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