Saturday, 19 June 2021

EURO 2020: Match Preview on Saturday

 France and Portugal will be chasing early tickets to the round of 16 on Saturday as the second set of group games at UEFA EURO 2020 concludes.



We preview an action-packed agenda that begins with France tackling Hungary and ends with Spain facing Poland – either side of a powerhouse meeting between Portugal and Germany.

Hungary vs France (Group F, Budapest)

After conceding three late goals against Portugal, Hungary are up against it, especially considering the way France performed to beat Germany in Munich and move within a win of progress. Les Bleus look as hard to break down as they are to resist going forward, but Hungary have a little history on their side, having dispatched France during both their runs to the EURO semi-finals in 1964 and 1972.

Meanwhile, this game will reunite old friends Loïc Négo of Hungary and Antoine Griezmann, who represented France together at youth level and were room-mates when they won the 2010 Under-19 EURO. "It will be special to see him," says Négo, with Griezmann set for a 50th consecutive France appearance.

Key stat: The teams have played eight previous games in Budapest, most recently a 3-1 France win in a March 1990 friendly. That was France's only win in the Hungarian capital, where they have suffered six defeats, including a 13-1 loss in June 1927 – Hungary's record victory.?

Portugal vs Germany (Group F, Munich)

With six minutes to go against Hungary in Budapest, Portugal were looking at a frustrating opening to their title defence. Instead they secured a comfortable 3-0 win and Cristiano Ronaldo became the outright all-time leading scorer in EURO finals, moving to within three goals of Ali Daei's world record in internationals. Another victory would ensure progress for Portugal in considerably more comfort than on their way to the trophy five years ago.

As for Germany, the loss to France means they need a quick reaction to avoid a second straight group exit after the 2018 FIFA World Cup. "We know we can turn things around," says coach Joachim Löw. The good news for Die Mannschaft? Ronaldo has not scored in four appearances against them. The bad news? He has beaten Manuel Neuer nine times at club level.

Key stat: Germany have won their last four games against Portugal, most recently in the group stage at the 2014 World Cup, taking their overall tally from 18 meetings to ten wins, five draws and just three defeats.

Spain vs Poland (Group E, Seville), 

Both these sides are hoping for better after their opening games, Spain held by Sweden and Poland losing to Slovakia. Defender Jan Bednarek has promised Poland fans there will be no repeat in a match where Robert Lewandowski will be looking to open his EURO 2020 account, while Luis Enrique has vowed that Spain will stick to their tactics. "We try to play the same way in every match," declared the Roja coach, who has Sergio Busquets available again.

Álvaro Morata had a frustrating time against Sweden, but Pablo Sarabia has stuck up for the striker: "All of us are responsible for attack and defence and he made some very good interventions in defence. I grew up with him and he's a spectacular player; his numbers show that."

Key stat: Spain and Poland meet in a competitive international for the first time since 1959. La Roja have win eight of the ten games between the two.





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