What to Expect from the Norweigans? Hungary vs Norway – Preview




KICK OFF: 20:30 (CET)



Norway will be the visitors to the Ferenc Puskas stadium tonight and will be determined to prove their worth as a young developing side. Piece written by Norweigan football expert, Brendan Husebo (@BrendanHusebo)

A skilful, fast-thinking footballers in Norway will be called ‘un-Norwegian’. After the successful days under Egil ‘Drillo’ Olsen in the ’90s, is that any surprise? Big striker, tireless midfielder and no-mess defender were the stock builds for any Norwegian with potential. But this generation – those born around and after the heydays of the ’90s – are different, fresh and certainly un-Norwegian.

No clearer is this than in the U21s’ recent qualification for next year’s Euros. These are not players who, as Drillo would say, wish “å være best uten ball” (“to be the best without the ball”). These emit vibrancy and eagerness with the ball.

Drillo, in charge of the national team for a second time, is no fool; despite strong ideology, he has adapted. Just three of this squad have more than four years of international experience, with seven having played in the U21 Euro qualifying campaign. He admitted to Football.no, “this must be the youngest squad I’ve ever picked as coach.”

This trip is about a new wave; “these boys have a huge chance to show what they can do, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they do that against Hungary.” But he will hope that his confidence is imparted in his players, no less than Håvard Nielsen. At 19-years old, the Red Bull Salzburg forward is the youngest player in this squad, and will make his debut in this game. “I wasn’t with the U21 squad before this season (beginning in March), and now I’m here.” Oh finally, Håvard, that is the name of the game now; if you do score goals, terrorise full backs and earn a big-money move, you get into this Norway squad, no matter your age.

Another to make his debut will be Anders Ågnes Konradsen. In the heart of Peter Kovacs’ Strømsgodset that has won so many hearts this season, Konradsen is the forgotten hero. There are remnants, perhaps, of the tireless Norwegian midfielder in him. But that would be too reductionist to say. He is skilful, versatile and extremely clever.

A description of the player he’ll likely replace, you could say. Markus Henriksen, now of AZ, is two years younger than Konradsen, but is about to make his 14th international appearance, the most for a Norwegian by 20-years old. He plays a directing role in Alkmaar, but is deployed further forward with the flag on his chest. His skill – whether it be outnumbering a full back, finding space between the lines or hassling a counterpart – is to always be there in the role he’s needed in.

If Henriksen is the runner, Ruben Yttergård-Jenssen and Håvard Nordtveit are the passer and tackler. It’s a well worked system, with a fledgling cast. Though, with all sixteen outfield players promised minutes, be sure that Magnus Wolff Eikrem, Valon Berisha and Konradsen will be showing their mettle.

In defence, Vegard Forren was the last blow to the old guards’ fall. The Molde ball-playing centre back is destined for the Tippeligaen Player of the Year award and then a Premier League move this winter, but was always bemusedly left out by Drillo. That is till this autumn. There were no prizes to those who guessed he’d fit like a glove.

He stands beside and in front of the stalwarts, captain Brede Hangeland, Tom Høgli and Rune Almenning Jarstein. On the other side, at left back, it’ll be Vegar Eggen Hedenstad capturing the imaginations of the away fans. The young Freiburg full back is a converted attacking midfielder – there is one direction he likes to go on the pitch.

Despite a brace in just five touches for Szabolcs Huszti’s Hannover, Moa Abdellaoue probably isn’t fit enough to start against his teammate. A choice made easier, perhaps, with Alexander Søderlund likely to start as more of a target man than Moa would be. The Haugesund striker was a late starter, but has become a trusted figure for Drillo through 2012.

Trust is something all eighteen players will be looking for out of this game. They all know they have the talent to become an excellent team, but it’s time to show it.



Click here to view the Hungary squad

Hungary will go into tonight’s game absolutely brimming with confidence after a superb 3-1 victory over Turkey last time out, and a solid 1-0 win away in Estonia four days before. The absence of Gera is a bit of worry, but with it only being a friendly, it gives a younger play the chance to shine and establish himself in the side.

Hungary are likely to adapt to a 4-4-2 formation for tonight’s game with Gabor Kiraly set to break Gyula Grosic’s record with most caps as a Hungarian goalkeeper.

Vanczak is likely to fill in at right back, with Norweigan based Zsolt Korcsmar and stand-in captain, Roland Juhasz in the middle of defence. Tamas Kadar will continue at left-back after an impressive performance last time out against Turkey.

Debrecen midfielder Jozsef Varga will be in the middle of midfield alongside the more attack minded Tamas Hajnal, and Adam Pinter of Zaragoza, who is back from injury. Vladimir Koman is likely to start on the right with the in form Balazs Dzsudzsak on the left.

The Bundesliga top scorer Adam Szalai will start up front on his own. The Mainz striker has been in superb form recently, netting 6 goals in 6 games for club and country.

A win tonight is expected back in Hungary, and at the bookies who have the Magyars at 3/2 to win, 9/4 for the draw and 9/5 for a Norweigan victory (bet 365). Another performance like the one against the Turks should supply Hungary with a relatively comfortable triumph against an inexperienced Norweigan side.



Tomasz Mortimer: I think Hungary will have too much for this young Norweigan side. I’m not underestimating them, I think they’ll perform well, but I think the experience will tell in the end for the Magyars: Hungary 2-1 Norway

Brendan Husebo: It’s about the performance for those players. Away from home in midweek, a taste of the future will be enough. Hungary 1-1 Norway


Likely Line-ups

Hungary (4-2-3-1): Kiraly; Vanczak, Juhasz, Korcsmar, Kadar; Pinter, Varga; Koman, Hajnal, Dzsudzsak; Szalai

Norway (4-1-4-1): Jarstein; Høgli, Hangeland (cap), Forren, Hedenstad; Nordtveit; Braaten, Henriksen, Yttergård-Jenssen, Nielsen; Søderlund.



Previous Meetings


19 2007.06.06 Norway – Hungary 4 : 0 Euro 2008 qual. vannak képek a mérkőzésről
18 2006.09.02 Hungary – Norway 1 : 4 Euro 2008 qual.
17 1997.06.08 Hungary – Norway 1 : 1 WC 1998 qual.
16 1996.10.09 Norway – Hungary 3 : 0 WC 1998 qual.
15 1991.10.30 Hungary – Norway 0 : 0 WC 1992 qual.
14 1990.10.10 Norway – Hungary 0 : 0 WC 1992 qual.
13 1986.09.09 Norway – Hungary 0 : 0 Friendly
12 1984.05.23 Hungary – Norway 0 : 0 Friendly
11 1983.06.01 Norway – Hungary Olympic Side 1 : 1 Unofficial
10 1981.10.31 Hungary – Norway 4 : 1 WC 1982 qual.
9 1981.05.20 Norway – Hungary 1 : 2 WC 1982 qual.
8 1971.10.27 Hungary – Norway 4 : 0 Euro 1972 qual.
7 1970.10.07 Norway – Hungary 1 : 3 Euro 1972 qual.
6 1957.11.10 Hungary – Norway 5 : 0 WC 1958 qual.
5 1957.06.12 Norway – Hungary 2 : 1 WC 1958 qual.
4 1955.05.08 Norway – Hungary 0 : 5 Friendly
3 1935.05.31 Norway – Hungary Amateur 2 : 0 Unofficial
2 1933.06.20 Norway – Hungary Amateur 4 : 2 Unofficial
1 1912.06.23 Norway – Hungary 0 : 6 Friendly