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Tom Kundert’s Hungary v Portugal preview: Portugal cannot afford poor start in ‘group of death’

| 11.06.2021
SPORTSBOOK ODDS

Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Portugal throughout Euro 2020

With Germany and France to come, only victory will do for Portugal in their first Group F match against Hungary.

Despite being hit by the news that Manchester City right-back Joao Cancelo has had to pull out of the squad having tested positive for Covid-19, and facing in effect an ‘away’ match with over 60,000 fans urging on the hosts at the Puskas Arena, the Portuguese will be confident of a positive result against the Hungarians, themselves shorn of star player Dominik Szoboszlai.

Bruno Fernandes has struggled to translate his magnificent club form for Manchester United to the national team, but he put in his best performance in a Portugal shirt in the final pre-tournament friendly against Israel, scoring a brace and providing an assist. With Hungary likely to set up defensively, Portugal will be looking to Fernandes for creativity, innovation and vision, as well as his potent goal threat, to open up the home defence.

Portugal will set up in a 4-3-3, with Fernandes as the most attacking midfielder providing the bullets for a front line of Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal simply cannot afford a poor result given the other teams in the group. But Hungary will not roll over. Portugal victory by a single goal.

Check out the latest Euro 2020 odds.

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Author

Tom Kundert

Tom Kundert has made Lisbon his home since 1994. A football fanatic since forever, upon moving from the UK to Portugal, Tom quickly immersed himself in Portuguese football culture and has been reporting on the beautiful game in the country for over two decades.

Creator of PortuGOAL, the foremost English-language website on Portuguese football, the Portugal correspondent for World Soccer Magazine and contributor to a broad range of print and online publications, Tom is also the co-author of two books on his specialised subject: A Journey through Portuguese football, published in 2013 and The Thirteenth Chapter, published in 2018.