France vs Argentina: 3 changes Didier Deschamps should make

France Denmark World Cup 2018

Didier Deschamps may be tempted to execute a "no Messi, no Argentina" strategy when preparing for Saturday's round of 16 clash but the France manager must also be mindful of getting the most out of his own marquee players.

It's a fearless call from a man who hasn't set the world alight since taking the Argentina job, but we'll have to wait and see whether it pays off at 3pm tomorrow. La Albiceleste has been under heavy scrutiny during the current World Cup campaign - and for good measure, considering how poor the team has been.

Messi opened the scoring in a 2-1 defeat of Nigeria that sent Argentina through to the knockout rounds, Sampaoli's side bouncing back from a 3-0 thumping dealt out by Croatia.

"I'm sure France has a plan to neutralise Leo and we have a plan to get the best out of him, let's see whose plan works best", he added. In the three group stage games, they managed to score only three goals and their final game against Denmark ended in a goal-less draw.

Although the goalkeeper was reluctant to compare France's promising young striker Kylian Mbappe with the Argentine number 10, he believes the Paris Saint-Germain man can be decisive at the other end. "It will not hurt to have come up against Messi before, but that is not what will make the difference". With the talent Messi has, sometimes there is not a great deal you can do because he is so unpredictable. The defence will be anchored in the middles by Varane and Umtiti with Benjamin Pavard at right-back.

"But he's also able to see the world from above, like a bird".

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"Obviously, the team needs Antoine at his best - he is doing everything possible to make that happen", said Deschamps.

Messi, who saw a penalty save against Iceland, produced a fine finish to put Argentina ahead against Nigeria. "Kylian was freer in the first game, but that did not make him more unsafe".

"If we can't control the ball, it could become a physical match, and that won't suit us at all".

"Messi is unique, you can't compare anyone to him", said Lloris.

He said: "There is so much expectation around Messi, which I think is normal, but still I think the Argentina team has a lot to show".

"The higher the level, the smaller the margin for error".

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