Sampaoli: No decision on Argentina's starting XI for France clash

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Lionel Messi and co. failed to reach the peak of their powers in the group stage, but after Marcos Rojo's late volley secured second in Group D, a mouth-watering encounter with France now awaits.

"He is different with Argentina than with Barcelona".

The opening match of the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup will kick off in spectacular fashion.

"Lionel Messi is Lionel Messi", said the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship-winning former captain.

Two of France's games during the current World Cup have seen under 2.5 goals scored.

"I was simply communicating this, saying that we were going to use one of the strategies we had rehearsed to use more attacking players". "He knows all the passion I put into everything I do", Sampaoli said.

Argentina could stick with the same team that defeated Nigeria on Tuesday night.

"Now, I see him a lot more comfortable now". The Barcelona star is heating up, scoring his first goal of the 2018 World Cup against Nigeria in his squad's last match.

Javier Mascherano asks Argentina fans to band together vs
The players can listen to the manager - and they should also be able to express themselves about what they do not like from him. Argentina has only one point from two matches after drawing 1-1 with Iceland and recording an embarrassing 0-3 loss to Croatia.

Argentina lead 6-3 against France in global tournaments including the World Cup and friendlies. He is the last Argentinean player to score against France, back in February 2009 in a friendly (2-0).

This World Cup notwithstanding, France has lost just once in its last 15 matches. He's yet to register a shot on target at this year's World Cup, having spent 200 minutes on the pitch.

"Messi is Messi, look at his stats, 65 goals in 127 matches (for Argentina), we would like to mark and neutralize him", France coach Deschamps told reporters Friday, ahead of the clash in Kazan.

Although the goalkeeper was reluctant to compare France's promising young striker Kylian Mbappe with the Argentine number 10, he believes the Paris Saint-Germain man can be decisive at the other end.

France's team, whose average age is 25, will be looking to awake from their recent slumber and Sampaoli, whose side's average age is 30, underlined the danger of allowing the France to dictate play.

"We have two completely different styles but I have faith we will impose our own style and dictate the pace and rhythm of the game".

Mbappe, 19, scored France's victor as they beat Peru 1-0 on June 21 in Yekaterinburg.