NB1 Round 5 preview

Excitement abounds in Hungary as MOL Vidi are one step away from the UEFA Champions League group stage. The scenes in Felcsút on Tuesday were amazing as they ousted Malmö in the Third Qualifying Round and will take on AEK Athens in the Playoff Round next week.  Win or lose they’ll be playing in Europe this fall and fans of Hungarian football are buzzing.  But for now, there’s much to discuss as a full slate of domestic games start on Friday night! On to round five of NB1!


Friday, 17 August


Debrecen vs MTK Budapest

at Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen

Chris:  Debrecen are missing some key players including Haris Tabakovic and Aleksandar Jovanovic.  Now Ádám Bódi and Erik Cikos are questionable leaving Andras Herczeg with more selection problems. However, it looks like midfielder János Ferenczi is in line for a return after missing the start of the season. Loki were unlucky to drop points in Felcsút last Friday against Vidi and have played very well despite their injury problems.

MTK have three wins out of four and are a hard-working side.  They’ve managed to scrape past two of the worst teams in the league.  Tamás Feczkó has selection problems of his own as two of his right backs, Bence Deutsch and Patrick Ikenne-King are injured, though Ikenne-King might be available.  Either way I think Debrecen have enough to just about win it at home.

Prediction: Debrecen 2-1 MTK

Paul:  Debrecen are playing well and getting by without their injured strikers.  Once they come back, watch out.  For now their strong midfield play will carry him.   The home field advantage should make the difference.

MTK have surprised me with their good start to the season.   Part of that has to do with a generous opening schedule.  Injuries to the back line will open up scoring opportunities that Debrecen will take advantage of for a few goals.

Prediction: Debrecen 2-o MTK

 


Saturday, 18 August


Ferencváros vs Paks

at Groupama Arena, Budapest

Chris:  Paks has had a pretty good record against Ferencváros of late, losing only once in their last six head-to-head meetings.  They drew 2-2 last time the two teams played at Groupama, but this Fradi side is playing with confidence and swagger at the moment.  David Lanzafame has added another lethal target to their front line and they continue to roll on with an embarrassment of riches at their disposal. 

Paks will be playing their fourth away game of the season and it’s already wearing on them.  They picked up former Vasas captain Mohamed Remili earlier this week and he will add some depth and experience to their side.  Janos Hahn has scored in each of his last three visits to Groupama.  Expect this one to be closer than you might think. 

Prediction:  Ferencváros 2-1 Paks

Paul:  Look for Ferencváros to get back to their scoring way against a porous Paks defense.  David Lanzafame and Roland Varga should each score here in an easy home victory.  Fradi will continue their home dominance with a strong result here.

Paks usually play up to their opponent which is a possibility here.  Something seems to be lacking in this years squad in the early part of the season.  Perhaps new signing, Mohamed Remili, will provide some spark.  He most likely needs a few weeks with the club for that to happen.

Prediction:  Ferencváros 3-1 Paks

 


Diósgyőr vs Haladás

at Diósgyőri Stadium, Miskolc

Chris:  Diósgyőr have to do something to kickstart their campaign.  Fernando needs time that he doesn’t have and his tactics have not been effective.  They signed 27 year-old forward Branko Mihajlovic from Israeli side Petah Tikvah this week but he will need some time to gel with the squad.

Haladás won their first game against lowly Puskás last week at home, but they’ve conceded six goals in two away games and need some help.  Center back Márk Jagodics and forward Tamás Priskin are both still banned for this game and the team has suffered for it.  Can’t see a winner here.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 1-1 Haladás

Paul:  This is one of those games that Diósgyőr will need to win to gather enough points to stay up this season.  The team isn’t very good and staying up this season will be a major miracle.  The best they can expect are a draw.

Haladás also appear to have lost a spark from last season.  Their defense is lacking and the offense is lacking any scoring punch at all.  This should be one of the games to avoid this week unless you are a big fan of either club.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 1-1 Haladás

 

 


Honvéd vs MOL Vidi

at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest 

Chris:  Honvéd will play their first “home” match away from Bozsik Stadion as they prepare for a new stadium.  Kispest are in good form and are playing with confidence.  It will be interesting to see if new signing David N’gog will make an appearance.

MOL Vidi are on cloud nine after their midweek progression past Malmö and into the playoff round of the Champions League.  The main question for them will be who Mark Nikolic will rest ahead of their important first leg in Budapest.  Apparently Stefan Scepovic has been left out in the cold for internal reasons, but I’m thinking this would be a good time to use him.  Watch Vidi come down from their European high in this one. 

Prediction: Honvéd 1-0 Vidi

Paul:  Hey more matches at MTK’s new home grounds.  This is the match of the week and the match I am definitely looking forward to this week.   Honvéd may have their striker in David N’gog, but it could be too early for him to make an impact yet.

Vidi will be playing European football in the fall which is a big achievement.  I look for them to produce a good result here as they can’t continue to lose points in the championship while focusing on Europe.  I agree with Chris that Stefan Scepovic would be good to use in this match and will come up big with a goal or two.

Prediction: Honvéd 1-2 Vidi

 


Puskás Akadémia vs Kisvárda

at Pancho Aréna, Felcsút

Chris:  Puskás are not looking great to start their season.  Three defeats from four games has them wallowing in the depths of the table.  Each defeat has been by just a goal and they’re hoping that new signing Jan Vlasko will help in the attacking department.  The 28 year-old attacking midfielder from Spartak Trnava will bring even more quality to the side.  Quality they have – they need cohesion.

If Kisvárda weren’t already in trouble with their fourth defeat in as many games, they learned that starting forward Anton Shynder was handed a four-month ban for abuse of referee Csaba Pintér in last week’s 2-0 defeat against Ferencváros as they opened their new stadium.  Theodorus Berios will be missing in their back line as he was dismissed last week as well.  This should be an awful game but look for Kisvárda to get their first goal of the season. 

Prediction:  Puskás 2-1 Kisvárda

Paul:  Another match to avoid as it should be a boring one.  Puskás should get it right in this match but just barely.  They won’t play very well but against the newly promoted  Kisvárda, they won’t have to bring their “A” game.

Kisvárda are quite simply a mess.  They have yet to score a goal this season and actually have more red cards.  This would be an ideal match to at least gain a point but sadly will not happen.  I don’t even see them scoring a goal here.

Prediction:  Puskás 1-0 Kisvárda

 

 


Újpest vs Mezőkövesd

at Szusza Ferenc Stadion, Budapest

Chris:  Újpest return home where they have lost and won once so far this season.  These are the types of games that Nebojsa Vignjevic’s side need to win to be considered a top-three club in the league and he has no excuses as he has a full squad to choose from.

Mezőkövesd have played some surprisingly good football under Attila Kuttor and are likely steal a point in Budapest as Lilák have a history of conceding untimely goals.  Mezőkövesd are also unbeaten in their last two trips to Szusza Ferenc Stadion.

Prediction: Újpest 1-1 Mezőkövesd

Paul:  Újpest can now focus 100% on the championship now that they are out of Europe.  The results should start coming, starting with a home match here.  Soma Novothny will find his goal scoring form that he had last season.

Mezőkövesd were quite disappointing last week and did not show me anything.  Goal scoring looks like it may be an issue.  I don’t see things improving this week against the Lilak.

Prediction: Újpest 2-1 Mezőkövesd