The opening match of the day in Euro 2020 on Saturday sees the tournament heading back to Budapest where a full crowd is likely to be in attendance for the clash between Hungary and France in Group F.
France looked very impressive in their opening match and a win here will as good as secure their place in the knockout stages. Hungary were up against it from the minute the draw was made for these groups and will be hard pushed to get anything out of this one.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live in full on BBC1 with the build-up to the contest beginning at 1.15pm with the match itself getting underway at 2pm.
You really have to feel for Hungary. They worked so hard to make it into this tournament and were then given next to no chance of progressing given the strength of this group. That was highlighted in the opening game where although Portugal left it late to beat them, they never really landed a blow on the defending champions and need to find a lot more than they had when they come up against the reigning world champions.
Another reason why you have to feel for the Hungarians is they lost their chief creator at the beginning of the year in Dominik Szoboszlai and that really showed in the match against Portugal where they couldn’t really create anything. You kind of get the feeling that they are relying on home advantage and hoping that they can get a meaningful set-piece and then finding the back of the net from it before clinging on for dear life.
We didn’t see the best of France in the opening match but what we did see was very impressive indeed. They ultimately beat Germany by an own goal but had they timed a couple of their runs a little better then they would have done a good job on the Germans. I don’t think any side who expect to win a tournament plays their best in their opening match. They aim to peak for their last game rather than their first one.
That is ominous for the rest because the France display against Germany was controlled and in the main flawless so if there is more to come from them the rest of the tournament have had a marker laid down to them. France looked relatively comfortable in defence and were probing in attack. It didn’t always click at the top end of the pitch but that will come with matches so we probably should expect France to be better here.
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Hungary midfielder Daniel Gazdag missed the opening match with a knee problem and he has now left the squad so he certainly isn’t going to play a part. Both Willi Orban and Loic Nego are a booking away from missing the clash with Germany for the former is too important to be rested.
France have a decision to make on defender Benjamin Pavard. It was a disgrace he was allowed to carry on at the time of a clash of heads in the Germany game and he proved that to be the case when he admitted afterwards that he was knocked out for 10-15 seconds.
It is hard to see anything but a France win here. I say that because they are not just winning matches at the minute but they are not conceding goals in them either. They have won their last five matches without conceding a goal and I expect that to be a trend that can continue here. Hungary certainly don’t lack for spirit but they do lack for quality in the key areas and you have to have the ability to hurt France and get their respect to have any chance against them.
There were some critics suggesting that France weren’t ruthless enough against Germany but you only have to win in this competition. You don’t get bonus points for the size of victory so I wasn’t one of those. They looked solid at the back against a much stronger attack than the one they will face here and have so many weapons going the other way that it is hard to see anything but a France win without conceding.
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