Sunday, 26 June 2016

Hungary vs Belgium Euro 2016 Football Match Preview And Prediction - June 27, 2016

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Hungary vs. Belgium: Adam Nagy and Kevin De Bruyne crucial in Toulouse

The round of 16 is upon us, and Hungary face Belgium in Toulouse, France, on Sunday for a place in the Euro 16 quarterfinals.

Tomasz Mortimer (Hungary) and John Chapman (Belgium) look ahead to the showdown.

Sum up your tournament so far

Tomasz Mortimer: Hungary have exceeded all expectations by making the round of 16 and topping the group. Their reward? A tie against Belgium, one of the favourites for the tournament.

No matter what happens from here, Hungary have done their country so proud. Before they qualified for the tournament, there was little interest in Hungarian football, but the scenes in Budapest during the 3-3 draw with Portugal showed enthusiasm is returning.

The great performances are inspiring a nation to feel good about a sport they were once so majestic at.

John Chapman: Belgium's hopes were high going into Euro 2016, but manager Marc Wilmots' men were stopped dead in their tracks by Antonio Conte's Italy. They were outplayed in the opener, and the choice of Marouane Fellaini in the No. 10 role hardly helped their cause.

Wilmots straightened out his team for the game against Ireland, with Kevin De Bruyne in his rightful place in the centre of the pitch. The Irish were dispatched easily enough, but Sweden were beaten only by a late strike from Radja Nainggolan. With the draw opening up, there is a danger now of overconfidence. It must be said, though, that Belgium's chances look brighter than in any previous tournament.

Key battle

TM: Hungary's Adam Nagy vs. Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne

Nagy was given a rest against Portugal, and that will prepare him for his biggest task yet -- trying to keep down the imperious De Bruyne.

Manchester City's De Bruyne has been majestic so far, and Nagy will have to be at his defensive best to stop De Bruyne from getting into the key areas where he can cause so much damage. However, Nagy isn't just a destroyer -- he's so much more than that. If he's allowed too much time on the ball he can dictate the tempo of the match from deep. His resistance to the press is also outstanding for someone so young, so it'll be interesting to see how Belgium deal with him.

JC: Belgium's Radja Nainggolan vs. Hungary's Zoltan Gera and Adam Nagy

Nainggolan is undoubtedly the man to stem the creative juices of Zoltan Gera and Adam Nagy, the midfielders in the Hungarian engine room. With Axel Witsel hopefully putting in a more defensive shift and De Bruyne providing passing and vision for the front three, it will be up to "The Ninja" to take on the responsibility of disrupting this duo. If he fails, Belgium's hopes could go up in smoke.

Star man

TM: Hungary's Balazs Dzsudzsak

Dzsudzsak is finally starting to come into a bit of form for the first time in years. His performances in the past two games are what you expect to see from the man who was tipped in his younger days to become a superstar.

He can cause damage on either side, taking the ball to the byline and crossing on the left, and cutting inside and shooting powerfully on the right. His two goals against Portugal had a degree of fortune about them, but they're the sort of goals that could easily happen again against Belgium.

JC: Belgium's Thomas Vermaelen

Before the warm-up games, Vermaelen told the press that he wanted a chance to prove what he could do. Despite that, there were doubts that he would last a full 90 minutes against Italy. But he played the whole game, and starred, against Ireland and Sweden.

Wilmots was even so moved to say that Vermaelen was back to his form of seven or eight years ago. The centre-back was dominant in the air and with his feet, and he was Belgium's best defender in the three group games by far. Should Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen be together in the centre? Who cares?


TM: Hungary 1-2 Belgium

The Belgians have so much quality, and while Hungary will give it a good go, it'll be hard for them to keep the likes of De Bruyne & Co. down.

JC: Hungary 1-2 Belgium

Belgium just edges by in a tight game.

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