Messi ready to face round 16 match with France


The opening match of the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup will kick off in spectacular fashion.  France is set to take on Lionel Messi and Argentina as the high-stakes single-elimination round of the tournament soon begins. After scraping through the Group Stage, Argentina will face a tough challenge from France’s young, balanced squad, who dominated their group to advance with little trouble.  Here’s all you need to know about when the match is on, where it will take place, how to watch, key players to watch and what the current match odds are.

Ogenyi Onazi (left) chases after Lionel Messi  
The match will be held at Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia.

For Argentina, the man to watch is once again Lionel Messi. The Barcelona star is heating up, scoring his first goal of the 2018 World Cup against Nigeria in his squad’s last match. If he can carry his hot streak against France, he’ll pose a serious threat against France’s defense.  On the French side, Kylian Mbappe is thought to be a key player to watch.

The 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward already has one goal to his name in the Group Stages and will look to utilize his speed and agility to cut through Argentine’s defense and lead the attack alongside other stars like Antoine Griezmann.  France are currently believed to have a clear edge in the upcoming match.

Both teams took dramatically different paths to reach the upcoming Knockout Stage of the tournament. France breezed through the Group Stage, defeating Australia and Peru while drawing against Denmark and surrendering just one goal along the way.  Argentina, meanwhile, appeared dead in the water after a shocking draw against Iceland and a crushing defeat from Croatia before finally rallying in their final match to beat Nigeria in a thriller and advance to the next round in dramatic fashion.

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