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Preview: Hungary vs. France - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's European Championship clash between Hungary and France, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

France will aim to maintain their perfect start to Euro 2020 when they make the long journey to Budapest to face off against Hungary on Saturday in Group F.

The hosts fell victim to a 3-0 defeat to a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal during their first game, while France started as they mean to go on with a 1-0 success over Germany.


Match preview

Hungary manager Marco Rossi on June 15, 2021© Reuters

The almost alien sight of a full arena of spectators was a breath of fresh air as Hungary welcomed Portugal to the Puskas Arena on Tuesday, and the reigning champions failed to make their dominance count until a seven-minute flurry in the dying embers of the match.

After substitute Szabolcs Schon had a goal ruled out for offside, Portugal drew first blood in the 84th minute as Raphael Guerreiro's effort trickled past Peter Gulacsi, and the man for the international stage Ronaldo would add a further two strikes to break Michel Platini's European Championship goalscoring record.

Hungary manager Marco Rossi took the blame on the day after making in-game alterations which he felt did not pay off, but the 56-year-old witnessed his determined outfit keep Ronaldo and co at bay for 84 minutes on the day, and that is certainly something to be applauded.

Occupying a spot in the group of death with France, Germany and Portugal was always expected to end in dismay for Hungary - whose 11-game unbeaten streak across all competitions was ended at the hands of Portugal - but Rossi's men have proven that they will not go down waving the white flag.

A shock result against 2014 World Cup winners Germany - who also lost their opening game - could yet spell a remarkable third-placed finish for 37th-ranked Hungary, who were eliminated by Belgium in the last-16 stage five years ago, but not many will be placing bets on Rossi's men getting one over the reigning world champions.

France head coach Didier Deschamps pictured on June 8, 2021© Reuters

Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe will not be making friends with the officials anytime soon after both strikers had goals disallowed versus Germany on matchday one, but Didier Deschamps's men nevertheless managed to sink Die Mannschaft five years after dumping them out of the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

With 20 minutes on the clock, veteran defender Mats Hummels inadvertently turned Lucas Hernandez's cross into his own net for the game's only goal, as France made the ideal start to their group of death campaign en route to an expected top-two finish in the group.

Les Bleus will renew hostilities with their 2016 final opponents Portugal next Wednesday and will be desperate to enact revenge on Fernando Santos's men, so sweeping aside a normally resilient Hungary outfit would be the perfect tonic for the early favourites, who have now won five in a row with five clean sheets to boot.

Roberto Mancini's well-drilled Italy outfit are the only nation in Europe to boast more clean sheets than France since the turn of the year, and another shut-out on Hungarian soil would see Les Bleus register six successive clean sheets for the first time since 2007 - when they were under the tutelage of the ever-controversial Raymond Domenech.

Furthermore, France head into Saturday's game on a five-match winning streak against Hungary - who have not prevailed over Les Bleus since 1976 - and goals from Djibril Cisse and Florent Malouda saw France win 2-1 the last time these sides met in a 2005 friendly.

Hungary European Championship form:
  • L

Hungary form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

France European Championship form:
  • W

France form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W



Team News

France's players celebrate after Germany's Mats Hummels scores an own goal at Euro 2020 on June 15, 2021© Reuters

Hungary midfielder Daniel Gazdag missed the opening defeat to Portugal due to injury and has failed to recover in time, so he has been forced to withdraw from the team for the remainder of the tournament.

Rossi has no fresh concerns from Tuesday - as Roland Sallai was given the green light to feature from the off - and the Freiburg forward should link up with captain Adam Szalai in the attack once more.

Bristol City's Adam Nagy is in line for his 50th cap for the national team, and while Schon took his disallowed goal expertly against Portugal, the 20-year-old will most likely be restricted to another substitute cameo.

France right-back Benjamin Pavard revealed that he was unconscious for "10 to 15 seconds" against Germany after a collision with Robin Gosens, but the Bayern Munich man still completed the full 90 minutes - a move which attracted widespread criticism.

Pavard is reported to have recovered well from the episode and should therefore be given the green light to go again here, but Leo Dubois - who was left out of the squad to face Germany - could deputise if necessary.

Deschamps will certainly have one eye on the impending showdown with Portugal, but he ought to stick with the same winning formula for a match where a win should all but guarantee a top-two finish.

Kingsley Coman should be available after being granted leave earlier this week for the birth of his child, but he is not expected to start here in any case.

Hungary possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Botka, Orban, At.Szalai; Lovrencsics, Schafer, Kleinheisler, Nagy, Fiola; Sallai, Ad.Szalai

France possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, Hernandez; Pogba, Kante, Rabiot; Griezmann; Mbappe, Benzema


SM words green background

We say: Hungary 0-3 France

France undoubtedly should have scored more than just the one (own) goal against Germany, and Saturday's game represents the perfect opportunity for Mbappe and Benzema to strut their stuff.

Hungary are hardly the easiest team to break down in Europe - as Portugal found out for the majority of their encounter with Rossi's side - but France will surely make it two wins out of two at the Puskas Arena.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


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How you voted: Hungary vs France

Hungary
11.5%
Draw
8.0%
France
80.4%
684
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Hungary players salute their fans after their final Euro 2020 warm-up game on June 8, 2021
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