Euro Betting: Hungary vs France, 19 June
Group Stage | Group F | Budapest
Their Euros So Far
The Hungarian fans came in enormous numbers for their Euro 2020 opener against holders, Portugal. With the venue in their capital of Budapest, they have essentially kick-started their Euro campaign as hosts. Unfortunately, the high spirits and goodwill didn’t last long, as they eventually went down 3-0 to Portugal.
For the French, the current world champions came into the tournament as favourites, and their opening match 1-0 victory over old rivals Germany only seems to cement that notion. But, in this year’s ‘Group of Death’, big heads could indeed roll.
Hungary, inarguably the ‘minnows’ of a group that includes serial winners Germany, World Champions France, and European Champions Portugal, stood firm in their first match against Cristiano Ronaldo and co. For 84 minutes, they not only kept the Portuguese at bay, they almost had the beating of them. If not for a cruel deflection, and subsequent record-breaking brilliance from Cristiano Ronaldo, it could have been a different story going into this fixture against the tournament’s favourites.
Under the management of Italian, Marco Rossi, Hungary will still play with heart, purpose, and guile, but the general expectation for the game against France is another defeat. Didier Deschamps’ men looked seriously strong against a fellow giant in Germany, and had it not been for mistimed runs and the woodwork, it could have been much more than a seemingly marginal 1-0 victory.
Les Blues’ backline gave little away, their midfield trio of Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, and Adrien Rabiot was athletic and industrious, and their attacking trident of the returning Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, and Kylian Mbappe was mouth-watering. Mbappe in particular, showed blistering pace that will pose a huge threat to Hungary, as well as most teams throughout the tournament.
This game will be the first time Hungary and France have met since a 2-1 French win back in 2005. Djibril Cisse and Florent Malouda were on target that day, with Zsombor Kerekes pulling one back for the Hungarians.
They have also played against each other five times at European Championships, with Hungary winning three of the past four contests. Albeit several decades ago, this included a 3-1 and 2-1 win in the 1964 quarter-finals.
The nations have faced each other eight times in Budapest, the venue for their next meeting, most recently a 3-1 France win in March 1990, where Eric Cantona scored twice in a friendly. So, it’s clear that this is not a fixture with very much recency about it!
While Hungary are making their second successive Euro appearance, but also just their second in 49 years, France have featured in every tournament since 1992 and have reached the quarter-finals or better in five of their last six appearances, including finishing runners-up on home soil in 2016. Les Blues look frightening prospect as Deschamps looks to become the only person to have won the World Cup and the Euros as both a player and a manager. Incredible.
So, will the French football revolution roll on? Or will Hungary rise up against it?