Hungary for Victory: Can underdogs cause an upset in the group of death?

Hungary are heading into Euro 2020 as massive underdogs, with France, Germany and reigning champions Portugal in their way, but could they cause a possible upset along the way?

Euro 2016 was a successful tournament for Hungary, their first major international tournament since the 1986 World Cup where they finished 3rd in their group ahead of Canada and behind France and the Soviet Union.

Their group in 2016 consisted of Portugal the current holders alongside Iceland and Austria, the fairytale of that tournament was Iceland who would make it all the way to the last eight before losing to France.

The Hungarians finished top of their group in 2016 with five points having picked up a 2-0 win over Austria and drawing against Iceland and Portugal.

This year’s competition certainly see’s them as underdogs and a mixture of players from the country’s domestic league and Europe will help them out massively over the next two weeks as they look to play with pride and possibly cause and upset or two.

They kick off their campaign against Portugal before taking on France and Germany.

Players to Watch:

Willi Orbán: 

Orban has been a staple in RB Leipzig’s defence and rise up the German football pyramid and has also been a part of the Hungary set up since 2018 with this year’s Euros being his first major tournament.

The 28 year-old centre back will be the main focus of Marco Rossi’s back line alongside Attila Szalai and Akos Kecskes. He operates in the national team as part of a back three with head coach Rossi opting for a 3-1-4-2 formation against Cyprus and a 3-5-2 against the Republic Of Ireland.

Looking at his statistics for the 2020/21 season with Leipzig, Olban has played 29 times for Leipzig this season finding the back of the net four times. When it comes to winning the ball in the air his success rate stands at 68% the best of all the defenders named in the country’s squad.

This threat in the air could be crucial for Hungary’s hopes in all three group games being able to make players such as Ronaldo who have success in the air will be crucial for them to keep defensively strong.

Adam Nagy 

A key figure in the Bristol City squad, Nagy will be crucial in Hungary’s midfield and their main man in the middle.

Being able to play as both a box to box and defensive midfielder is one of Nagy’s biggest attributes.

An 80% successful pass rate is a real focus point. Being able to join the midfield and also take a step back into the defence when needed will help Hungary combat the attacking force that Portugal, Germany and France offer.

Being able to control the midfield area will be important for Hungary against the other teams in their group and being able to take the chances to work the ball out wide or back to the defence is something that Nagy will be key in doing.

Lineups and Formation

Hungary like to play a three at the back formation switching between a 3-5-2 and a 3-2-4-2 formation. They used both in their most recent friendlies against Cyprus and the Republic Of Ireland.

Lineup vs Ireland

Lineup vs Cyprus

Utilising fullbacks that can switch between the defence and attack with ease will benefit Hungary having a man drop deep in midfield can enable them to support a two up front.

26 Man Squad:

Goalkeepers: Ádám Bogdán (Ferencváros), Dénes Dibusz (Ferencváros), Péter Gulácsi (Leipzig)

Defenders: Bendegúz Bolla (Fehérvár), Endre Botka (Ferencváros), Attila Fiola (Fehérvár), Ákos Kecskés (Lugano), Ádám Lang (Omonia Nicosia), Gergő Lovrencsics (Ferencváros), Loïc Négo (Fehérvár), Willi Orbán (Leipzig), Attila Szalai (Fenerbahçe)

Midfielders: Tamás Cseri (Mezőkövesd), Dániel Gazdag (Philadelphia Union), László Kleinheisler (Osijek), Ádám Nagy (Bristol City), András Schäfer (Dunajská Streda), Dávid Sigér (Ferencváros), Kevin Varga (Kasımpaşa), Roland Varga (MTK Budapest)

Forwards: János Hahn (Paks), Filip Holender (Partizan), Nemanja Nikolić (Fehérvár), Roland Sallai (Freiburg), Szabolcs Schön (FC Dallas), Ádám Szalai (Mainz)

Fixtures:

Tuesday 15th June – vs Portugal

Saturday 19th June – Vs France

Wednesday 23rd June – Germany