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Football | Friday, June 21, 2024 10:20 AM (Revised at: Friday, June 21, 2024 10:21 AM)

Scotland vs Hungary Prediction: Euro 2024 Team News and Lineups Preview

Scotland vs Hungary Prediction: Euro 2024 Team News and Lineups Preview
Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo: Scotland's Scott McTominay celebrates after Switzerland's Fabian Schar scored an own goal

It’s the time of do or die at the 2023/24 European Championships with Jack Wright on hand to offer up a Scotland vs Hungary prediction, team news and lineups preview.

After the results of match day two in Group A both sides’ hopes of a place in the last 16 are alive. Scotland are in the box seat with a win putting them on four points, a total that has been enough to qualify from the group stages in both previous 24-team Euros.

Scotland vs Hungary Prediction 1: Scots to be further starved of success by Hungary

UEFA, Euro 2024, Sunday, June 23rd, 20:00 (UK)

Scotland showed great resilience to bounce back from a humiliating 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Germany on the opening night of the competition. A 1-1 draw with Switzerland puts their Round of 16 destiny firmly in their own hands and sets us up beautifully for what could in essence be a winner takes all encounter with Hungary.

The Hungarians came into this tournament being touted as potential dark horses but disappointed in their curtain raiser with the Swiss, slipping to a 3-1 defeat. They too responded well in their second outing giving the hosts a much sterner test than the Scots and were unfortunate to at least not score if not take something from the game. 

Although I find this one tough to call, if pushed, I would probably side with Hungary. Talisman Dominik Szoboszlai seems to be growing into the tournament, having put in a much more recognisable performance against the Germans.

Steve Clarke’s men are also still in something of a slump, with one win in 11 internationals, and that coming against a Gibraltar side ranked 203 in the World. The Magyars will extend that poor run if they can rediscover the form that saw them go 14 games unbeaten until a shock defeat to the Republic of Ireland in their penultimate warm-up fixture ahead of the tournament. 

Both sides have struggled to hit the back of the net in Germany, so adding under four goals boosts the Hungary/Draw double chance nicely above evens. 

  • Scotland vs Hungary Prediction 1: Selection Hungary Double Chance and Under 4 goals (TRACKED BET)
  • Best Odds: 2.15
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 7/10

Scotland vs Hungary Prediction 2: Scots goal famine could lead to Scott of bother

Scott McTominay became the sixth Scotland player to score at the European Championships when he put them in front via a big deflection off Fabian Schär. A common theme in recent months, and without the Manchester United midfielder’s goals, it is likely the Tartan Army wouldn’t even have made it to Germany.

His seven goals in qualifying were only bettered by Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe, Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku. He has accounted for eight of the 21 goals scored in the 16 internationals since Euros qualifying began in March last year. Only John McGinn (3) and Lawrence Shankland (2) have scored more than once over those same fixtures.

Through a combination of limited options, poor form and injury Steve Clarke has had well documented issues in forward areas. It is getting increasingly more common that if you can keep McTominay off the scoresheet then Scotland draw a blank. 

It is questionable if they managed a shot in the opening fixture. Their consolation came as a result of Antonio Rudiger diverting Scott McKenna’s header across goal into his own net. 

Hungary themselves have only scored once this tournament but I feel they will think if they can double that tally in Stuttgart on Sunday they can keep the Scots out. In doing so claim all three points and take that precious third place. 

  • Scotland vs Hungary Prediction 2: BTTS – No 
  • Best Odds: 2.20
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 7/10

Scotland vs Hungary Prediction 3: Varga to prove again he can hit a Barn door

Whilst Dominik Szoboszlai remains the golden boy of Hungarian football it is Barnabás Varga that has caught the eye in recent weeks. It is he who remains his nation’s only goalscorer at this tournament albeit as a result of a Szoboszlai assist.

With just 13 caps to his name having made his debut in March last year at 29-years of age he has hardly burst onto the scene. However a summer move to Ferencváros caught the attention of Marco Rossi and Varga has grabbed his opportunity. 

With 20 goals in 24 league games he was the leading goalscorer in the Hungarian top flight. That was supplemented with nine strikes in 11 Europa Conference League outings.

Varga now has seven goals from those 13 caps with no teammate able to top his four in qualifying from just six appearances and only 11 shots. He has looked Hungary’s main goal scoring threat across both games so far and they will be relying on him again to extend their stay in the competition.

What makes the selection more appealing is Scotland’s defensive issues. Ryan Porteous is suspended after his red card ban was extended. The luckless Kieran Tierney will miss the game because of the leg injury that forced him to be stretchered off against the Swiss.

  • Scotland vs Hungary Prediction 3: Barnabás Varga to Score Any Time (TRACKED BET)
  • Best Odds: 3.25
  • Bookmaker: bet365
  • Stake: 7/10

Scotland vs Hungary Prediction odds via bet365 as at 12:00, June 20th, 2024. Odds may now differ.

Scotland vs Hungary Euro 2024 Team News and Possible Lineups: Patchwork defence a worry for Tartan Army

As mentioned the main concerns for Scotland are in defence. Kieran Tierney joining the suspended Ryan Porteous on the sidelines for this huge clash. Grant Hanley’s fitness will be tested having to play two games in quick succession after missing most of the domestic campaign with Norwich due to an achilles injury. Che Adams will be hoping to keep his place in attack with Lawrence Shankland waiting in the wings.

Hungary will hope to have Loic Nego available with the Le Havre midfielder missing the opening two matches. Other than that Marco Rossi is likely to go unchanged from the side that posed Germany more than a few problems.

Scotland possible starting lineup: 3-4-2-1
Gunn; Hanley,  Hendry, McKenna; Robertson, McGregor, Gilmour, Ralston; McGinn, McTominay; Adams

Hungary possible starting lineup: 3-4-2-1
Gulacsi, Fiola, Orban, Dardai; Kerkez, Schafer, Nagy, Bolla; Sallai, Szoboszlai; Varga

Euro 2024 Match Stats: History in waiting

  • Scotland are aiming to make it past the group stages of an international tournament for the first time ever. 
  • Hungary have not won a European Championship game since 2016, a run of eight games.
  • Scotland’s point against Switzerland was their first ever gained from a game in which they conceded – at the seventh time of asking.
  • Hungary’s blank against Germany was the first time they had failed to score in 13 internationals.

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