Football

Argentina Rip Up Their Team Plans Yet Again Ahead Of France Showdown

Argentina Rip Up Their Team Plans Yet Again Ahead Of France Showdown

So what will it be? The dreary efficiency of the French, or the maddening hysteria of Argentina?

Ahead of a last-16 tie that could throw up anything, Argentina manager Jorde Sampaoli/Leo Messi/Javier Mascherano has once again torn up existing team plans. Having dropped Sergio Aguero for Gonzalo Higuain for the Nigeria game, Argentina have now taken Higuain out of the team. They haven't, however, restored Aguero: instead Cristian Pavon of Boca Juniors has been drafted into the lineup.

It is expected that Leo Messi will play as a false 9, in spite of the fact that we haven't really seen him in that position since Luis Suarez arrived at Barcelona and brought his game on even further.

Elsewhere, Mascherano has retained his place in midfield: Pavon is Argentina's only change.

Argentina team to face France

Here's their team in full:

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Armani; Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Mascherano, Perez, Banega; Di Maria, Pavon, Messi

France, meanwhile, have drafted Olivier Giroud into their line up:

 Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez; Kante, Pogba, Matuidi; Griezmann, Giroud, M'Bappe

If Argentina are going to squeak into the quarter-finals, you feel that the phrase Zidanes y Pavons will have to have a very different meaning for this generation of players.

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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