Hungary vs Finland – Preview

 

Date: 11th October 2011

Kick Off: 20:00 (CET)

Stadium: Puskas Ferenc Stadion

Euro 2012 Qualifying

 

After Sweden’s 2-1 victory on Friday night, some would assume tonight’s final qualifying game would be played out like a pre-season testimonial. However, as Sandor Egervári said in his pre-match conference, Hungary will still be doing everything in their power to secure the victory over their Finno-Urgic language relative, Finland, in front a fully packed Puskás Ferenc Stadion.

After a fantastic qualifying campaign, The Magyars have done superbly well to come even close to the powerhouses of Sweden and to sit just 3 points behind them ahead of tonight’s game is testimony to how much this team have progressed in the past two years. People will look back on that night in Amsterdam, and think ‘What if’, as Hungary sat level with the World Cup finalists in the latter stages of the game, but to even come close to a result in Holland was unthinkable before the match.

Sandor Egervári has to take the credit. He’s really turned these boys round after Erwin Koeman’s calamitous reign and Hungary should look back on this campaign with huge optimism going into World Cup qualifying next year where they have once again been drawn with Holland, as well as bitter rivals Romania, Euro 2008 semi-finalists Turkey, the underrated Estonia and lowly Andorra.

But now, focusing on tonight’s game, Hungary are likely to lineup with a similar side to that which defeated Moldova last month with a few changes due to injuries. It’s hard to predict who Egervári will select in goal with Gabor Király and Adam Bogdán both fighting for that number one shirt. I personally think the Bolton man may be preferred to his older counterpart so he can gain some competitive experience, even after his blunder-plagued performance against Chelsea.

Defensively, Varga will most likely retain his right-back position. Juhász will probably accompany the blossoming Zsolt Korcsmár in the centre of defence with Vanczák deputising at left-back for the suspended Zsolt Laczkó.

In midfield we will probably see a few changes due to injury, but Elek will probably keep his place in the side alongside Stuttgart’s Tamas Hajnal. The wide midfielders will probably be Sampdoria’s Vladimir Koman and Videoton’s Gyorgy Sandor – who has been promised a start by Egervári.

Up top, Szabics will continue alongside Tamas Priskin – who comes in for the injured Gergely Rudolf, Hungary’s top scorer in the qualifying campaign.

It looks like a strong lineup on paper, which will probably prove too much for Finland but with Rudolf out of the side, a lot of creativity has automatically evaporated and it’s unlikely Tamas Priskin can bring the same sort of form into the team. However, there is plenty of firepower to come from the bench with Balázs Dzsudzsák ready to make a half an hour cameo after recovering from the injury to his arm.

Predictions

Tomasz Mortimer – I’m going for a 2-1 win for Hungary. With Rudolf, Dzsudzsak and Szalai all fit I could see Hungary easily rolling over, what is quite a poor Finnish side. But due to the injuries, and the relative unimportance of the match, I think Hungary will only just sneak it.

Janos Muller (@Emje87) – I think we will win 3-1 or 3-0 because I reckon we will be too strong for the Fins in front of a packet out crowd. If we can score in the first 15 minutes then it could be a stroll in the park for us.

Gaby Kovacs (@DJGabyG) – Hungary will win. The nation hasn’t taken this much notice of the NT for years! They will want to repay everyones faith.

Head-to-Head

Hungary have faced Finland 13 times down the years and have managed 9 wins, 2 draws and just 2 losses.

13

2010.10.12

Finland – Hungary

1 : 2

Euro 2012 Qual.

12

2001.04.25

Hungary – Finland

0 : 0

Friendly

11

1997.10.11

Finland – Hungary

1 : 1

WC 1998 Qual.

10

1996.09.01

Hungary – Finland

1 : 0

WC 1998 Qual.

9

1979.10.17

Hungary – Finland

3 : 1

Euro 1980 Qual.

8

1978.09.20

Finland – Hungary

2 : 1

Euro 1980 Qual.

7

1955.05.19

Finland – Hungary

1 : 9

Friendly

6

1952.06.22

Finland – Hungary

1 : 6

Friendly

5

1951.11.18

Hungary – Finland

8 : 0

Friendly

4

1943.09.15

Finland – Hungary

0 : 3

Friendly

3

1934.08.09

Finland – Hungary

4 : 3

Friendly

2

1923.08.19

Hungary – Finland

3 : 1

Friendly

1

1922.07.13

Finland – Hungary

1 : 5

Friendly

 

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