team News, Lineups

From Dreamsforce.com

The main activity of the glittering FIFA World Cup 2022 program begins on Sunday afternoon at the iconic Lucille Stadium, where Argentina and reigning champions France battle it out for international supremacy in a thrilling final.

Les Bleus will take to the Lucille turf as the first holders in 24 years to take part in the finals as they booked their ticket to the semi-finals with a 2-0 win over African trailblazers in Morocco.

Meanwhile, Lionel Scaloni's men denied Croatia a second successive appearance at the showpiece event with a 3-0 victory in the final four, and the pre-match build-up unsurprisingly centered on one man.

A video of Lionel Messi has been making the rounds on social media this week. None of his sublime strikes or respectable assists, but the journalist waxes lyrical about the 35-year-old's enduring qualities, reminding him how much he inspires all the boys and girls back home.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has ticked almost every box on his football checklist, except the big one, and the writers are already busy with the proposal for Messi to lift the iconic trophy aloft. What about his World Cup farewell match?

As eloquent as the Paris Saint-Germain forward was during the Qatar tournament, one man alone cannot carry his nation to the world's biggest sporting event. Nicolas Otamendi has years behind him in defense, Enzo Fernandez could be the next nine-figure footballer and Julian Alvarez has taken a few pages out of his strike partner's book.

Pennies for Argentina's thinking when Salem Al-Dawsari beat Saudi Arabia's stunner Emiliano Martinez or when Wout Weghorst almost made the Netherlands impossible in the quarter-finals, but the Copa America winners were determined to avoid joining fellow Spanish reverends. and Belgium and Germany are well stocked with monster kill lists.

Having already knocked out one of the pre-tournament favorites Brazil, the Croatian side was expected to push on in the semi-finals, but La Albiceleste made it easy for the 2018 runners-up thanks in no small part to their brilliance. strike partnership.

The deciding dispute reared its ugly head when Dominik Livakovic was adjudged to have fouled Alvarez - Messi made the best of it from 12 yards - and the Manchester City man doubled his side's advantage by running over the Croatian line to get lucky. Ricochet vapors

Messi then set up an exclusive club of players to make Josco Guardiola look foolish at this World Cup, twisting and turning the 20-year-old breakthrough star before picking out Alvarez to secure the tie beyond any measurable doubt and a sixth World Cup. Now the final for the 1978 and 1986 champions.

But all three spectaculars have ended in tears of disappointment for Argentina - including 2014 - and they can now match Germany's unbeaten record of losing a combined maximum of four World Cup finals but conceding two goals in each game since the start. the day of the match. Certainly a reassuring statistic.

Only Spain managed to win World Cup glory in 2010 after losing their opening match of the tournament, but Scaloni's side did not face an average of more than six shots per game in Qatar and will need to use that defensive prowess. Messi's clubmate Kylian Mbappe is enjoying a day on the pitch.

Almost everything that could go wrong for France did before they boarded the flight to the Middle East. With numerous injuries to key players, eternal disputes off the pitch, and the almost unthinkable relegation from the Nations League, they almost managed to avoid it.

Few would have tipped France as a contender to go all the way to Qatar, but those who got Les Bleus in the lottery are feeling a little tight-lipped at the moment as the defending champions proved exactly why the trophy is still burning. their cabinet.

No Paul Pogba? No n'golo Kante? Will Karim Benzema not win the Ballon d'Or? No problem for Didier Deschamps. The World Cup-winning player and manager - one of only three with such a title on his CV - was even asked about bringing Benzema back for the finals after recovering from a thigh injury, but he sighed wearily and denied it. The question was answered by a man who only has eyes for his current heroes.

Having prevented football from coming to England, France faced a real test of their mettle against the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup and must have had quite a few scares as they roared past the Moroccan side. With their constant vocal support.

Hugo Lloris' gloves and Ibrahima Konata's heroic save were needed by Les Bleus, who came up against a side yet to concede in the tournament, but Theo Hernandez changed everything with his acrobatic opener in the fifth minute.

Substitute Randal Kolo Muani then needed just 44 seconds to double his side's lead and end Morocco's fairytale run for another four years, becoming the first reigning champions to reach the final since the 1998 Brazilian side they happened to be watching. This is outside of the exhibition event.

Ultimately keeping their first clean sheet of the tournament is exactly what Deschamps' men commanded as they contest a fourth World Cup final and now look to follow in the footsteps of Italy and Brazil to become just the third nation to win. Back-to-back World Cups.

