France and Argentina meet in the first match of the round of 16 of the World Cup 2018 at the Kazan Arena today. France progressed as the champions of Group C as Didier Deschamp’s side managed to ensure 7 points out of possible 9 points in the group stage. However, Lionel Messi’s Argentina struggled as they were on the verge of elimination but a 86th minute winner from Marcos Rojo against Nigeria in Albiceleste’s last group stage match saw Argentina through to the second round of the World Cup. The match is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm in Bangladesh time. Here we look at some statistics ahead of the thrilling encounter.
1) This will be the first time these sides have met in the knockout stage of a World Cup.
2) France and Argentina will be facing each other for the 12th time. The South Americans hold the upper hand with six wins to two, keeping a clean sheet in eight of their previous 11 encounters.
3) They have only played twice in the last 32 years, in friendlies in 2007 and 2009, which were won by Argentina (1-0 and 2-0 respectively).
4) The fixture is the first between two previous world champions at this World Cup.
1) The French haven't lost in their last eight World Cup matches against South American opposition at the World Cup, since a 2-1 defeat to Argentina in 1978.
2) Didier Deschamps will take charge of his 80th game as France head coach, overtaking Raymond Domenech's record.
3) Excluding penalty shoot-outs, France have lost only one of their last 11 games in the knockout stage of the World Cup (W8, D2), which was a 1-0 defeat to eventual winners Germany in 2014.
4) Since the introduction of the round of 16 in 1986, Les Bleus have always made it past that stage whenever they've reached it (1986, 1998, 2006 and 2014).
5) France only conceded five shots on target in their three group games. The only goal they let in was a penalty from Australia's Mile Jedinak. It is the first time they have not conceded a goal from open play at a World Cup group stage since 1998, a tournament they went on to win.
1) Argentina have gone past the first round for the 12th time in their last 13 World Cup appearances, with the only exception coming in 2002.
2) Their last four knockout games in the tournament have produced only three goals (two goals for, one against).
3) They have won each of their last 27 World Cup matches in which they were leading at half-time, since a 4-2 defeat in the 1930 World Cup final against Uruguay.
4) Argentina have been involved in five World Cup penalty shoot-outs, more than any other nation - winning a joint record four. France have been involved in four, winning twice.
5) They have reached the quarter-final stage in four of their last five World Cups, only failing in 2002 when they didn't get out of their group.
6) Three of Argentina's four knock-out games at the 2014 World Cup went to extra time.