MX23RW : Monday, January 21 20:41:52
Jun 30, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Kazan Arena
Attendance: 42,873
France
4-3
Argentina
Griezmann (13' pen.), Pavard (57'), Mbappe (64', 68')
FT(HT: 1-1)
di Maria (41'), Mercado (48'), Aguero (90')

Didier Deschamps hopes to "neutralise" Lionel Messi

Deschamps hopes to
© Reuters
Didier Deschamps intends to strangle Lionel Messi's influence on Saturday's World Cup clash between France and Argentina, but admits that it will not be easy to do so.

France manager Didier Deschamps has said that he hopes to see his players "neutralise" Lionel Messi in Saturday's World Cup last-16 tie against Argentina.

The Barcelona superstar showed his quality once again on Tuesday evening as La Albiceleste scraped their way into the knockout rounds with a 2-1 win over Nigeria.

Messi scored an impressive opener for Argentina at the Krestovsky Stadium, controlling Ever Banega's lofted pass and tucking home to take his international goals tally to 65.

Speaking to reporters ahead of this weekend's opening last-16 match, Deschamps confessed that stopping the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will be no easy task.

"Messi is Messi," he said. "Look at his stats - 65 goals in 127 matches, it's that straightforward. Hopefully, we'd like to mark and neutralise him, but he can make the difference with very little.

"When you play Argentina and Messi, there are several ways to limit his impact, at least. But their team is highly experienced, we talk about Messi, but [Javier] Mascherano has lots of caps, so is used to the pressure.

"We have a lot of inexperienced players, it's not an excuse, it's reality. We'll do our utmost for things to go well tomorrow."

France and Argentina will be facing each other for the 12th time, but they have never previously met in a World Cup knockout tie.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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