NB1 Round 4 Preview

Don’t be alarmed! We are posting a little early because of the early Vidi vs Debrecen match on Friday this week.  It’s exciting for Hungary to have a team this close to the group stage of the Champions League, but let’s not forget that there is still a lot of excitement for the league games this week as well.

Paul: Chris, I must congratulate you on getting 3 of the 5 matches spot on correct and by that I mean the absolute correct results.  Only 11 goals were scored this week in the five matches with Mol Vidi’s match against Mezőkövesd postponed until a later date.  Speaking of Vidi, they had a nice start to their round with a 1-1 away draw against Malmo.  This gives them a very good chance at advancing to the next round.  Off we go to match day 4 and maybe, just maybe, now we have some statistics to work with this week.

Chris: Thanks Paul, but as you well know there’s always a bit of luck in these predictions.  Torghelle’s goal wasn’t from the training ground – if you know what I mean. Plenty of great games this week starting with a Friday night special!

Friday, 10 August

MOL Vidi vs Debrecen

at Pancho Aréna, Felcsút

Paul: Vidi are playing very well but are playing a lot of matches.  We see a rare Friday night match to give them an extra days rest for their return match against Malmo.  In a hard fought match, they did just enough to win by a goal on two goals by Danko “the FISH” Lazovic.

Debrecen had a comfortable home win over Diósgyor in a match that was never in doubt. Their lack of strikers hurt them here but they make this a very competitive match and push the defending champions.

Prediction: Vidi 2-1 Debrecen

Chris: After such an emotionally and physically draining match in Sweden on Tuesday along with the travel, I have to expect that Marko Nikolic will attempt to rotate his squad a bit.  I’m expecting Danko and Juhász to be rested, but midfielder Szabolcs Huszti is bound to be back in the lineup after missing the game against Malmö due to suspension.

Debrecen have started the season undefeated and despite missing three regulars from last season due to injury they’ve looked like a formidable opponent in every game.  Haris Tabakovic who led the team with 12 goals last season hasn’t played a minute yet.  Neither has winger Aleksander Jovanovic nor right back Balázs Bényei.  All are still out but that doesn’t seem to be affecting Andras Herczeg’s squad too much.  I think Loki will squeeze out a result here.

Prediction: Vidi 1-1 Debrecen

Saturday, 11 August

Kisvárda vs Ferencváros

at Várkert Sportpálya, Várda

Paul:  The good news for Kisvárda is this is their first home game of the new season.  The bad news is it comes against the league leaders, Ferencváros.  With a total of 9 goals given up in the new season, look for Kisvárda to give up at least three.  On the positive side, they will score their first goal of the season.

Ferencváros is scoring goals in bunches and we had a Davide Lanzafame sighting as he appears to have settled in with his new club.  Roland Varga is continuing where he left off last season with a league leading 4 goals.  The scoring machines moves on …  

Prediction: Kisvárda 1-3 Ferencváros

Chris:  If this isn’t the worst fixture to walk into as a new manager I don’t know what is.  But that’s the situation here as last place Kisvárda’s new manager László Dajka takes over just before their clash with early frontrunners Ferencváros.  Despite looking better in attack against Újpest than they did in either of their first two defeats, they still look rather feeble going forward.  Their main bright spot has been the play of new goalkeeper Felipe who has already saved two penalties and has made some incredible saves from the run of play.

Fradi look rampant and with Lanza off the mark it’s going to be difficult to keep them at bay with so many attacking options.  Gergo Lovrencsics has looked particularly dangerous on the wing as well.  We shouldn’t expect a massacre, but a comprehensive win is on the cards for the visitors

Prediction:  Kisvárda 0-2 Ferencváros

MTK Budapest vs Diósgyőr

at Hideguti Nándor Stadium, Budapest

Paul: MTK earned a nice away win against Puskás and an away win is an away win.  Check out Sándor Torghelle’s “excuse me” goal which won the match for MTK.  No better example of the right place at the right time here.

