Euro 2016 last 16: Hungary hoping to be heroic barrier to Belgium
Holly Thackeray | June 24, 2016
Hungary v Belgium
- Euro 2016 last 16
- Sunday, June 26th
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST
- Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
- Live on BBC One
Magyars seeking more magic in Belgium battle
Hungary, much unfancied to make it out of the group stage unscathed before a ball was kicked, are living the dream as they prepare for a Euro 2016 last 16 duel against Belgium.
Coral are offering an 11/2 price on the mischievous Magyars to thrill their fans yet again by beating the Belgians in normal time, an outside punt that might just be worth wager.
The Red Devils’ head-to-head record advantage of eight wins to two in 12 plus a couple of draws should not hand Hungarians much hope. But, going by form alone, Bernd Storck’s side are the ones to watch.
Hungary have held host nation France captivated as they surged to the summit of Group F, going undefeated along the way as they pipped all of Portugal, Iceland and Austria to the top of the pool.
With energetic performances, and in contrast to other outsiders, the opportunistic intent to attack as well as defend, the Magyars have shown they can hold their own at both ends of the pitch.
Belgium are a different kettle of fish to rusty Portugal and overrated Austria, but their own campaign has hardly been flawless, meaning a draw in 90 minutes at 5/2 is perfectly plausible.
What does Coral football ambassador Alan Shearer think ahead of Hungary v Belgium? Here are his thoughts on this last 16 battle:
Red Devils in driving seat
Marc Wilmots’ men still need to persuade punters they can live up to the tag of outside trophy challengers, but are obvious odds-on favourites at 4/6 to take the match rewards, and 2/7 to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Star power alone, which had their prestigious squad roster placed on a pedestal ahead of the France finals, is not enough to give Hungary the elbow, however, as Portugal and Austria both found out to their peril.
Belgium are better at 4/1 to triumph and both teams bag, as the Hungarians are unlikely to go out of the competition quietly, having matched the Portuguese with three goals apiece last time out.
After struggling to breakdown Sweden, the Red Devils must rev into top gear for their next opponents, as Italy have already shown a staunch and determined defence can deny them.
A performance more in the ilk of their sublime showing versus the Republic of Ireland is required to secure safe passage. And, punters are not short of scorer picks to punish the Magyars in this Toulouse tussle.
Apparent Chelsea target Radja Nainggolan unleashed a cracker to unlock the Swedes and is 11/2 for another anytime, but Romelu Lukaku is his side’s leading scorer so far after a double dispatch against the Irish.
Lukaku is a lethal 4/1 for the opening goal again, with Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (7/4 to be on target anytime) a much brighter spark in attack than skipper Eden Hazard (2/1).
The beauty of Belgium’s squad lies in their bench options, however, as Christian Benteke and Divock Origi (both 6/4 shouts) are but two from a set of bountiful attacking options.
Hungarian heroes can etch names into history
A few from Hungary’s contingent are sure to have attracted attention and could be snapped up this summer, and customers can opt for more Hungarian heroism with odds of 22/1 for a victory in extra-time, or a fantastic 13/5 for the Magyars to be the last team on target.
Balazs Dzsudzsak is an excellent scorer shout, as the set-piece threat illustrated his penchant for spectacular finishes against Portugal. The 29-year-old is 7/2 to wrap his peach of a left peg around another chance anytime, or longer at 20/1 for a second brace or better.
Veteran and former Fulham face Zoltan Gera (11/2 to tuck away anytime) also showed he still has what it takes with a sensational strike last time out and is 11/2 to add another to his tally, with striker Adam Szalai (7/2) another also seeking his second in the competition.
Coral’s top tip: Hungary are awesome at 13/5 for the final goal of the game.