|Photo: Evening Standard|
Portugal kick off their European Championship title defence with a trip to Budapest to face Hungary.
The Portuguese beat France in the Euro 2016 final in Paris to lift the trophy, but have had to wait five years to defend their crown given Euro 2020 was delayed by a year due to the pandemic.
Portugal have been dealt a tough hand with France and Germany also in Group F, but an opening game against Hungary offers Cristiano Ronaldo and his side a great chance of getting off the mark with a win.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Hungary v Portugal is scheduled for a 5pm BST kick-off on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.
The match will be held at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium in Budapest, Hungary.
Hungary v Portugal team news
Goalkeepers: Peter Gulaasi, Denes Dibusz, Adam Bogdan
Defenders: Gergo Lovrencsics, Endre Botka, Adam Lang, Akos Kecskes, Attila Fiola , Willi Orban, Attila Szalai, Bendeguz Bolla
Midfielders: Loic Nego, Adam Nagy, Laszlo Kleinheisler, David Siger, Daniel Gazdag, Andras Schafer, Tamas Cseri, Filip Holender
Forwards: Adam Szalai, Roland Sallai, Nemanja Nikolic, Kevin Varga, Roland Varga , Szabolcs Schon, Janos Hahn
|Photo: Getty Images|
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes, Rui Patrício, Rui Silva
Defenders: Joao Cancelo, Nelson Semedo, Jose Fonte, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Nuno Mendes, Raphael Guerreiro
Midfielders: Danilo Pereira, Joao Palhinha, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Moutinho, Renato Sanches, Sergio Oliveira, William Carvalho
Forwards: Pedro Goncalves, Andre Silva, Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Goncalo Guedes, Joao Felix, Rafa Silva
Hungary vs Portugal: Match preview
Hungary finished third at the 1964 European Championship before claiming fourth in 1972, but they then did not qualify for the finals of the competition until Euro 2016.
Nemzeti Tizenegy impressively topped Group F in the last European Championship - finishing ahead of Portugal in the process - before losing heavily to Belgium in the round of 16.
Hungary managed to book their spot in the finals of this year's tournament through the playoffs, overcoming Bulgaria and then Iceland, with Dominik Szoboszlai scoring a last-minute winner in the final, but an injury has ruled the talented 20-year-old out of the competition, which is a huge blow for the team.
Marco Rossi's side are unbeaten in their last 11 matches in all competitions, including strong wins over San Marino and Andorra in their 2022 World Cup qualification section.
Hungary's preparations for Euro 2020 were also solid, as they recorded a 1-0 win over Cyprus earlier this month before playing out a goalless draw with the Republic of Ireland. The strength of this section means that it is going to be a very tough task to finish in the top three positions, but a positive result against Portugal in their opener would certainly leave the fans dreaming of what could happen.
Portugal, meanwhile, are the holders of the trophy, having triumphed at Euro 2016, beating hosts France 1-0 in the final courtesy of an extra-time effort from Eder.
There is simply no downplaying the importance of this clash, as a victory would place them in an excellent position ahead of their two toughest fixtures in the section; Germany will be their opponents in Munich on June 19, before taking on tournament favourites France in Budapest on June 23.
The Iberian nation did not win a single game in the group stages of Euro 2016, drawing all three of their matches, but they managed to qualify in third, which is an option again this summer.
Portugal overcame Croatia in extra-time before beating Poland on penalties to advance to the semi-finals, where they recorded a 2-0 victory over Wales to advance to the final.
A Selecao have a strong overall record in this competition, reaching the semi-finals in 1984, 2000 and 2012, while they were present in the quarter-finals of Euro 1996 and Euro 2008. Portugal were also runners-up on home soil at Euro 2004 and are fancied to advance deep into this year's tournament.
Santos's side will bring a six-game unbeaten run into this match, meanwhile, and they drew 0-0 with Spain before thumping Israel 4-0 in their two friendlies earlier this month.
Hungary form (all competitions):
• W, D, W, W, W, D
Portugal form (all competitions):
• W, W, D, W, D, W
Hungary vs Portugal Prediction
|Photo: Getty Images|
In what is, without question, Euro 2020’s ‘Group of Death’, Portugal and Hungary will be desperate to kickstart their respective campaigns in winning fashion, with meetings against reigning world champions France and 2014 World Cup winners Germany following later this month.
Portugal are, of course, the current European Championship holders, famously beating hosts France in the Euro 2016 showpiece, with surprise match-winner Eder netting the decisive goal, but just two nations have successfully defended their crowns (Germany and Spain).
Hungary will surely miss Dominik Szoboszlai, who played a crucial role in ensuring the participation of his country at Euro 2020. In his absence the contributions of Adam Szalai will be key, and it will be an incredible feat if they manage to progress to the next round given the quality of the nations in their group.
Portugal, on the other hand, are among the favourites to win the tournament. They have talent and quality in every position, and are led by a bonafide superstar in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo. A lot is expected from Portugal at Euro 2020.
Portugal will be favourites to win this game.
Prediction: Hungary 0-3 Portugal
Hungary vs Portugal: Betting Tips
Portugal to Win & Over 2.5 Goals
Portugal have won six of their seven previous encounters with Hungary and have never lost against this particular opponent. Over 2.5 goals have been scored in five of the duo's last seven clashes across all competitions, so you can see just why we're expecting plenty of goals in this game. At least three goals have been scored in three of Hungary's last five outings as well as in four of Portugal's last six fixtures, adding further weight to our prediction. Portugal have won four of their last six matches and haven't lost since going down 1-0 against France in the Nations League.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Score
Really we shouldn't need to explain why we're backing Ronaldo to score against Hungary, but we're going to anyway. Ronaldo scored 11 goals in qualifying for Euro 2020 and even at the age of 26, he is still scoring goals for fun at all levels, netting 29 times in Serie A for Juventus this season. Ronaldo scored in Portugal's final warm-up game ahead of the Euros, putting the phenomenal forward on 104-goals from 175 caps.
Portugal have a great record against Hungary and have managed to score exactly three goals against them in five of the pair's last seven head-to-heads, which is why we're backing a 3-1 win for Portugal on Tuesday. Hungary have only failed to score in one of their last six international matches and while we do expect them to score against Portugal, the defending champions are still expected to win comfortably.
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