Diósgyor is not very good but they will play tough and stay in matches.  Goal scoring is their weakness as Roland Ugrai is off to a tough start.  Any points earned will help in the relegation battle.  Is a draw too much to ask for here?.

Prediction: MTK 1-1 Diósgyőr

Chris:  Diósgyőr’s away from has been abysmal, losing their last 6 on their travels in the league dating back to last season.  Manager Fernando was hoping for some positive momentum after their draw against Puskás a fortnight ago, but they were outclassed against Debrecen last week.

MTK have come to terms with the loss of right back Bence Deutsch who is out until the second half of the season most likely.  They’ve done well in their return to NB1 and have shown a propensity to attack which has been nice to see.  Look for MTK to continue their good start as Miskolc continue to search for answers.

Prediction: MTK 2-1 Diósgyőr

Haladás vs Puskás Akadémia

at Szombathelyi Haladás Stadion, Szombathelyi 

Paul: Haladás has not looked too good this season but a home match is always a good thing for this club.  Their new stadium was a lucky charm last season  and I look for them to continue against Puskás

Puskás should be a good match up for a Haladás club needing a win.   They did play MTK tough, even scoring a goal with a man down.  Tamás Kiss, the young Hungarian phenom, is getting playing time which is great for his development.  In a close match, the home crowd proves the difference.

Prediction: Haladás 2-1 Puskás Akadémia

Chris: Haladás are without two key players due to suspension.  Tamás Priskin who is serving his 3rd of a four-game ban, and Márk Jagodics who is starting a three-game ban.  Those are two big omissions in Hali’s lineup and will be missed.

Puskás will be without left back Csaba Spandler (red card).  They’ve only gained one point in their first three matches, drawing against lowly Diósgyőr in round two.  This game is really too close to call and I think a draw is the most likely result.

Prediction: Haladás 1-1 Puskás Akadémia

Sunday, 5 August

Mezőkövesd vs Honvéd

at Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd

Paul: Mezőkövesd received an unexpected week off with their match against Vidi postponed. They take advantage with the extra week off to pull an “upset” with their second home win of the young season.

The schedule makers gifted Honvéd with three straight  home matches to start the season.  To their credit, Honvéd took advantage and won all three.  It’s back to reality as Honvéd’s poor play in Luxembourg spills over to Hungary..

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 1-0 Honvéd

Chris: Mezőkövesd picked up a castoff from Cypriot club Anorthosis, Andrés Alves who scored one goal in 18 games for them, but Attila Kuttor obviously feels he can do a job for them and could add more depth to a front line led by Stefan Drazic. They have started well with four points in their first two matches and have had a week off.

Honvéd are level on points at the top with 3 wins in their first three, and they’ve been playing well but this is their first game away from home this season after a bittersweet farewell to Bozsik Stadium last week.  Former Liverpool striker David N’gog has been spotted at the Honvéd training ground this week and he could be a factor if signed in time.  Either way I think it’s going to be close game and Kispest should lose their perfect record.

. Prediction:  Mezőkövesd 2-2 Honvéd


Paks vs Újpest

at Fehérvári úti Stadion, Paks

Paul: Paks played an ugly match against Honvéd after finding themselves a man down.  They finally have a home match after playing their first three away from the friendly confines of home.   Paks do not have a clear home advantage any more so a draw here is a success.

Újpest was not very impressive against Kisvárda with a narrow one goal win.  The question was were they that bad or Kisvárda that good?  Újpest play fun, goal scoring matches against Paks and this match plays true to form 

Prediction: Paks 2-2 Újpest

Chris: Újpest haven’t conceded a goal to Paks in their last four head-to-head meetings, and the return of suspended right back Branko Pauljevic should help as they look to gain confidence from their first win last week.  With no midweek European fixture they should be well-rested for the first time all season.

Paks are struggling out of the gate, but they’ll be bolstered a bit by playing at home for the first time this term.  They’ve lost six of their last seven league matches dating back to last season, having scored just 3 goals in that span.   Lilák heap on the misery.

Prediction: Paks 0-1 Újpest