Argentina ready to test France World Cup credentials

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"The only thing I'm focusing on is the match tomorrow", Deschamps said ahead of his 80th game in charge.

Argentina's forward Lionel Messi (C) reacts after Croatia scored their third goal during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Argentina and Croatia at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod on June 21, 2018. "We have to do everything possible to make sure it goes well for us".

Five-time world player of the year Messi underlined his importance to Argentina with a sublimely taken opening goal against Nigeria but that came after his penalty miss against Iceland in a lacklustre 1-1 draw that set the tone for a disappointing campaign so far. It is very hard to stop him.

Deschamps' repeated refrain yesterday of "Messi is Messi" doesn't fill you with confidence that he's concocted a masterplan to stop the Argentine, but perhaps is he's put a little more thought into it than he's letting on.

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Deschamps added that despite being a young side, they will be going toe to toe with the Argentinians, who are packed with veterans.

"He is different with Argentina than with Barcelona", Umtiti said. As a team, Argentina will have to do much better against France, who have, on paper at least, one of the most talented squads at this World Cup.

"This is the first time (the fair play rule) has been used in a senior World Cup in this way".

The France national team are training at Central Stadium in Kazan while Argentina travel to Kazan later on Friday, but both the teams are not expected to train at the Kazan arena, the venue for their last-16 match.

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Deschamps expects more from the 27-year-old, and said: "He's had a hard start. the France team needs Antoine Griezmann to be at his best level, and I hope tomorrow that will be the case".

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris believes Mbappe could also be key.

"We will mark him with the same respect we mark everyone, despite him being a superstar", said Sebastian Coates of Ronaldo.

"We're facing them in a last-16 knockout game".

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"It is our commitment to fair play that has got us through", Tashima told local media after Japan moved on to face Belgium next week.

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