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Russia 2018: See the statistics as France and Argentina trade tackles today

France and Argentina will be doing battle in the first round of 16 fixture of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia. The match is…

France and Argentina will be doing battle in the first round of 16 fixture of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The match is expected to be action-packed and here are the opta facts between the two sides:

*    France and Argentina will be facing each other for the 12th time. The South Americans hold the upper hand with six wins to two (D3), keeping a clean sheet in eight of their previous 11 encounters with the French.
   
*    Argentina have won their two World Cup encounters with France, back in 1930 (1-0) and 1978 (2-1). On both occasions, they reached the final, losing it in 1930 and winning in 1978.

*    The last South American team to beat France at the World Cup were Argentina in 1978. Since then, France are unbeaten in eight World Cup fixtures against CONMEBOL opposition (W4 D4).

*    Argentina have gone past the first round for the 12th time in their last 13 World Cup appearances, the only exception coming in 2002. Their last four knockout games in the tournament have produced only three goals (2 goals for, 1 against).

*    Since the introduction of the round of 16 in 1986, France have always made it past that stage whenever they’ve reached it (1986, 1998, 2006, 2014).

*    Messi has never scored in the knockout stages of the World Cup: 666 minutes, 0 goals. He is the last Argentinean player to score against France, back in February 2009 in a friendly (2-0).

*    Lionel Messi is the third Argentinian player to have scored in three different World Cup tournaments, alongside Diego Maradona (1982, 1986, 1994) and Gabriel Batistuta (1994, 1998, 2002).

*    France’s Olivier Giroud has failed to score in his last 357 minutes at World Cup/Euro, his longest drought at major tournaments, with his last goal dating back to the Euro 2016 quarter-final against Iceland. He’s yet to register a shot on target at this year’s World Cup, having spent 200 minutes on the pitch.

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