NB1 Round 7 Preview

Round 7 of the NB1 is upon us already.  Time flies.  Each team should be set now that the transfer window has passed.  There are a couple of mouth-watering ties this week so let’s hear what the boys have to say about each game. 

Paul: I congratulate Mol Vidi FC of representing Hungary very well in Europe this season.  They played AEK Athens very tightly and with some luck could have advanced.  Playing on two fronts this season should be a challenge for them but they can do it.   Vidi had their match postponed last week so in five matches, 14 goals were scored.  On to round 7 and lets hope for some higher quality football than last week..

Chris: Paul, you had a good week with your picks last time – great job! Vidi has definitely captured the hearts and minds of Hungary as they’ve been drawn into a tantalizing group with Chelsea, PAOK, and BATE Borisov in Group L in the UEFA Europa League.  Exciting times!  There’s still three weeks before all of that begins and for now we look to this week’s NB1 fixtures. 

Saturday, 1 September

Debrecen vs Haladás

at Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen

Paul: Debrecen were trounced by three goals last week against Honvéd but I see them coming back this Saturday.   A home  match against a poor Haladás club should be the right medicine to produce a result for Loki.

Home or away, Haladás are playing terribly this season.  The home magic seems to be gone as they lost last week to MTK.   Manager Michal Hipp has his work cut out for him and keeping the club up in the first division would be a major achievement.

Prediction: Debrecen 3-0 Haladás

Chris: Both teams had poor results last week, but Debrecen return home and have been a much better side so far this season.  Look for the return of Aleksandar Jovanovic in this one.

Haladás are slowly getting their players back from suspension but lost at home for the first time in their new stadium last week.  Leading scorer for Haladás after six games is Karol Mészaros (2 goals, 2 assists) – wouldn’t have been my pick.  Priskin will pick it up soon.  The last two head-to-heads have been draws, but I think Loki shade this one here.

Prediction: Debrecen 2-1 Haladás

Diósgyőr vs Paks

at Diósgyőri Stadium, Miskolc

Paul:  Diósgyor are a very difficult side to watch these days unless you are a die hard fan of the club.  They were hard pressed to draw against Kisvárda and the home advantage of their beautiful new stadium is not enough to power the team in home matches.

Paks is playing well right now but almost blew it last week after a two goal lead.  In fact, they won by a single goal after being a man down.   I see them continuing their good form against a Diósgyor club that should not provide much offensive punch.  

Prediction: Diósgyőr 1-2 Paks

Chris:  It’s going to be a hot one in Miskolc. Even though we’re in September the summer heat still lingers.  Lots of changes for Diósgyőr this week as they scramble to add to their squad before the deadline.  Surprisingly Attila Busai was released from the club, and former NT striker Roland Ugrai has gone MIA.  They did sign left-sided attacker Martin Juhar this week to try and improve their weak attack.  This is only Diosgyor’s second home match of the season and they haven’t lost there yet.

Paks picked up another Vasas regular in Tamás Egerszegi.  The midfielder joins his captain Mohamed Remili who played his first minutes for Paks last week.  Recent history shows Diosgyor as the favorites and both sides are unbeaten in their last two, but Paks are the more settled side and should be able to get a result.

Prediction:  Diósgyőr 1-1 Paks

MTK Budapest vs Kisvárda

at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest

Paul: MTK is off to a very good start and you would never think they played in the NB2 last season.  Another nice match here should add three points but I predict a let down by the men in blue.

Kisvárda are slowing improving and after signing a few new players should be making it difficult for their opponents.  Things should be tough here but if a draw can be called an “upset of the week” then this is it.

Prediction: MTK 1-1 Kisvárda

Chris:  MTK are no regular promoted team looking to play it safe.  They’ve returned after a year in NBII as a better side and have shown some real quality in their first six games so far.  They lost both games against Kisvárda last season in NBII but they’ve made the right moves over the summer and look solid.  Lászlo Lensce is in fine form with 3 goals and 4 assists, and DM Adam Pinter has looked solid in the heart of their midfield.

