Euro Betting: Hungary vs Portugal, 15th June
Group Stage | Group F | Budapest
A hugely special opener for Hungary, as on home soil at the Euros, they host the current Euro champions and trophy holders, Portugal. The Hungarians made hard work of qualifying, finishing a lowly fourth in their group and only qualifying via the play-offs, courtesy of two late goals against Iceland, who themselves were two minutes from reaching the finals.
Surprisingly, Portugal only managed to finish second in their group, behind Ukraine. Even so, they are still expected to be one of the main contenders in the competition. And Cristiano Ronaldo is on the verge of yet another landmark, needing just five goals to break the world record for international goals, a huge 109. Could he break it at the Euros?
Squads & Line-ups
Part of a group that also contains Germany and France, Hungary and Portugal will be looking to maximise their squads to the fullest. The Hungary squad is made up of a number of home-based players who star for Ferencvaros, plus a few more in the Bundesliga.
The Portuguese squad looks dazzlingly skillful. From Man City’s Bernardo Silva, Man United’s Bruno Fernandes, Bayern’s Renato Sanches, and Wolves’ Ruben Neves. Add to that a combative backline that includes the ever-green Pepe and Premier League Player of The Year, Ruben Dias, and a forward line with Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, and Joao Felix, then it’s no wonder the Selecao are strongly fancied to retain the Euro trophy.
A big loss for Portugal will be Cancelo – one of the best attacking full-backs in Europe, but their squad does seem to have the depth required to compete.
Hungary have never beaten Portugal. The European Champions are unbeaten in their 13 previous matches against their Euro opponents, winning 9, drawing 4, and scoring 30 goals in the process. However, for Hungary, playing in the Euros in the home capital of Budapest is certainly something to inspire the players and their nation.
The Portuguese have been victorious in all three of their games against Hungary in Budapest, winning 1-0 in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup – with a Pepe goal – in addition to their successes in 1998 and 2017. This is the teams’ first match at the Puskás Aréna.
Portugal also beat Hungary home and away in qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. André Silva opened the scoring in Lisbon on 25 March 2017, before Cristiano Ronaldo’s double secured a 3-0 win. Silva got the only goal in Budapest on 3 September, the same year.
A large portion of their encounters have actually been in the Euros. Their last Euro meeting was back in 2016 when Portugal won the competition. An entertaining 3-3 draw was played out, with the Hungarians leading three times until they got pegged back by a two-goal showing from Cristiano Ronaldo. Impressively, the Hungarians ended up topping the group before going out in the first knock-out round to Belgium.
They also faced each other in qualifying for Euro 2000, the Portuguese winning 3-1 and 3-0 over two games, and Rui Costa a scorer in both.
So, will it be more of the same at this Euros? Or will the Hungarians rise to the occasion of being hosts?