#WorldCup day 17: What to look out for

The 2018 World Cup Round of 16 starts on Saturday following Friday’s rest day. The feature match on Saturday sees France take on Argentina.

France's Kylian Mbappe (R) celebrates scoring their first goal with Antoine Griezmann (L). Picture: @FIFAWorldCup/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The 2018 World Cup Round of 16 starts on Saturday following Friday’s rest day. The feature match on Saturday sees France take on Argentina.

Feature match: France v Argentina

France key players:
Antoinne Griezmann (Forward)

The Atletico Madrid midfielder has been key to France’s progression throughout the group stages. He played an integral role in the first round victory over Australia. Despite being a striker on paper, he also has the ability to drop into a deeper position and be a playmaker for other players who have ventured forward.

Paul Pogba (Midifelder)
The Manchester United midfielder has had a lot more room to work with going forward which has given France an attacking advantage. Despite France not being exceptional since the start of the World Cup, Pogba, Griezmann, and co can turn a game on its head in the blink of an eye.

Argentina key players:

Lionel Messi (Forward)
The Barcelona forward turned it on against Nigeria with a brilliant finish to open the scoring. With rumours suggesting a more senior role behind the scenes, Messi and Argentina are expected to be a completely different team against France. His presence on the field alone will give the French defenders trouble overcoming the mental battle. A brilliant performance from Messi will surely send Argentina through to the quarter-finals.

Ever Banega (Midfielder)
Banega assisted Lionel Messi with a brilliant aerial through ball to put Argentina in the lead. He had a brilliant performance; making a number of important tackles, winning aerial battles and was threatening going forward. France will have to contain him to ensure the threat from Messi is limited.

Ahmed Kajee’s prediction: France 1-2 Argentina

Uruguay v Portugal

Uruguay go into the game feeling confident having won all three of their group games. The three victories included a 3-0 victory over hosts Russia. Meanwhile, Portugal were not as convincing in their last group game. Although the officiating left a lot to be desired for, Portugal will need a much better performance against a Uruguay forward line that will not let mistakes slide.

Luis Suarez has been impressive after his poor opening game against Egypt and will be a threat to Pepe and co. Diego Godin will have to put in another mammoth shift to contain Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kajee's prediction: Uruguay 1-1 Portugal (Uruguay win on penalties)

Kick-off times (CAT)
France v Argentina: 16h00
Uruguay v Portugal: 20h00