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Preview: Hungary v Portugal

Fernando Santos is backing Cristiano Ronaldo to score against Hungary as Portugal aim to join their Group F rivals in the last 16, though Bernd Storck will not relinquish top spot lightly.

Preview: Hungary v Portugal
Preview: Hungary v Portugal ©UEFA.com
  • Group F leaders Hungary are assured of a last-16 berth
  • Portugal lie third in the section, two points behind Bernd Storck's men
  • The Portuguese have prevailed in all five competitive games between the teams
  • The two most recent victories came on the road to the 2010 World Cup
  • The teams have been drawn together in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup


Possible line-ups
Hungary
:
Király; Lang, Guzmics, Juhász, Kádár; Nagy, Gera; Dzsudzsák, Kleinheisler, Lovrencsics; Szalai.
Out: Fiola
Doubtful: Böde
Misses next match if booked: Kádár, Kleinheisler, Nagy, Németh

Portugal: Rui Patrício; Vieirinha, Ricardo Carvalho, Pepe, Eliseu; William Carvalho, João Moutinho, Renato Sanches; Ricardo Quaresma, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani.
Out: none
Doubtful: André Gomes (thigh), Raphaël Guerreiro (thigh)
Misses next match if booked: Pepe, Quaresma

Bernd Storck, Hungary coach
Who would have thought beforehand that we'd be top on four points and Portugal would have to win to be sure of qualifying? I can't compliment my team enough. We need to continue what we've been doing in the last two matches, and we need to play with a disciplined defence. They'll put pressure on us because they're a world-class team.

Everyone's always asking about Cristiano Ronaldo. There are other world-class players in this team, who've won the Champions League and contributed a lot. Everyone will need to fight together. We need to be brave. We can't be afraid and we hope to play our style of match. It's not just about their No7.

I always try to set an example. I always prepare my team for what they will face. That's why I'm not afraid and not concerned. We always analyse all the opposition so that our players know what to expect. I don't think we're good enough to play our game and destroy Portugal so of course we'll look at them.

Fernando Santos, Portugal coach
I believe in my players. Why would I start being a pessimist all of a sudden? Everyone believed in our team until a couple of days ago. We played a really good game [against Austria] and now everyone questions us – that baffles me. We've been exemplary. We've worked hard, we're committed and have quality players. Why wouldn't I believe in them? That would make no sense. I believe we'll make it [to the final].

I'm sure [Cristiano Ronaldo] will get over everything and do what he does best. And he's always proven that what he does best is to score. I'm sure he'll be anxiety-free. He'll keep on taking free-kicks and penalties.

Fernando Santos backing Ronaldo to shine
Fernando Santos backing Ronaldo to shine

I don't think Hungary will play a very defensive match. They may not be dependent on other results, but a team cannot change its style of play overnight. They have hard workers and are very strong. Their main strength is they're a team. They like to move the ball around and attack. What I expect from them is what I've seen before.

UEFA.com team reporters
Matthew Watson-Broughton, Hungary (@UEFAcomMattWlB)
What a dream this is for Hungary! Who would have thought they would have qualified before kick-off in the third set of games? That is the first task. Now comes the second as they seek to secure a top-two berth. Storck may rotate his squad even if his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation will remain in place for the sake of continuity.

Ronaldo 'proud' but frustrated
Ronaldo 'proud' but frustrated

Joseph Walker, Portugal (@UEFAcomJoeW)
Fernando Santos and his side are in a position nobody could have envisaged when the draw was made, but the facts are simple: they are third going into the last round of Group F games. The saving grace is that this has been one of the most even sections and a win could quite feasibly take Portugal top. With a profligate 50 shots and just one goal, they will need to be clinical if they are to avoid an early exit. All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma in order to seal progress.

Form guide (all games, most recent first)
Hungary: DWLDDWLWDD
Portugal
: DDWLWWLWLW

Did you know?
The nations' only final tournament encounter came at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, Portugal prevailing 3-1 at Old Trafford in their opening game. Both teams qualified from the group, ahead of Brazil and Bulgaria. Find out more in our extensive match background.

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