Portugal get their European Championship defence underway when they face Hungary at the Puskás Aréna on Tuesday afternoon (17:00 UK time).
Fernando Santos’ men defied the odds when they defeated hosts France after extra time. Super-sub Eder netted the all-important winner thus etching his name into Portuguese folklore.
Hungary meanwhile ended a 44-year absence from the European Championship last time out and subsequently reached the knockout phase which is what they’ll be hoping to replicate this summer.
How to live stream Hungary vs Portugal:
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Where to watch Hungary vs Portugal on TV:
- UK: ITV 1
- US: ESPN
Scoreline prediction: Hungary 0-2 Portugal
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Hungary vs Portugal build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Reaching this summer’s championship was another magnificent achievement by Hungary who ended fourth in their group during the qualification phase. They nevertheless booked a place in the play-offs and Bulgaria and Iceland proved no match for Marco Rossi’s men. By getting to Euro 2020 they’ve registered back-to-back European Championship appearances which is something that has eluded them despite boasting a strong footballing past. It’s also consecutive meetings with Portugal in the group phase; last time out they played out an entertaining 3-3 draw, on three occasions Bernd Storck’s side went in front but the ventual champions kept pegging them back.
In European Championship history only Spain have successfully defended their crown. Vicente del Bosque’s all-conquering team dispatched Italy at Euro 2012 to win back-to-back titles. Portugal are quietly confident of matching their Iberian rivals though qualification wasn’t straightforward. Os Navegadores finished second in Group B, and three points behind winners Ukraine, whilst registering 22 goals with half of those coming from Cristiano Ronaldo who is edging closer to Ali Daei’s record for most international goals.
- Hungary (vs Republic of Ireland): Gulácsi; Szalai, Kecskés, Orban; Bolla, Schäfer, Kleinheisler, Nagy, Fiola; Varga, Szalai.
- Portugal (vs Israel): Silva; Cancelo, Pepe, Dias, Mendes; Neves, Carvalho; Silva, Fernandes, Jota; Ronaldo.
Roland Sallai should be available for Hungary after missing recent friendlies. Marco Rossi though has a decision to make and that is who comes in for midfielders Zsolt Kalmár and Dominik Szoboszlai who miss out through respective injuries. Just days before their opener João Cancelo left Portugal’s camp with illness. Nélson Semedo is expected to replace the Manchester City man at right-back.
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Players to watch:
- Hungary: Both of Hungary’s goalscorers against Portugal in Euro 2016 — Balázs Dzsudzsák and Zoltán Gera — are no longer active meaning there’s an increased dependency on skipper Ádám Szalai who has 11 fewer international goals (23) than his squadmates combined (34) and the Mainz striker is the only player Rossi called up with double digits next to his name. Szalai, who is also the most experienced player in Hungary’s selection, endured an injury-plagued Bundesliga campaign last time out having bagged just one goal across 18 appearances.
- Portugal: As touched upon Cristiano Ronaldo is slowly creeping up on legendary Iranian striker Ali Daei who bagged 109 international goals between 1993 and 2006. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner needs five more strikes to equal the record which could easily happen in the group phase. The 36-year-old forward comes into this summer’s tournament after becoming the first player to win the golden boot in Europe’s ‘big three’ leagues (Premier League, La Liga and Serie A). However, across his last seven national team apperances, Ronaldo has managed to bag two goals though his most recent came in Portugal’s final Euro 2020 warm-up game against Israel.