Preview: Hungary v Belgium

Marc Wilmots accepts that Belgium are favourites for Sunday's round of 16 encounter with Hungary, who Bernd Storck says must be "clinical" in their first knockout game for 44 years.

Euro 2016 - Belgium Press Conference
  • Belgium coach Marc Wilmots accepts favourites' tag ahead of round of 16 tie against Hungary
  • Hungary won Group F with five points; Belgium were second in Group E with six points
  • Sides' first competitive match since 1982 FIFA World Cup: 1-1 draw took Belgium through group
  • Hosts Belgium beat Magyars 2-1 for EURO '72 third place, Hungary's last major knockout game
  • Winners play Wales in Lille quarter-final at 21:00CET on Friday


Possible line-ups
Hungary: Király; Kádár, Guzmics, Juhász, Lang; Nagy, Gera; Lovrencsics, Kleinheisler, Dzsudzsák, Szalai.
Out: Fiola (ankle)
Will miss quarter-finals with booking:
Dzsudzsák, Gera, Guzmics, Juhász, Kádár, Kleinheisler, Nagy, Németh

Belgium: Courtois; Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Witsel, Nainggolan; Carrasco, De Bruyne, Hazard; Lukaku.
Doubtful: Dembélé (ankle)
Will miss quarter-finals with booking: Meunier, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Witsel

Coach quotes
Bernd Storck, Hungary coach
We are very happy to be in the round of 16, I think we deserve it. We have played good football and have kept improving. But now we play the team second in the FIFA rankings, an excellent side. We have to concentrate on our strengths, be strong in defence and clinical when we have chances.

Dzsudzsák: ‘Everything seems like a dream’
Dzsudzsák: ‘Everything seems like a dream’

It's not for me to say if [Belgium] are a golden generation but they play at top clubs and have won a lot of trophies. They had a very difficult start against Italy – you can easily lose to them and that was the case at this tournament. But Belgium have got better from game to game and it is going to be a big challenge for us.

I'm pretty calm before a game. I know what I have to say to the players, and in the first minutes of a game I can see if they are doing what I have told them to do, and I calm down when they do it.

Marc Wilmots, Belgium coach
Our goal is to go as far as possible. I have no problem with being considered favourites. We have to have the ball and dominate as we try to and get to the quarters. We have to control the ball and tie them down and create one-on-one match-ups in the last 30 metres. But they are very compact in defence, so we have to be patient and play at pace. Hungary will fight until the end.

[Kevin De Bruyne] could be key. He didn't play very well against Italy but has striven to improve – he has wanted the ball and taken the initiative. Kevin is smiling again, he is enjoying his football. There has been a lot going on in his life, he changed clubs, but now he is smiling again.

[Hungary goalkeeper Gábor Király, whom Wilmots played against in the Bundesliga in the late 1990s] has been a great professional. I don't remember if I  scored against him but this guy is still here! It’s nice to see.

Belgium's dressing room before Sweden match
Peek inside Belgium's dressing room

UEFA.com team reporters
Matthew Watson-Broughton, Hungary (@UEFAcomMattWB)
Hungary have performed well so far – better than some of their fans might have dared to dream – but their FIFA ranking of 20 would suggest that reaching the last 16 is about in line with expectations. Facing Belgium, ranked second, is a different matter.

Hungary have nothing to lose, though, and this relative lack of pressure may encourage the likes of young playmaker László Kleinheisler to follow the example set by captain Balázs Dzudzsák on matchday three and try his luck from distance. Attila Fiola's injury absence means Ádám Lang continues to deputise at right-back, while central defender Roland Juhász's battle with former Anderlecht team-mate Romelu Lukaku could prove crucial. Prediction: This spirited Hungary side will push Belgium's more individually talented players all the way.  

Berend Scholten, Belgium (@UEFAcomBerendS)
Belgium travelled from Bordeaux to Toulouse by bus and are in good spirits after victories against the Republic of Ireland and Sweden. Wilmots has little reason to shuffle his pack, with Mousa Dembélé having trained alone since sustaining an ankle injury against the Irish a week ago. Radja Nainggolan, however, has proved an excellent replacement, scoring the winner versus Sweden.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Hungary: DDWLDDWLWD
Belgium: WWLWDWLWWW

Did you know?
Both these nations have previously reached, and lost, major finals – Hungary in the 1938 and 1954 World Cups in France and Italy respectively; and Belgium at the 1980 UEFA European Championship in Italy. Read more in our extensive match background.

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