Euro 2020‘s Group F, the group of death, will see its first encounter in the form of Hungary facing off against the defending champions Portugal in Budapest.
Winners of the 2016 edition, Portugal head into this edition with an even more threatening side. The ever present Cristiano Ronaldo’s drive to add silverware will fuel the rest of the side as well who welcome a plethora of new talent.
Despite a weak 2018 World Cup, where they were eliminated in the first knockout round itself, Portugal’s prowess was evident after they managed to lift the first ever Nations League.
With the likes of Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, and many more being fully integrated within the team, Ronaldo has a much more support system to rely on as they attempt to escape the group of death with certainty. The latest batch of players replaces the likes of Nani, Quaresma, and others.
While being the underdogs in the previous edition, Ronaldo and co. will attempt to repeat their feat with the tag of favourites lodged on them.
Portugal surprisingly finished second in their qualification table as Ukraine toppled them to claim first place.
A goalless draw against Spain and a thrashing of Israel sums up Portugal’s form ahead of their opener.
These two sides had faced in the previous edition of the tournament as well. That fixture ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw which sealed Portugal’s third spot in the group, a spot from which they eventually went on to win the competition.
The experienced Rui Patricio is expected to start at goal. The tantalizing blend of youth and experience, Pepe and Ruben Dias will take up the heart of the defence. Joao Cancelo’s absnece due to coronavirus leaves two young options in Nelson Semedo and Diogo Dalot at right back. Raphael Guerreiro’s expertise makes him the automatic first choice at the other flank.
Danilo and William Carvalho will be entrusted to the rough work in the midfield, giving the quartet of Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Jota, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva to weave their magic with Joao Felix also a potential option.
Hungary made their way to the competition through the play-off round by defeating Bulgaria and Iceland. They had finished fourth in their qualification group behind Croatia, Wales and Slovakia.
Seasoned goalkeeper and RB Leipzig’s gloves man Peter Gulacsi will protect the net and will be without his club teammate Dominik Szoboszlai. the youngster had scored a last-minute winner against Iceland, which sealed their spot in this competition.
The Hungarians are on a neat run themselves as they head into this fixture on the bank of a 11-match unbeaten run. However, facing Ronaldo and co. on this stage would be a whole other proposition.
Waging Odds: Hungary (8.00) vs Portugal (1.47) (Draw 4.33)
Hungary are the underdogs and are priced at 8.00, meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹800.
Portugal are priced at 1.47 and are the favourites. Betting ₹100 on them will earn you ₹147 if they come out as winners.
The odds for a draw are placed at 4.33. Betting ₹100 on them will earn you ₹433 if the fixture ends all level.
As the odds indicate, Portugal are massive favourites to seal this encounter. The prospect of facing Germany and France late on will drive the defending champions to get the maximum out of this game.
Expect the belligerent Portugal attack to go ballistic while their solid backline keeps them safe from any possession loss to go awry.
While Hungary will look to spoil the party of their other group members, this Portugal side filled with promise, won’t leave any cracks to exploit, so expect a comfortable 3-0 win for the visitors.