HUNGARY VS FRANCE
Mark your calendars and gear up for matchday 2 of the Euro 2020, as Hungary will lock horns with France on Saturday for the first time in 16 years and the very first time at the Euros. The match is scheduled to be played at the Puskas Arena, Budapest.
Hungary entered the Euro 2020 as massive underdogs, as part of a group that includes juggernauts Portugal, Germany, and France. They were expected to go down without giving a fight but that’s not what unfolded. They might have lost 3-0 in their Euro 2020 opener to the defending champions Portugal but the scoreline seemed a bit unfair considering the heart and grit the Hungarians showed in defence.
Hungary was on the verge of securing a draw but they chose to let their foot off the gas at the wrong time, allowing three goals in the closing eight minutes of the game. A record-breaking night for Cristiano Ronaldo was capped off by a win. But Hungary made a statement with their defensive tenacity, showing that they will not quit without a fight.
On the other hand, World Champions France got off to a flying start as they came out victorious from the most highly anticipated fixture of matchday 1. A 1-0 victory over Germany was enough to deliver Joachim Loew his first-ever defeat as manager of Die Mannschaft in their opening encounter of the Euros.
The pairing of N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba was brilliant for France, with both players manning the midfield control tower. They kept Germany’s midfield in their pockets and underlined why Les Bleus have never lost a match when the two have started together (15 victories and 4 draws). France however are placed second in their group behind Portugal on goal difference, and will be hoping to get a big win over Hungary to leapfrog their rivals.
Hungary entered the Euros without their marquee player, Dominik Szoboszlai. Despite being named to the preliminary team, Szoboszlai had to withdraw due to a recurrence of his adductor injury. There are no other injury issues for Hungary’s manager, Marco Rossi, ahead of this fixture.
Hungary Probable Lineup: Gulacsi; Botka, Orban, Attila Szalai; Lovrencsics, Kleinheisler, Nagy, Schafer, Fiola; Sallai, Adam Szalai
Dominik was not at the right level of fitness to compete at the tournament following his long injury break,
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) June 1, 2021
France have no major injury problems ahead of their match-up against Hungary.
France Probable Lineup: Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez; Pogba, Kante, Tolisso; Griezman, Mbappe, Benzema
Hungary’s captain Adam Szalai had a good outing against Portugal and will hope to replicate that against France. He has failed to make an impact at the club level since returning to Mainz at the beginning of last season, registering only two Bundesliga goals, but has been an influential player for his country throughout the years.
The 33-year-old is well-known for his ability to connect the midfield and attack, using his strength to retain the ball and execute lay-offs upfront, as well as his ability to thrive in aerial duels.
At such a young age, Kylian Mbappe has achieved milestones that many professional football players aspire to achieve during the entirety of their careers. Of course, he has a world-class resume, but his extraordinary talent only justifies it. The 22-year-old did not get his name on the scoring sheet against Germany but will be determined to wreak havoc in Hungary’s penalty box and help his nation get closer to more silverware.
Kylian Mbappe is a nightmare as he is always in the back of the mind of rivals even when they have possession: any possession loss will be mercilessly penalised. France utilise this terror with their transitions and teammates that complement Mbappe, allowing him to exploit spaces. With his superhuman speed and agility, the Frenchman gets miles ahead of his opponents before they ever realise it. To top it all off, his finishing, even at such a fast pace, is unparalleled.
France come into this match as heavy favourites and wouldn’t want to drop any points to slender their chances of winning it all in their search of redemption after the Euro 2016 final loss. While Hungary will be hoping to find the courage and tenacity once again after their heartbreaking loss to Portugal.
FootTheBall predicts Hungary 0-3 France