Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, pictured on the eve of his match against Germany. Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP via Getty Images
The pick of matches is Portugal v Germany in Munich at 5 p.m., with Germany looking to respond to their loss to France. Portugal were slow to break a tough and combative Hungarian side, but ultimately won 3-0. Cristiano Ronaldo managed to beat the scoring count in Euro Finals competitions by scoring a penalty and then finishing a wonderful combination between him and Benfica’s Rafa Silva.
The early kick-off at 2 p.m. will see France v Hungary as all-competition favorites and play against a side that will have the luxury of the home advantage in Budapest. France will aim for maximum points in their first two matches, while if the Hungarians manage to do the unthinkable and draw, they can face Germany in their third draw dreaming of a round of 16. final. Spain face Poland as both teams aim to secure their first victories of the competition.
The incredible noise and atmosphere in Budapest last Tuesday crossed TV screens across the continent as the sound of over 60,000 supporters echoed. It was the first time that many football fans heard a full capacity stadium and although Hungary will have been disappointed to fade away in this game against the Portuguese, they know they will be fully supported by this wall of the his. France will be aware of this, but coach Didier Deschamps will know his team have enough experience to navigate a hostile environment.
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France is unsurprisingly the favorite in the competition at 3/10, with Hungary looking to overcome the shock of this Euro and any Euro by beating the Blues and is envisaged at 10/1. FC Dallas winger Szabolcs Schon came close to realizing the surprise against Portugal, scoring 0-0, but his goal was correctly ruled out for offside. Schon replaced Roland Sallai in the 77th minute and will try to have the same impact with a 9/1 odds to score at any time. Sallai himself is set to be a guaranteed striker and one of Hungary’s most experienced players after three Bundesliga seasons for Freiburg. He is 6/1 to open his account for the tournament.
France’s ‘Three Musketeers’ to Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann are all expected to feature even though there will be a competition for places. Mbappe is right in front of Benzema to score anytime at 10/11, but the Real Madrid forward is not far behind at 21/20. Paul Pogba is 13/5 to regain his first goal in Euros since a header in the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 against Iceland. Pogba’s change in position for France from Manchester United is clear from the game against Germany in which he is able to climb higher on the pitch to bond with France’s top three.
Germany are not the force they were and will take part in future World Cups and European competitions, but they performed as well as you would expect against France in their opener. . Serge Gnabry’s volley in the 54th minute was their best chance but they had more attempts than their opponents in the 90 minutes. A narrow loss to Portugal wouldn’t necessarily mean Germany was out of the tournament, as a big win over Hungary on Matchday 3 could mean they would finish among the top teams third.
Portugal needed a bit of fortune to beat Hungary with Raphael Guerrero’s shot taking a big deflection to take the 1-0 advantage in Budapest. But there was nothing lucky in their next two goals, one a blatant penalty and the other a well-worked assist, both scored by Ronaldo. Rafa Silva got off to a great start after winning the penalty foul and teaming up with Ronaldo. Ronaldo has 6/4 to score anytime with Silva 6/1, but the 28-year-old is unlikely to start and lead the Premier League midfielder trio of Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota.
Despite the defeat of the Germans against France, they are slightly favored at 5/4, the game in Munich being an advantage. Joachim Low has options and could look to get Timo Werner 15/8 to score throughout the game and Leroy Sane would also produce the dynamism that could open up a tight Portuguese defense. Former Manchester City player Sane is 3/1 to score anytime. Portugal are 9/4 but have already had this extremely partisan support in Budapest and can therefore handle this kind of opportunity.
Spain will be hoping their 0-0 draw against Sweden was nothing but failure, although their struggles in front of goal were a model under Luis Enrique. Sometimes they dominate a team like their 6-0 loss to Germany in November 2020, but too often their lavishness has let them down. This has not been the case for Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga this season which has broken records and cemented his reputation as the best center-forward in world football.
However, the Bayern Munich forward now has a two-goal record from four major international tournaments, which is bizarre given his generational talent. Lewandowski is 12/5 to score anytime. He will need help from elsewhere and Torino Karol Linetty has found the equalizer against Slovakia and is 20/1 to continue this kind of form against La Roja. Leeds United midfielder Mateusz Klich has slightly better odds of 8/1 in the same market.
There are calls in the Spanish media for Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno to replace Alvaro Morata for this game. The Europa League winner who scored in the final against Manchester United has an 11/10 to find the net and almost scored against Sweden with a well-saved header. Dani Olmo looked dangerous enough to hold onto his place alongside Enrique, especially in the first half and is 7/4 to score his fourth goal for his country.