Argentina vs France – 2022 World Cup final: Match Preview
Argentina vs France – 2022 World Cup final: Team news, possible lineups & prediction.
On Sunday afternoon at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, Argentina and the defending champions France will face off in a tantalizing final in the title match of a glittering World Cup 2022 tournament.
Following a 2-0 victory over African trailblazers Morocco in the semifinals, Les Bleus will take the field on the Lusail pitch as the first participants in the final in 24 years.
In the meantime, Croatia was denied a repeat appearance in the title event by Lionel Scaloni’s team with a 3-0 victory in the final four, and it’s not surprise that attention has been concentrated on one player in the lead-up to the game.
The matchup between Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain will always be promoted as the major event, despite Antoine Griezmann’s all-action attempts. After Brazil’s quarterfinal departure, the feted stars of the past, present, and future (as well as the current) triumphed. Qatar Sports Investment, who also happens to control PSG, hedged their bets with a third superstar forward.
Both Messi and Mbappe have five goals as they compete for the Golden Boot, but Messi is enjoying a statistically stronger tournament with three assists to Mbappe’s two, giving him the tiny advantage.
Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel are now again at Scaloni’s disposal after being given their second bookings of the tournament against the Netherlands and being forced to witness the semi-final from the suspension step.
While Lisandro Martinez, much to the dismay of Manchester United fans, is once again limited to substitute minutes, Montiel is fighting an uphill battle to replace Nahuel Molina on the right, and Acuna can confidently step in to replace Nicolas Tagliafico in what will likely be a four-man backline.
The only injury concern for La Albiceleste should be Alejandro Gomez, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain and may only be able to sit on the bench. Hearts were in mouths when Messi was spotted giving his hamstring a once-over in the semifinals.
There is no reason to believe that the seasoned attacker won’t be able to start the game, where he should secure the record for most World Cup appearances with 26. With a slight change in formation, Angel Di Maria, who is nearing the end of his international career, might join the experienced attacker.
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The hot-headed Leandro Paredes would be the unfortunate name to make way if Di Maria can prove his fitness in time, as Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez aim to improve their output as impact substitutes once more.
Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot were the next casualties in the France camp due to the continual air conditioning in Qatar, and Kingsley Coman also felt unwell ahead to the semi-finals.
The first XI should consider applications from Rabiot and Upamecano who are reportedly feeling better. However, Deschamps has a bigger problem at the back. The former can expect to replace Youssouf Fofana in the midfield right away.
Although Konate, who played against Morocco, rightfully received good acclaim, Deschamps will still be expected to use Upamecano again in his tried-and-true system, and Coman, who missed training on Thursday, was never going to challenge for a starting position anyhow.
Theo Hernandez suffered a pair of knee injuries against Morocco, but his spot in the starting lineup for the final is not likely to be jeopardized, while Kylian Mbappe will renew his solo struggle with fellow five-goal sensation Messi for the Golden Boot.
If his aggressive efforts are successful, the 23-year-old would become the youngest player to score in more than one World Cup final, and he will be aided by creator-in-chief Antoine Griezmann, who has created a tournament-high 21 chances for his teammates thus far.
Argentina possible starting lineup:
E. Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez
France possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Kounde, Varane, Upamecano, T. Hernandez; Tchouameni, Rabiot; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Giroud
Prediction: Argentina 1-2 France