Hungary couldn’t have ended up with a worse draw. Their opening game vs Portugal is followed by games against Germany and France, with many considering it a miracle if they don’t finish bottom of their group. They finished 4th in their qualifying group, though did beat Croatia 2-1 and Wales 1-0. They were granted the opportunity to qualify through the play-off’s thanks to their Nations League campaign. They beat Bulgaria 3-1 in the semi-final and Iceland 2-1 in the final. The final was won in dramatic fashion as they found themselves 1-0 down before scoring an 88th minute equaliser and 92nd minute winner. They come here uneaten in 11 games having beaten Turkey 2-0 and drawing 3-3 with Poland in some of their recent games. The only positive for Hungary is that they play 2 of their group games at home, and they will need every bit of help possible from their home supporters.
Portugal come here as the defending champions after beating host nation France in 2016 thanks to an extra time strike from Eder. They didn’t have things all their own way in qualifying however, and only finished 2nd in their group behind Ukraine. In qualifying they played 8, won 5, drew 2, lost 1, scoring 22 goals and conceding 6. They have a team with class all over in the field, with experienced recognisable names in Man City trio Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva, Wolves pair Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves, Man United play maker Bruno Fernandes, Danilo of PSG and Pepe of Porto, plus not forgetting Juventus player Cristiano Ronaldo up top. They have game winners all over the park and even though they have been drawn in the group of death, they still come here with high hopes of defending their crown.
The referee for this game is Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey). This season he has refereed 31 games, giving 106 yellow cards and 6 red cards, for an average of 3.42 yellow cards per game and 0.19 red cards per game. In his career to date he has taken charge of 231 games, awarding 920 yellow cards and 53 red cards, for an average of 3.98 yellow cards per game and 0.23 red cards per game.
In what will surely be Portugal’s easiest group game, its imperative that they pick up maximum points, and we see that happening quite comfortably here. Truth is this Portugal side are levels above Hungary, and even if a couple of the Portugal big names fail to fire, they have classy players lining up to help their side get the job done. We see this being a very tough afternoon for Hungary with Portugal running out 3-0 or 4-0 winners in a pretty one sides affair, despite Hungary having home advantage.