The 1998 and 2018 winners have not suffered defeat by the South American nation in the world's major competition since the group stage in 1978, although that was against Argentina and will be at the heart of the action in Lusail for the next 90 or 120 minutes before kicking off the football. An investigation has begun.

Fans will look back at the Qatar tournament for its consistent ability to produce shock after shock with wins over neutrals like Morocco and Japan. But pressing matters surrounding the deaths of migrant workers, the treatment of the LGBT community, and other human rights issues mean a thick dark cloud will forever overshadow a competition that even Sepp Blatter admits should not have come to the Gulf state in the first place.

Argentina World Cup form:


France World Cup form:


Team news:

The two Argentines were forced to watch the semi-final from the knockout stage after picking up their second cards of the tournament against the Netherlands, but Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel are back at Scaloni's disposal.

Montiel is fighting a losing battle for Nahuel Molina on the right, but Acuna can be confident of replacing Nicolas Tagliafico in a likely four-man back line as Lisandro Martinez is again limited to substitute minutes - much to his dismay. Manchester United fans.

La Albiceleste are expected to face a single injury doubt in the form of Alejandro Gomez, who has not yet sprained his ankle and can only make the bench at best, and hearts were in their mouths as Messi was pictured rolling his hamstring once . In the semi-finals.

There is no indication that the experienced striker could not take his place in the starting line-up, where he should be the absolute record holder in participation in the World Cup with 26, and, thanks to the adjustment of the formation, he could join another. Twilight of his international career at Angel Di Maria.

Hot-headed Leandro Paredes will be the unlucky name if Di Maria proves his fitness in time as Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez aim to improve their performance once more as impact substitutes.

In the France camp, constant Qatari air conditioning claimed further casualties in Deut Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot, while Kingsley Coman felt under the weather ahead of the semi-final and now Raphael Varane is said to have joined the infirmary. and Ibrahim Konate.

Rabiot and Upamecano are feeling good and should fight for places in the starting eleven. The former can expect a direct return for Youssef Fofana in the middle, but Deschamps is more troubled at the back.

Konate deservedly earned a lot of plaudits for his performance against Morocco but is said to be feeling worse than Varane, so Deschamps is still expected to bring the submachine back into his Test formula, while Coman - who missed training on Thursday - was never going to be anyway. He's probably pushing for a starting role.

Left-back Theo Hernandez picked up a series of knee injuries against Morocco but is not expected to threaten his place in the starting line-up for the finals, while Kylian Mbappe will continue his battle with fellow five-goal scorer Messi for the Golden Boot. Boots.

The 23-year-old will become the youngest player to appear in multiple World Cup finals if his attacking efforts prove successful, and he will be supported by tournament-leading playmaker Antoine Griezmann. So far 21 chances of his teammates.

Argentina's probable starting line-up:

E. Martinez; Molina, C. Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; R. De Paul, Fernandez, McAllister; Di Maria, L. Messi, J. Alvarez

France's probable starting line-up:

H.Loris; Kounde, R. Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; O. Dembele, A. Griezmann, K. Mbappe; O. Giroud

from eyes to eyes:

Sunday's final will mark the 13th meeting between Argentina and France in all competitions, with the South American champions having won six so far compared to just three for their European counterparts, with the other three ending in a draw.

However, the last showdown between the two sides in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup ended in a thrilling 4-3 victory for the Blues, with Benjamin Pavard's thunderbolt still etched in the memory of France fans.

The first two World Cup meetings between the two sides took place at La Albiceleste in 1930 and 1978, and there were only three occasions when both Argentina and France scored in this clash of titans.

We say:

Argentina 2-1 France or Argentina 1-0 France

Mbappe vs Messi. Fernandez v. Choumeni. Griezmann vs McAllister. Countless individual battles will decide the fate of the World Cup in the final, where goals are almost guaranteed.

Deschamps' ailing men have rarely been able to find the perfect defensive pattern in Qatar and could very well be on the wrong end of a scoreline against Morocco, but they should be prone to quick counter-attacks. Regardless of before.

However, an Argentina side that failed to score on several occasions against Saudi Arabia could expose the weaknesses of Les Bleus' rearguard and target their defensive prowess in equal measure. A fairytale ending is never a guarantee in football, but viewers around the world can finally hope to witness Messi with both hands on the 18-carat gold trophy.

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