France and Argentina took different paths to the knockout stage but have much in common at this World Cup.
Both teams are filled with big-name players, both like to play an entertaining style and both have failed to impress so far.
Forty years after their last meeting at soccer’s biggest tournament, the former champions meet on Saturday in Kazan for a spot in the quarterfinals, needing their best players to come to the fore.
With its armada of star players, France qualified unbeaten from its group but has yet to find the right rhythm in Russia. In three matches, coach Didier Deschamps’ team has lacked ambition and intensity. The poor form of striker Antoine Griezmann has been a major concern.
Argentina had a shakier path to the knockout stage, and coach Jorge Sampaoli has been heavily criticised.