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Euro 2024: Hungary and Switzerland in an Early Six Pointer

Hungary vs Switzerland

Germany are set to open Euro 2024 in a Group A clash against Scotland on Friday night, and few neutrals expect the hosts to slip-up.

Then, on Saturday, Marco Rossi’s Hungary and Murat Yakin’s Switzerland will get it on at the Cologne Stadium in the other Group A opener. And with respect to Scotland, both teams have high hopes of finishing in the top two and guarantee progress to the knockout phase.

The Euro 2024 betting odds make this one of the best matched games of the first round. This is a real six-pointer, so let’s take a closer look at the two teams.   

 

Talking Points

Coach Rossi has given Hungary belief

Since he took over as head coach in 2018, Marco Rossi has overseen a period of evolution, from a nation on the outside of the European elite looking in and grabbing results with determined defencive displays, to one which has self belief and can compete with the best.

The Italian former defender has created a culture of openness, combined with standards of excellence and, over the past couple of years, his team has played some free-flowing football. He has a win ratio of 52-per cent with Hungary, and it helps that Rossi has some super talented players in his squad.      

Captained by Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, the Magyars are a force to be reckoned with as England will testify. Hungary battered the Three Lions 4-0 when the two nations met in a UEFA Nations League clash in 2022. In fact, they beat England twice and Germany once to finish second in a group which also contained Italy.

Szoboszlai makes the Magyars tick, playing in a quarterback role to control the pace of play and launch attacks with his superb array of passing. He will look for SC Freiburg star Roland Sallai, who is Hungary’s biggest goal threat as a pacey winger, willing to shoot on sight.

At the other end of the pitch, Sallai’s Leipzig teammate Peter Gulacsi is the last line of defence, while another player to watch is Bournemouth’s 20-year-old left back Milos Kerkez who is a real livewire.

 

Xhaka is Switzerland’s powerhouse  

While Szoboszlai is the metronome which makes Hungary tick, the Swiss have their own giant of the game in defencive midfielder Granit Xhaka, a tough tackler with superb positional sense and a hammer blow of a shot.

Granit Xhaka gears up to lead Switzerland against Hungary in upcoming Euro 2024 clash
Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka controls the ball during their recent international friendly game with Austria

Xhaka is back to his best after a spectacular season at Bayer Leverkusen as Die Werkself won the Bundesliga without losing a game, and he is channelling his natural aggression brilliantly to stamp his mark on the Bundesliga and on the international stage.

This is a nicely balanced team with Newcastle’s experienced defender Fabian Schar in front of a world-class keeper in Yann Sommer. And Xhaka has some creative stars alongside him in the middle of the park in Monaco’s Denis Zakaria and Bologna’s Remo Freuler.

Up front, Monaco’s Breel Embrolo has bags of pace and Burnley forward Zeki Amdouni is another who can make some entertaining Euro 2024 highlights.

He’s a real talent, but he has suffered from inconsistency like many of his young Clarets teammates and the season ended in relegation. But at 23 years of age, Amdouni has bags of potential, and he has already scored seven goals in 15 internationals

Amdouni’s tight ball control combined with quick changes of pace earned him the nickname the “Swiss Messi.”

 

History

In Hungary’s heyday, they were a real force to be reckoned with in world football. They were World Cup runners-up in 1938 and 1954 and European Cup semi-finalists in 1964.

Switzerland were strong back in the day too, as World Cup quarter-finalists in 1934, 1938 and 1954, and they were European Championship quarter finalists in 2020.   

In terms of head-to-heads, Switzerland have won three of the five previous meetings with one draw and one Hungary win. The last encounter was a 2018 World Cup qualifier which the Swiss won 5-2.

Both teams are in good form, having lost just one in the last six. Hungary have won four and drawn one, while the Swiss have won two and drawn three 

 

Betting Tip

Switzerland are the favourites to win this Group A opener at SBOTOP odds of 2.23 with Hungary priced at 3.08, and this is sure to be a fascinating clash between two well matched teams. 

I suspect they may cancel each other out and stay in the race for a top two spot and, for an alternative bet, a 1-1 draw is the most likely outcome at odds of 5.60.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (⭐) BETS ARE WORTH:

⭐⭐⭐= €20 (HIGHLY CONFIDENT)

⭐⭐= €10 (CONFIDENT))

⭐= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

   

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