Portugal will be looking to claim consecutive European Championship banners with a strong showing at this year’s tournament, but their path in 2020 will not be easy.
Placed in the inevitable ‘Group of Death’ featuring France and Germany will be problematic. And though third-place teams can advance, it’s a path that has to be worrisome to any of those football giants.
The fourth and final team in this group is Hungary, who are no pushover either. The Hungarians will have the benefit of playing home games in Budapest, and are currently the only stadium in the competition that will be allowing full capacity for fan attendance. It should be a rocking atmosphere on Tuesday afternoon.
The Portguese enter in excellent form, with many of their talented players finishing impressive domestic league campaigns just a few weeks ago. This is a deep squad, and one that can legitimately challenge once again for the title. One big blow however will be the absence of Joao Cancelo to their lineup, missing due to COVID-19. Whether he can return for matches later, remains to be seen.
The Hungarians too were impressive in qualifying, but are the clear underdogs in such a talented group. They qualified for Euro 2020 by taking the long route, winning in the playoff stage, mostly on the back of talented young star Dominik Szoboszlai. However, he was ruled out for the entire tournament with an injury just weeks before training camp, a huge blow to any chances Hungary had at Euro 2020.
It’ll be a tall task for the Hungarians to stay competitive in Group F, but don’t expect any of France, Germany, or Portugal to be able to take it easy on them – especially with goal-differential playing such a crucial role. Hungary did enter this tournament in solid form, but the step-up in quality will be interesting to see. For additional team news, a tactical breakdown, and a betting prediction, keep reading beneath the posted odds for our wager for Portugal vs. Hungary.
Portugal vs. Hungary Betting Odds:
Portugal -1 (-140)
Hungary +1 (+120)
Over 2.5 (-105)
Under 2.5 (-115)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Portugal vs. Hungary Pick:
Manager Marco Rossi will have some intriguing selections within his Hungarian side prior to this matchup. With so many key pieces injured or limited, the same team that thrived in qualifying unfortunately is not available to him. Expect a 3-5-2 formation, but one that is flexible to revert into a 5-3-2 shell for defensive stretches.
Will Orban is their best remaining player, and we can expect to see him in the heart of Hungary’s defense. Keeping the Portuguese out will undoubtedly be a tall order, but the shape and cohesion of this squad offers some hope.
Hungary doesn’t offer too many goal threats up top, as the duo of Adam Szalai and Roland Sallai will likely not trouble Portugal’s defense. This is a group that will need a solid push from its pesky midfield, both in winning balls and providing service. They’ll be overmatched and outskilled in every group stage match, and will need to survive with good link play and passing.
With the Portuguese not being able to have Cancelo at right back, it’s undoubtedly a huge loss to their flank attack. Nelson Semedo is expected to fill the void, a noticeable drop-off in quality.
Still, this is a team loaded with quality, with virtually all of their other key pieces in attendance, eager to defend their title from five years ago. Expect an attack-oriented 4-2-3-1 formation, with their front four in attack being right up there with the best in the world.
Portugal possesses lethal finishers and impressive skill, whether it’s the wide play from Diego Jota and Bernardo Silva out wide, the clinical finishing of Ronaldo, or the creativity and passing from Bruno Fernandes, who will line-up directly behind Ronaldo. This is a team that can and will score goals.
While Hungary has shown an ability to hang with the more powerful nationals, Portugal represents a real step-up in class. Their attack should overwhelm their shape and defensive structure, and their familiarity in playing with one another for years should really shine through. Portugal makes a statement in Budapest on Tuesday, winning to nil, and backing them on the -1 scoreline seems like a real opportunity for value.