On the other side, Kisvárda have had problems from the start this season.  Recently banned Anton Shynder has had his contract terminated and the club have brought on a couple of replacements.  Despite the visitor’s recent uptick in form, I think MTK wins easily here..

Prediction: MTK 2-0 Kisvárda

Újpest vs Honvéd

at Szusza Ferenc Stadion, Budapest 

Paul: Újpest had a week off after their match against Vidi was postponed.   This extra week off has to be beneficial to them, right?  Look for the real Újpest team to step forward and upset Honvéd and play like the club they have the potential to be this season.

This has all the making of a high scoring match.  Honvéd came back to earth, finally, with a big loss to Mol Vidi.  They have great fans but with playing their matches at the MTK grounds things will be tougher for them.

Prediction: Újpest 3-2 Honvéd

Chris: This is a tough one.  Újpest are the slight favorites at home but they’ve agreed to loan out F Patrick Tischler to Honvéd who will go straight into their opponents side to face his former team.  Tischler was Lilák’s second choice striker and hadn’t gotten off the mark in five starts this season. Újpest had the week off last weekend and despite rumors that they’ve signed Rod Duchâtelet’s butler to replace Tischler – nothing has been confirmed .  

Honvéd are coming off a 3-0 hammering of Debrecen last week – first win at their temporary home – and come into this one winning only once in their last seven head-to-head away games against Újpest.  Four of those seven have been draws. 

Prediction: Újpest 2-2 Honvéd

Mezőkövesd vs Puskás Akadémia

at Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd

Paul: Mezőkövesd gave Fradi a good battle but seem to be lacking the mental concentration to finish matches.  They had a draw in hand until the final minutes as Daniel Bode, the Mezőkövesd killer, scored in the final minutes of the match.  They should handle Puskás quite easily here.

Puskás gave a good battle against Paks coming back from a two goal deficit only to lose after being a man up.  They were quite busy in the final days of the transfer period so this is still a team in constant flux.  It’s only a matter of time until their manager is the next to leave the first division.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 2-0 Puskás

Chris: Puskás have seen a lot of shakeup this week in their side.  Without a win in their first six games they’re floundering.  Three starters have been released to find other clubs (reportedly) and replacements are untested and will take time to bed in.  

Mezőkövesd return home where they’ve suffered two 1-0 defeats to the top two teams in the league but should find home comforts this week.  In-form defender Robert Pillar leads a strong back line, and Patrick Mevoungou’s return last week looked encouraging despite not scoring against league-leading Ferencváros. 

Prediction:  Mezőkövesd 2-1 Puskás


Sunday, 2 September

Ferencváros vs MOL Vidi

at Groupama Aréna, Budapest

Paul: The marquee matchup of the week for sure.   Ferencváros catches Vidi at the right time after a mid-week match.   A win further separates the two clubs.  A lot depends on the weather here and with Fradi not having much time to work with their new coach.  It should be interesting and while I can see Chris picking a scoreless draw, I will go with a single goal draw.

Vidi had a tough match in against an Athens club that played quite dirty.  Physically and mentally they should be tired but I think they can make a match of this.  Both clubs will play conservatively and I see a justified draw 

Prediction: Ferencváros 1-1 Vidi

Chris: The centerpiece of this week’s action and much to Paul’s chagrin I will not be picking a goalless draw as Fradi are at home.  Unbeaten Ferencváros haven’t looked as dominant in the last couple of weeks since a very strong start to their season.  New boss Sergiy Rebrov took charge last week and the team looked a little nervous before getting a late winner in Mezőkövesd.

Vidi suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the last hurdle in the Champions League in Athens and many felt they were the better team (at least in terms of creating chances) but they’ve still made it to the group stage of the Europa League and will be buoyant and ready to play in the European atmosphere of Groupama Arena.  Without playing last weekend they won’t be too tired and I think they’ll be a bit more inspired.

Prediction: Ferencváros 2-3 Vidi (take THAT Paul!). 🙂