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LAST 16

talkSPORT looks ahead to the first last 16 clash of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday afternoon

What a mouthwatering game this will be. France and Argentina lock horns for a place in the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

The French have had a relatively easy tournament so far while the two-time winners just managed to scrape through their group but this is a real clash of the titans.

Argentina were five minutes away from a humiliating exit but Marcos Rojo’s volley bailed them out

It”s Messi v Griezmann, Mbappe v Higuain, Pogba v Banega. This could be one of the all-time World Cup classics.

And you can listen to the game live on talkSPORT from 3pm on Saturday.

What the managers are saying

Didier Deschamps (France): “I’m not looking for excuses.

“On the contrary. But as you know, we have 14 players who’ve never competed at a World Cup. Five played for the first time against Australia, another five against Denmark, so whatever their individual abilities I think this should allow some indulgence.”

Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina): “Lionel Messi needs the support from his team-mates, only then will he be able able to play at his best.

“People have said he doesn’t enjoy playing for Argentina. That’s not true.”

Sampaoli speaks to the world’s media ahead of Argentina’s game against France

Sampaoli speaks to the world’s media ahead of Argentina’s game against France

What the players are saying

Antoine Griezmann (France): “I hope to raise my level again in the last 16.

“It was the same at Euro 2016. It wasn’t until the last 16 that I hit my stride. So we’ll see. I have confidence in my game.”

Griezmann has only scored one goal at these World Cup finals so far

Griezmann has only scored one goal at these World Cup finals so far

Ever Banega (Argentina) – On the importance of Messi – “It is always a pleasure to play next to Leo. We all know what a player he is.”

How can I listen?

Click here to listen to our live commentary of the action as it happens on talkSPORT

Team news

France will be without Benjamin Mendy because of a muscle injury.

Lucas Hernandez should be available and Deschamps is expected to recall the players he rested against Denmark. Nabil Fekir could start for Les Bleus, however.

France made a series of changes for their final Group C game against Denmark

France made a series of changes for their final Group C game against Denmark

Argentina have no new injury concerns and it could be the first time they name an unchanged side under Sampaoli in what will be his 15th game in charge.

Predicted teams

France: Lloris, Sidibe, Umtiti, Varane, Hernandez, Pogba, Kante, Mbappe, Griezmann, Matuidi, Giroud

Argentina: Armani, Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Perez, Mascherano, Banega, Di Maria, Messi, Higuain


talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.


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