Portugal start their quest for a second consecutive European Championship title as they kick off the the defence of their crown against a Hungary side eager to prove themselves once more.
European Championship 2020
Venue: Ferenc Puskas
Hungary played out a 0-0 draw against Ireland in their final friendly ahead of their clash with Portugal on Tuesday, but their form overall has been very good as of late.
The Magyars are unbeaten in their last nine competitive matches (W6 D3), since a 3-2 loss at home to Russia in the UEFA Nations League in September 2020. On paper, Hungary are expected to finish in last place in this group but one recall they were also expected to finish last in their group in 2016 but managed to shock Europe and finished top.
Thus, they will be hoping for the same kind of miracle again as they face off against a side they held to a shock draw last time they met in this competition.
After claiming their first major silverware at 2016 edition while defeating hosting nation France 1-0 in final, Portugal will be looking to defend their crown as they attempt to win their third consecutive UEFA trophy after also lifting the inaugural UEFA Nations League back in 2017.
The Iberian nation start their campaign against a Hungary side they also faced in the group stages five years ago. That game ended 3-3 which meant Hungary topped their group and Portugal finished third after three draws and qualified as one of the four best third-placed teams.
Portugal cannot afford anything other than a win this time around because having been drawn in the Group of Death alongside current world champions France and the champions prior Germany, Fernando Santos’ men will know that a good result against Hungary is very much imperative in their bid to defend their crown.
Hungary are without the duo of Dominik Szoboszlai and Zsolt Kalmar but Roland Sallai should be okay enough to start after just turning in fit just in time.
Joao Cancelo tested positive for covid and has been replaced by Diogo Dalot in the squad.
Hungary’s last five games: DWWWD
Portugal’s last five games: WDWDW
Portugal are unbeaten in their 13 previous matches against Hungary (W9 D4), scoring 30 goals and conceding only ten.
Hungary have lost all three of their previous matches against Portugal in Budapest.
Portugal have won six of their seven previous encounters with Hungary and have scored exactly three goals in five of those seven meetings. At least three goals have been scored in three of Hungary’s last five games, as well as in four of Portugal’s last six fixtures. There should be a couple of goals in this one, especially for the Selecao. At odds of 1/1, over 2.5 is definitely a sure bet.
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