Austria and Hungary kick start the Euro 2016 Group F opener on Tuesday evening at the Stade Matmut-Atlantique in Bordeaux.
Austria are entering the European Championships through qualifying rounds for the first time, and their only previous appearance in the final tournament was as co-hosts in 2008. They failed to win all three games, losing to Croatia and Germany; and share of the spoils against Poland.
Hungary had not made it to the Euros since 1972, but that was a year when only four teams compete for the trophy. They are two times losing finalist of World Cup, 1938 and 1954; and their last appearance in a major tournament was at the 1986 World Cup.
Austria finished the qualifiers unbeaten with 9 wins and a draw from their 10 matches. They were one of the best defensive sides who conceded just 5 goals during the time. Their form took a u-turn in the recent friendlies as they were beaten in 3 of the 5 games. They lost to Switzerland, Turkey and Netherlands and the wins against Albania and a lowly Malta is nothing to brag about.
Hungary finished third in the qualifiers after managing 4 wins and 4 draws from their 10 games. Then they went on to beat Norway in both leg of the qualifiers to gain qualification for the final tournament. Hungary then drawn back to back friendlies against Croatia and Ivory Coast and lost to Germany in the final game.
Austria: Team News
Austria boss Marcel Koller has no major injury worries and is expected to field the strongest possible eleven in the preferred 4-2-3-1 formation in the opening match against Hungary.
The versatile David Alaba will be their main creative outlet, who often drops deep into the midfield. Marko Arnautovic and Zlatko Junuzovic offers plenty of pace in the attacking third, with Marc Janko as the target man upfront.
There is plenty of experience and quality in defence with the likes of Christian Fuchs, Sebastian Prodl, Aleksandar Dragovic and Florian Klein.
Austria: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Almer – Fuchs, Prodl, Dragovic, Klein – Alaba, Baumgartlinger – Arnautovic, Junuzovic, Harnik – Janko.
Hungary: Team News
Bernd Storck is expected to go with a 4-2-3-1 formation which could be switched to 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 if required. Their captain Balazs Dzsudzsak is the main creative force in the attacking third.
Their main worry is an inexperienced defense and an ineffective attack. But they are side that must be considered extremely dangerous from set-pieced.
Goal Keeper Gabor Kiraly at the age of 40, could become the oldest player to play in Euros, if Strock opt to start with him.
Hungary: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Dibusz – Kadar, Lang, Juhasz, Fiola – Gera, Nagy – Dzsudzsak, Kleinheisser, Nemeth – Priskin.
Austria vs Hungary: Head-to-Head Stats
They had played on 137 occasions, Hungary winning in 66 against Austria’s 40 wins, while 31 games were draws.
Austria met Hungary only once in a competitive match, at the 1934 World Cup in Italy, where they won 2-1 to reach the semi-finals.
The latest meeting between the two sides was on August 2006 at Graz, Hungary won it 2-1.
Austria vs Hungary: Prediction
Hungary are coming into the match on a slightly better form than their Tuesday’s opponents Austria. At the same time, Austria have more quality players who can prove to be a match winner on their day. But they haven’t turned up yet and this remains a worry for head coach Marcel Koller. The Magyars have no big name players in the squad and their success depends on the tactical decision of manager Bernd Storck.
Also, Austria haven’t won in the last three encounters against Hungary, drawing 1 and losing 2. And they not in good shape which gives Hungary a slight edge to take something out of this game. At the same time, I am not confident in backing Hungary for a win as a draw seems to be most probable result here. Backing Hungary on a double chance offers good value of return and that’s the way to go in unpredictable matches like this.
Full Time Score Prediction: Austria 1-1 Hungary (odds ).
- Under 2.5 goals (1.58)
- Double Chance – Hungary/Draw (2.00)
- Handicap-Hungary +2 (1.33)
*Odds from Bet-at-Home at the time of composing this article.
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