Although Hungary have a home advantage as the game is taking place in Budapest, Portugal are aiming to follow in the footsteps of neighbours Spain to become the second team to win back-to-back European Championships after their success in Euro 2016 against France.
But the strong backing for the home side in their home city has seen a positive impact as shown from their dramatic comeback in their play-off final against Iceland and they won’t be making it easy on their opponents.
History suggests Portugal should navigate the group stage easily enough given the fact they’ve progressed into the knockout phase in all seven of their Euro appearances, yet this is a group of death and both France and Germany have their own goals they will wish to reach. If Hungary can take any positive it is that Portugal have failed to win each of their last five major tournament openers D3, L2.
- Head to head:
Hungary in 13 attempts have never beaten their opponents D4, L9
- Previous Tournaments:
Securing consecutive appearances in this competition after qualification five years ago is a success in itself for Hungary after they ended a 30 year wait in 2016, to appear at a major tournament. But they have a job to do in the group of death and first up for them is reigning champions Portugal. They’ve also failed to score in five of their last six meetings against the Iberian nation.
Hungary are 8/50 to win the game and Portugal are 1/44 to win the game.
- Form over the year:
Hungary’s recent form which seen them avoid defeat in 11 matches W7, D4. They’ve also scored at least one goal before halftime in four of their last five matches during that run, but have netted only two of their 11 goals in the European Championships during the first half (seven in the second half, two in extra-time). Since November 2019, only one team has managed to defeat Fernando Santos’ side, so their confidence should be high as the holders W10, D4, L1.
- Defensive Record:
In their last five games Hungary have W3, D2, scoring 11 and conceding four goals. Portugal have also W3, D2 and have scored ten and conceded three goals.
- Players to watch:
Defender Willi Orbán (Hungary) was top scorer in qualifying, all three of his goals came from set-pieces. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo is no stranger to the international or domestic stage and has scored four goals and delivered two assists in his last three head to heads, including a brace in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Euro 2016.
- Team News:
Joao Cancelo (Portugal) has tested positive for coronavirus and will be replaced by Diogo Jalot.
- Predicted Line-ups:
Hungary possible line-up: Gulácsi; Fiola, Orbán, Attila Szalai; Lovrencsics, Kleinheisler, Nagy, Schäfer, Holender; Roland Sallai, Ádám Szalai
Portugal possible line-up: Rui Patrício; Nélson Semedo, Rúben Dias, Pepe, Guerreiro; Danilo, William, Bruno Fernandes; Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo, Diogo Jota
Marco Rossi, Hungary: “We will do everything to push ourselves to the limit. We know who we’re up against. We will keep our feet on the ground, but of course we want to achieve our dreams. Dreaming is free, so we dream. Our dream remains between us, of course. We talk about it and want to live that dream. Let’s hope it continues during the Euro.“
Fernando Santos, Portugal: “Obviously, as contenders to win, if we don’t get through the group phase it will be a failure. But I don’t believe that will happen to Portugal. I think people have the right and are correct to demand that we do everything within our power to win, using our quality, organisation, commitment, and I believe we are prepared for that. Portugal have the ability to go toe-to-toe with any team that also has ambitions to win the tournament.”
Last six form guide:
Although they are underdogs in the tournament and in the group, Hungary will have belief that their second consecutive appearance at a Euro tournament can cause an upset.
But Portugal will no doubt be looking to retain their title, but they need to first get out of the group of death and if they manage to do so then they really will be contenders for the title five years after winning it in the death against France thanks to a 109-minute goal by Eder.
Portugal’s run of 11 Euro games without defeat is the second longest unbeaten sequence in the competition’s history W4, D7 – excluding penalties. And five years on from their success in France against the home side, they still have many players in form, including star man Cristiano Ronaldo who is just five goals away from a world-record 109 in international football so he will be looking to lead his side to another Euro triumph, but this time he will be hoping to last longer than 25 minutes.
If they fail to get out of the group ahead of France and Germany though, who knows it may be the last we see of Ronaldo on the international stage and the end of Portugal as we know it.