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World Cup day 23 betting tips round up: Argentina vs France

Argentina vs France

[TIP_OF_THE_DAY]

Between 1990 and 2014, the seven World Cup Finals featured just ten goals, with both teams scoring in only one of them (2006).

The outlier in modern times is the most-recent final, with France demolishing Croatia 4-2, the most goals seen in a final, in 90 minutes, since 1958.

This though looks likely to follow the more familiar pattern, despite the fact these two nations played out a 4-3 thriller in the round of 16 in Russia.

Both comfortably won their semi-finals by keeping a clean sheet, with Argentina swatting aside Croatia 3-0.

Lionel Messi opening the scoring from the penalty spot, before providing two glorious assists for Julián Álvarez.

24 hours later, Theo Hernandez’s early volley and then Randal Kolo Muani’s clincher, coming just 44 seconds after his introduction, saw France edge-out Morocco 2-0.

So, expect this game to be low-scoring, potentially going to extra time, as the finals of ‘94, 2006, 2010 and 2014 did.

Secondary tip of the day

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With a draw the most likely outcome after 90 minutes, could Argentina have the edge in extra time?

Lionel Scaloni will have Ángel Di María, Papu Gómez, Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martínez sat on his bench, all chomping at the bit, hoping to come on and be the hero.

La Albiceleste were beaten in the 2014 final in extra time by Germany, but have a vastly stronger bench these days.

In contrast, France’s depth isn’t what it once was, which is understandable given their lengthy absentee list.

Lucas Hernandez suffered an ACL injury against Australia, Dayot Upamecano and Adrien Rabiot are doubts, while Presnel Kimpembe, N’Golo Kanté, Paul Pogba, Christopher Nkunku and Karim Benzema are sidelined.

In the last two games, Didier Deschamps has made just three substitutions, out of a possible ten, suggesting he perhaps doesn’t trust his reserve options.

Les Bleus have lost their last three tournament games that have gone to extra time, these being the 2006 World Cup Final, the Euro 2016 Final and a shootout defeat to Switzerland at Euro 2020.

With a huge partisan crowd behind Argentina at Lusail Iconic Stadium, will la Albiceleste prevail in extra time?

Goalscorer tip of the day

[TIP_OF_THE_DAY]

As always, it’s not the boldest prediction, but a Lionel Messi goal feels inevitable doesn’t it?

Before this year, he’d never scored in the World Cup knockout stages, but has netted in each round in Qatar, so far.

The 35 year old has found the net in five of Argentina’s six games, breaking the deadlock against Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Australia and Croatia.

Messi and club-teammate Kylian Mbappé have both accumulated five goals, so are tied at the top of the Golden Boot standings.

It feels written in the stars that this Messi’s World Cup, so a goal in the final feels very likely.

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Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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