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FIFA World Cup 2018: Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli promises ‘aggression’ against France

Argentina take on France in the first round of 16 encounter in the FIFA World Cup 2018 at Kazan on Saturday.

football Updated: Jun 30, 2018 10:26 IST
Bhargab Sarmah
Bhargab Sarmah
Hindustan Times, Kazan
FIFA World Cup 2018,World Cup 2018,Jorge Sampaoli
Argentina's coach Jorge Sampaoli (L) talks to goalkeepers Nahuel Guzman (2L) Franco Armani and Wilfredo Caballero (R) during a training session at the team's base camp in Bronnitsy, on June 29, 2018 on the eve of the team's round of sixteen match vs France at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (AFP)

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has promised an ‘aggressive’ brand of football against France on the eve of their Round of 16 clash at the Kazan Arena here on Saturday.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Sampaoli said, “Argentina will play an aggressive style of football. We are going to attack them all the time.”

The former Sevilla manager added that his aim would be to prevent the game from turning physical, as it would put France at an advantage.

“The two teams are not the same. We want to be able to control the game throughout. We don’t want France to use their speed against us. If we don’t control the game, it will become very physical, which won’t suit our style,” he said.

READ | FIFA World Cup: France coach Deschamps hopeful of shackling Messi

Speaking about his star player, Sampaoli remarked that he had plans to help Lionel Messi enjoy more freedom up front.

“I’m sure France have their plans to neutralize Messi but we have our own plans to make his life easier; so we will see who can execute their plans better.

“France will have success to the extent that we are not accurate. They will try to get us to make mistakes. It will all be about how we handle different situations.”

The coach refused to divulge information about his starting line-up for Saturday’s game, saying he was yet to make his mind up about the same.

READ | FIFA World Cup 2018: France out to end Lionel Messi’s quest for glory

Asked whether his side had practiced penalties in case the match headed beyond regulation time, Sampaoli replied, “I don’t think we can solve penalties just with a training session. There are so many factors involved when it comes to shootouts.

“We did spend some time with our goalkeepers looking at how others may shoot.”

Saying it would be ‘extremely difficult to accept defeat’ against France, the Argentine tactician stressed that he was not worried about his future with the team despite growing speculation that he would be removed from his position if La Albiceleste crash out on Saturday.

“I have a contract and i am quite happy to be here,” he curtly responded to a query.

First Published: Jun 30, 2018 07:36 IST