For our first tactical analysis, we take a look at France versus Argentina, the third match of FIFA World Cup Round of 16. The greatest player of all time Lionel Messi will play against Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann, this should be exciting.
The defense will be provided by Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernandez, and Samuel Umtiti, lining up in front of the keeper Hugo Lloris.
France will likely use the 4-3-3 formation with fallbacks push up high to provide width and overlap to forwards flanking strikers Olivier Giroud or Antoine Griezmann. They will press in midfield Ngolo Kante flanked by Paul Pogba, the other side is Blaise Matuidi.
They will fall to a 4-1-4-1 formation against Argentina. Kylian Mbappe could cross or cut or shoot. They have good forwards and midfield and their press and transition counter are fatal.
Benjamin Pavard will push high and flank the attacking striker. Kante will line up with Pogba. France will play two wingers including Mbappe. Griezmann and Giroud provide aerial ability and are clear striking options.
Argentina will likely use the unusual 3-3-3-1 formation with Cristian Ansaldi, Federico Fazio and Marcos Acuna defending their keeper.
Argentina has a complex style and plays quick possession style to get the field wide, stretching the pitch and get their star men into space. Lucas Biglia, Ever Banega, and Cristian Pavon right will man their right midfield with Angel di Maria and Giovani Lo Celso on the left wing.
Lionel Messi will play behind forward Sergio Aguero or play on the right with Paulo Dybala behind Aguero
The battle will be on the midfield with Argentina’s quick possession style. If they could somehow stretch the pitch they could counter France’s press, but this could prove tricky because France always plays with their midfielders flanking their attackers. France should control the midfield more effectively with their formation and it will be up with Griezmann and Giroud to score the goal.
The danger here is if Argentina could somehow get Messi into space, the four defenders of France will stand no chance to counter his goal.