Sunday 3 Sep

Hungary vs Portugal - Match preview

03 Sep 2017 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qualification, UEFA Group B
INTERNATIONAL: World Cup Qualification, UEFA Group B


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18:45 GMT
03 September 2017


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18:45 GMT 03 September 2017

With the first international break of the 2017/18 season comes more FIFA World Cup qualifiers for a place at next year’s tournament in Russia. One of the bigger ties sees Portugal make the trip to Hungary in Group B after Cristiano Ronaldo notched his 48th career hat-trick in a 5-1 win over Faroe Islands. The hosts are struggling to qualify as they sit third in the group with an eight-point gap between themselves and second-placed Portugal, who are three points behind the leaders, Switzerland.


  • After they were beaten 4-0 in the last 16 of last summer’s European Championships, Hungary have been in very mixed form. They have won three games, drawn one and lost four since their exit from the tournament. A 3-1 victory over Latvia in their last match ended a run of three straight losses, they will have to make it back-to-back wins if they want to qualify.
  • Since their brilliant triumph at the Euro’s last summer in France, Portugal have taken that good form into their World Cup qualifiers. They have won six and lost one of their seven matches, with the only loss coming against Switzerland, who they will be looking to overtake at the top of the group. They came third at the Confederations Cup in July behind Germany and Chile.
  • Adam Szalai has been fantastic in front of goal for Hungary so far in the group and only two players have scored more than the five goals he has managed.
  • One of those players is the unbelievable Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored an outrageous 14 goals, making him the top goal scorer across all of the European qualifying groups.


Hungary have never beaten Portugal on the international stage, a run of seven games which dates all the way back to 1966. They have managed one draw while losing the other six, the draw came at the 2016 Euro’s and was one of the most entertaining matches at the tournament as it ended 3-3. The reverse qualifier saw Portugal win 3-0.

Head to head matches: Hungary - Portugal

25.03.2017 Worl Portugal Hungary 3:0


Their convincing win over Latvia in their last match means they are unlikely to make any changes in this match. They might choose to go more defensive as a loss will end their hopes of qualification. The performance of Szalai will be vital if they want to take all three points in this one.

Latest matches: Hungary

31.08.2017 Worl Hungary Latvia 3:1 W
09.06.2017 Worl Andorra Hungary 1:0 L
05.06.2017 Inte Hungary Russia 0:3 L
25.03.2017 Worl Portugal Hungary 3:0 L
15.11.2016 Inte Hungary Sweden 0:2 L


A win for Portugal could see them go top of the group and will guarantee them at least second place. Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to play a big role and build on the 78 international goals he has also managed. Nélson Oliveira came off the bench and scored in their last game so he could start.

Latest matches: Portugal

31.08.2017 Worl Portugal Faroe Islands 5:1 W
02.07.2017 Conf Portugal Mexico 2:1 W
28.06.2017 Conf Portugal Chile 0:3 L
24.06.2017 Conf New Zealand Portugal 0:4 W
21.06.2017 Conf Russia Portugal 0:1 W


Portugal are undoubtedly the strongest team in Group B and are expected to come away from this one with all three points and a few goals. For them to guarantee automatic qualification, they must win this game and then beat Switzerland. Hungary will be right up against it and must win to keep qualification hopes alive. A comfortable Portugal win is in the script, it’s very hard to see past that. Hungary will struggle and their hopes of the World Cup should be ended.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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