Wales vs HungaryEuro 2020, KO: 19:45 Nov 19, 2019, Cardiff City Stadium
WALES' 2-0 success in Azerbaijan on Saturday evening has set up a mouth-watering winner-takes-all clash with Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday night.
Group E pacesetters Croatia sealed their place at Euro 2020 with a game to spare, however, Hungary, Slovakia and Wales are all still in the running to automatically qualify for next Summer's showpiece – and something has to give in the final round of fixtures.
A win for either the Welsh or the Hungarians here would rubber-stamp their ticket to Euro 2020, however a share of the spoils could see Slovakia slip into second-spot should they collect three points at home to basement boys Azerbaijan.
Consequently, a night of high drama is all but guaranteed in the Welsh capital and the Dragons are flying ahead of this crunch clash in Cardiff having not tasted defeat in their last five international outings.
Ryan Giggs' sides qualification hopes were hanging by thread following back-to-back defeats against Croatia and Hungary , however, the Dragons have since breathed life back into their bid qualify by doing the double over Azerbaijan either side of picking up two precious points against Slovakia and World Cup finalists Croatia respectively.
Standing in Wales' way of appearing at only their third-ever major international tournament is a Hungarian outfit who currently occupy second place in the section after winning four of their seven Group E games thus far – one of which came against Wales in the reverse fixture.
The bookmakers make Marco Rossi's team big outsiders for this critical confrontation by pricing an away win at 17/4 (Bet 365) whereas a draw – a result that could prove to be costly for both nations – pays 5/2 (Bet 365) with the same firm.
The home side go into this battle as odds-on favourites at 3/4 (UniBet) following Saturday's 2-0 win Baku – a performance that Wales boss Giggs described as the best during his reign to date.
What's more, the Manchester United legend shrewdly utilised his two star players on Saturday by substituting Gareth Bale after an hour and replacing him with Aaron Ramsay who made his first international appearance in over a year.
Talisman Bale has also been troubled with with injury over the last month or so, however, both the Real Madrid forward and Ramsey now look set to feature from the off in this pivotal fixture.
Welsh skipper Bale has come up with two crucial goals in his last two appearances at the Cardiff City Stadium and I fancy Bale to hit the back of the net against Hungary.
The Welsh wizard has a habit of flourishing in big fixtures and he is an eye-catching 3/1 (Bet 365) to score first, however, I would be more inclined to back Bale to make the net bulge at anytime at a tempting 23/20 (Ladbrokes)
The Hungarian's will have their work cut out when trying to contain both Bale and Ramsey, however, they will also have to keep a close eye on the likes of Daniel James and Harry Wilson – both of whom have made a notable contribution at club level in the opening months of the Premier League season.
Given the Dragons firepower, coupled with the fact that men in red will be roared on by a raucous home crowd, I suspect Wales will make the most of having their fate in their own hands by winning outright on the night at 3/4 (UniBet)
However, Hungary could prove to be a tough nut to crack and as such the hosts may have to be patient in what could be tense, tight and low-scoring encounter.
Therefore, an alternative angle to contemplate with a view to enhancing value from a Welsh victory could be back to Wales to win in a match that sees under 4.5 match goals scored at 19/20 (Betway) – collectively all 14 of Wales' and Hungary's games in Group E thus far have seen less than 4.5 goals scored – and given what's at stake in this showdown, a goalfest looks unlikely in what will be an absorbing occasion.
This Euro 2020 match between Wales and Hungary will be played on Nov 19, 2019 and kick off at 19:45