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"When you play Argentina and Messi, there are several ways to limit his impact, at least".

If Argentina are to win, they are to do it the hard way.

Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Nigeria and Argentina at Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 26, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

When and what time is the round of 16 match between Argentina and France? Sumpter is an applied mathematician who wrote "Soccermatics", a book that explains how math works inside the sport.

The Soccerbot reads current odds and all team performance data, calculates key metrics and predicts upcoming matches. Anyone who has followed it is way up. "France are a very good team with very good individual players". The model has released a very strong money-line pick, which it's sharing only over at SportsLine.

But Les Bleus insist they will be ready just on time for Saturday's game after a tailor-made physical preparation, with talismanic striker Antoine Griezmann expected to finally shine.In 2006, France huffed and puffed into the knockout rounds, where they beat Spain, Brazil and Portugal en route to the final. This is the first fixture at the 2018 World Cup that pairs two previous World Cup champions against each other.

France are quite a tough team to analyse heading into this match. However, France's defense has stifled its opponents thus far in Russian Federation 2018. He always wants to win games and titles. "He knows all the passion I put into everything I do", Sampaoli said. With the pressure on against Nigeria, Messi finally produced a sublime opening goal to give his team the lead early on, although the Argentinians still needed a late victor from the unlikely source of defender Marcos Rojo to scrape into second place.

Though the Albiceleste skipper largely has a free role in the side, much like he does at Barcelona, he has mainly been playing from the right side and coming in off the flank.

Deschamps hopes that with Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez and Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane two of Messi's regular opponents in Spain, they may gain a slight edge.

So which hungry nation wins Saturday?

Argentina's losses are world football's gain, literally.