PORTUGAL are looking to retain their European Championship crown… and five years on from glory they have a much better team.
They get started against Hungary on Tuesday with the game getting underway at 5pm on ITV 1.
Cristiano Rolando, 36, will spearhead Portugal’s attackCredit: GETTY IMAGES
Portugal and Hungary are joined in Group F by world champions France and former world champions Germany.
What’s the form?
European champions Portugal are unbeaten in their last six international fixtures.
And their last defeat came at the hands of the French back in November 2020.
Impressively, Hungary are unbeaten in their last 11 international fixtures, with their last defeat dating back to September 2020 against Russia.
Hungary did, however, draw their last warm-up fixture ahead of the tournament against the Republic of Ireland.
Who’s in and who’s out?
Portugal‘s squad for this summer’s tournament is arguably stronger than the team which won Euro 2016.
As for Hungary, they have a handful of Bundesliga stars in their ranks this summer.
Peter Gulacsi (RB Leipzig), Willi Orban (RB Leipzig), Roland Sallai (Freiburg) and Adam Szalai (Mainz) will all be key for Hungary.
But star man Dominik Szoboszlai will miss the tournament after failing to recover from a groin injury.
The 20-year-old had a good start to the season for RB Salzburg, but shortly after moving to sister club RB Leipzig he picked up an injury.
Watch out for…
With a stronger team, Portugal should be winning games inside 90 minutes.
Back in 2016, they drew all of their group games, only won one game inside 90 minutes and somehow still won the tournament.
This time, Ronaldo has the likes of Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix supplying him with goal-scoring opportunities.
Hungary could spring a surprise shock with Portugal’s poor group stage showing in the last tournament.
He’s [Ronaldo] our leader, our captain. As usual he’s preparing in the best way. He’s one of the best professionals around. The numbers speak for themselves. He’s still going, he’s still a beast, so expect nothing else but greatness.”
Boss Fernando Santos was in charge back in 2016 when Portugal beat favourites France in the Euros finalCredit: EPA
If the game’s rubbish…
The 36-year-old had a good individual season in Italy, but the team’s overall performance saw them drop the title to Inter Milan and finish 4th in the Serie A.
Ronaldo managed to find the back of the net 36 times this season across all competitions.
And his goals will be important for Portugal this summer.
Ronaldo’s future at Juventus is uncertainCredit: REUTERS
Fancy a punt?
Get all your Euro 2020 ante-post tips with our tournament betting guide HERE.
- Hungary to win 7/1
- The Draw 16/5
- Portugal to win 2/5
Euro 2020 outright odds:
- Portugal 8/1
- Hungary 500/1
*All odds from Paddy Power and correct at time of publication.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.