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England continue to build towards the 2022 World Cup when they travel to Hungary for their UEFA Nations League clash on Saturday. The match was due to be played behind closed doors as a punishment for Hungary's "racist and discriminatory" behaviour at Euro 2020, but they have exploited a loophole to get around that. UEFA regulations allow for an unlimited number of school-age children to attend for free, with one adult per 10 children, meaning there are now 30,000 fans expected at the Puskas Arena.
When: Saturday, June 4, 17:00 BST
Where: Puskas Arena, Budapest
Where to watch: Channel 4
Who is the ref for Hungary vs England
Artur Soares Dias is the man in control of this one, and that's a name that might have at least a degree of familiarity for England fans.
The Portuguese has refereed England four times since 2016 and the Three Lions are yet to concede a goal with him on the pitch.
He has also officiated Hungary too, with him overseeing their 1-0 away win in Turkey in the 2020 Nations League.
Hungary are in pretty good form of late, winning three of their last four matches. One of those was at home to San Marino, though, so probably shouldn't count. Away wins against Poland and Northern Ireland were certainly noteworthy though. However, they didn't enjoy themselves in their last outing on home soil, with Serbia coming away with a 1-0 win. England are unbeaten in nine matches since losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy, a run that includes two matches against Hungary. Gareth Southgate's men have won all of their last four but, again, one was against San Marino.
Hungary and England players to watch
It's a Nations League match at the end of a very long season, so it's hard to know how seriously it will be taken by the respective coaches.
Hungary captain Adam Szalai can get himself on the all-time top ten list of goalscorers for Hungary so that's worth keeping an eye on.
For England, West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen could make his debut and that would be fitting reward for a fine season. Tammy Abraham will be keen to impress too after a brilliant campaign with Roma.
Considering how long these two countries have been playing internationals, it's perhaps a surprise that they have met just 24 times before. They were in the same World Cup qualifying group, though, so there is some recent history to look at.
England 1-1 Hungary (October 12, 2021)
The Three Lions were held by a resolute Hungary side when these two sides last met.
Roland Sallai handed Hungary a shock lead from the spot midway through the first half at Wembley in a game dominated by England.
John Stones equalised relatively quickly, but England could not make their dominance count and had to settle for a draw. It ended a run of 12 consecutive World Cup wins for England at Wembley.
Hungary 0-4 England (September 2, 2021)
England were in total control the last time they were in Budapest, although they had to be patient. Hungary were tough to break down and they managed to get themselves to half-time on level terms.
Hungary vs England head-to-head
Hungary wins: 5
England wins: 16
Hungary boss Marco Rossi has generally been lamenting the tough draw his team has been handed in the Nations League. "You can say that we got the strongest team from each pot," he said. "The European champions, the European silver medallists and Germany.
"It is a terribly difficult group in which we are again the weakest, as has happened to us many times recently. We didn't give up then either, and we'll do the same now."
Gareth Southgate, meanwhile, says the Nations League campaign is a key part of England's World Cup preparations.
"We're only six matches away from a World Cup so we want to be successful in the Nations League," he said. "We found it a really good tournament to play in - high level of games, we've really learned a lot from it."
Hungary vs England predicted teams
Possible Hungary starting line-up: Gulacsi; Attila Szalai, Orban, Lang; Nego, Adam Nagy, Schafer, Zsolt Nagy; Sallai, Szoboszlai; Adam Szalai
Possible England starting line-up: Pickford; James, Tomori, Maguire, Trippier; Rice, Bellingham; Sterling, Mount, Foden; Kane
Hungary vs England prediction
No one will be underestimating Hungary, but with the talent available to Gareth Southgate it looks like a relatively comfortable away win. I'd say 3-0 England sounds about right.
The article Hungary vs England news: Three Lions hoping strong Nations League can help World Cup preparations appeared first on Planetsport.com.