World Cup LIVE: France vs Argentina teams confirmed; Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba start | Football | Sport

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The World Cup knockout stages get underway as heavyweights France and Argentina go head-to-head at the Kazan Arena.

Argentina scraped through to the knockout stages following a dramatic victory over Nigeria in their last group match, finishing as runners-up to Croatia.

Les Bleus, meanwhile, came top of Group C after two wins and a draw.

Today could be the final time we see Lionel Messi on the World Cup stage, unless the maestro can mastermind a win against one of the pre-tournament favourites.

The winner of today’s bout will play either Uruguay or Portugal in the quarter-finals on Friday July 6 at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

FRANCE vs ARGENTINA

France XI: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez, Kante, Pogba; Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi, Giroud.

Argentina XI: Armani, Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Mascherano, Enzo Perez, Banega, Pavon, Messi, Di Maria.

THE LINE-UPS

13:45: Am I seeing that Argentina starting XI correctly? No Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala or Gonzalo Higuain…

France XI: Lloris, Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez, Kante, Pogba; Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi, Giroud.

Argentina XI: Armani, Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Mascherano, Enzo Perez, Banega, Pavon, Messi, Di Maria.

TWITTER ROUND-UP

Axel: A lot of people already assuming France has this one in the pocket, but remember this Argentina squad is based on the ones playing in Europe, several familiar faces there. 2-1 for Messi’s Team.

Rosh: After a day’s rest I’m in full energy and ready to watch Uruguay vs Portugal and France vs Argentina. It could be one of the best days of this World Cup. It’s a super Saturday!

Adam: France to edge this one I reckon, strength in depth and look the more confident team so far.

HAVE YOUR SAY

13:35: If you want to vent your frustrations, or discuss any issues in the world of football (within reason), then get in touch!

You can either comment at the bottom of the page or contact me via Twitter using the hashtag #ExpressSport.

WELCOME

13:30: Hello everyone, welcome to our LIVE coverage of the World Cup.

I hope you’re all doing well this afternoon. I’ve just taken three hours to complete a one hour journey. It’s safe to say that I’m not in the best of moods.

But hopefully a ridiculously exciting day of World Cup action will make amends.

We’ve navigated our way through a pretty epic group stage and now it’s business time as the last 16 gets underway.

There’s no malarky in the knockout stages, folks. I repeat, no malarky!

Anyway, France have never beaten Argentina at a World Cup or in any competitive game. Today might be a nice time to start…



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