Time: 5:00 PM
Venue: Puskás Aréna (Budapest)
Qualification for the 2016 edition of the European Championships ended a 30-year wait to appear at a major tournament for Hungary, therefore securing consecutive appearances in this competition is already a success in itself. It’s a baptism of fire though as they take on reigning champions Portugal – a country they’ve never beaten in 13 attempts (D4, L9). Furthermore, they’ve failed to score in five of their last six meetings against the Iberian nation.
Whilst underdogs in this one, Hungary can at least take comfort from their recent form which has seen them avoid defeat in 11 matches (W7, D4). They’ve also scored at least one goal before HT in four of their last five matches during that run, but interestingly, have netted only two of their 11 goals in European Championships during the first half (seven in the second half, two in extra-time).
Portugal are bidding to follow in the footsteps of neighbours Spain to become just the second team to win back-to-back European Championships. History suggests they 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 despite this, it’s worth noting that they’ve failed to win each of their last five major tournament openers (D3, L2).
Since November 2019, only one team has managed to defeat Fernando Santos’ side, so confidence should be high for the holders (W10, D4, L1). Four of the last five games in that sequence further saw the opening goal scored in the first half – three for and one against.
Players to watch: Defender Willi Orbán was Hungary’s top scorer in qualifying, all three of his goals came from set-pieces. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four goals and delivered two assists in his last three H2Hs, including a brace in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Euro 2016.
- Hungary’s form in last 5 matches: DWWWD.
- Portugal’s form in last 5 matches: WDWDW.
PREDICTION: Draw/Away Over 1.5