Ahead of their Group F clash in Lyon on Wednesday, Portugal and Hungary UAE-based fans give their verdict on the game.
To gain an insight into the mindset of the fans we asked UAE fans to share with us their predictions, likely line-ups and players to watch.
Do you agree or have they missed the mark? Use #360Fans to share with us your thoughts.
PORTUGAL – Francisco Alves (Architect, Dubai)
Even the most optimistic Hungarians would not have expected themselves to be in pole position at this point and they won’t be willing to just drop their big chance to go through. I’m expecting a locked down defensive approach from the Magyars, exactly as Iceland and Austria played against us.
This may very well be the worst circumstances in which to face Portugal, though. We are desperate to both win and convince not only the Portuguese supporters, but also the media, that we were favourites to win this group for a reason.
After his disappointing performances in the first two matches, it would be wise to unload the pressure from Cristiano Ronaldo’s shoulders as the main attacking resource for the team. The majority of Portuguese fans (including myself) are hoping for Renato Sanches to be included in the starting line-up instead of Andre Gomes. Although João Moutinho is always guaranteed to provide consistent pass accuracy, we could use some more creativity and even João Mário should be considered.
Let’s hope our manager Fernando Santos refreshes the midfield with the galvanising energy of our wonderkids. Looking back at the (supposedly) easy group draw, one wouldn’t have expected it to play out like this, but that’s just the Portuguese way. We are experts in agonising improvisation.
PREDICTION: Portugal 1 – 0 Hungary
LIKELY PORTUGAL XI: Rui Patricio; Vieirinha, Pepe, R. Carvalho, Eliseu; W. Carvalho, Moutinho, Renato Sanches; Quaresma, Nani, Ronaldo.
PORTUGAL PLAYER TO WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo – Twenty shots, zero goals… it’s got to change soon right?! Ronaldo has had more attempts than nine TEAMS at this tournament but luck has not been on his side. It might affect a normal player’s confidence but giving up is not part of Cristiano’s character and hopefully this goal-drought will end precisely when he is most needed to lead the team into the last-16.
HUNGARY PLAYER TO FEAR: Ádám Nagy. One of the most promising young players in Hungarian football, his ability to intercept opponents’ passes is impressive. As a Benfica fan, and a keen follower of transfer rumours, I’ll be curious to see if he truly has what it takes to wear my club’s glorious colours.
WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Barasti Beach Bar.
HUNGARY – Viktor Jemeljanov (Chief Representative, Dubai)
Well, well, well, Hungary are leading Group F after two games. Who’d have thought it?! It’s surprised everyone, including the Hungarian fans, but our team without superstars has come together and put four points on the board.
We now face our toughest match yet against Portugal but should not feel pressure as we should be through to the knockout stage whether we lose or not. In contrast, the Portuguese HAVE to win to progress. They have a lot of expectation on their shoulders but they also have some fantastic players.
Daniel Bode suffered a slight injury during the Iceland match, but hopefully he will fully in time, while Attila Fiol is still out, meaning the XI will likely be the same that started the last game.
The last time when Hungary proceeded to the knockout stage on a big tournament was 50 years ago at the 1966 World Cup. Hungary were also in the same group with Portugal back then, but lost their first match to them 3-1, before beating Brazil and Bulgaria. While this team probably isn’t good enough to beat Brazil, it is cheered on by a hugely passionate set of supporters that believe anything is possible now. The fans give extra strength to the players, hopefully they will feed off that against Portugal.
PREDICTION: Portugal 1-1 Hungary
LIKELY HUNGARY XI: Kiraly, Lang, Guzmics, Juhasz, Kadar, Kleinheisler, Gera, Nagy, Stieber, Priskin, Dzsudzsak
HUNGARY PLAYER TO WATCH: Balazs Dzsudzsak – He has been a real hero for Hungary so far and is a player who the fans love. His dribbling, his attacking intent – surely one of Europe’s big clubs will come in for him after watching his performances in France!
PORTUGAL PLAYER TO FEAR: Nani – All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo but his old team-mate at Manchester United has scored one more goal than him so far at Euro 2016 and has looked dangerous in both games with his movement on and off the ball.
WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: ON42 at the Media One Hotel.