NB1 round 10 preview

If there ever was a time to watch Hungarian football it’s now.  Champions MOL Vidi returned from London this week after playing Chelsea in the Europa League.  Vidi did their supporters proud with a heroic effort in a narrow 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.  This weekend should provide more drama as round 10 gets started with an early game on Saturday and finishes on Sunday evening.

Paul: Chris, round 9 went much to form except for the upset of Honvéd by Puskás  1-0.  It was an average goal scoring round with a total of 14 goals scored.   It was nice to see Hungarian fans come out in good numbers at over 20,000 for the derby between Ferencváros and Újpest.  It would be nice for at least a fifth of this to be the norm for Hungarian football.  The interest could be there if the level of football improves.  Here’s to improved football in round 10!

Chris: Yeah Paul, I’m stoked for this round with so many good match-ups in store.  Vidi’s galvanizing performance on Thursday reminds us that anything can happen in football … but it’s not like we need a reminder of that in the NB1, do we?  We’ve predicted a lot of similar scores here, but I’ll point out that I make my picks before seeing Paul’s.  The stars could be aligning this week.

Saturday, 6 October

Honvéd vs Diósgyőr

at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest

Paul: Honvéd have lost their last two matches but have won three of their last five home matches with their only losses coming against Ferencváros and Mol Vidi FC.  The squad has had a lot of player movement the last few weeks but once they are settled things should be fine in Kispest.  Diósgyor will be the right medicine to get Honvéd back in the win column.

Goals are hard to come by for Diósgyor who are on the opposite end  of the spectrum in having lost their last two matches.  Things don’t figure to change for the match this week either.  More defensive football and the hope of the odd counter attack goal is the best they can offer with this squad.

Prediction: Honvéd 2-0 Diósgyőr

Chris: Two teams in poor form square off in the capital.  Honvéd have cooled off considerably since their red-hot start and haven’t scored in their last three league matches.  Their inability to find dangerous areas in the attacking third last week against Puskás despite the talent they have might mean it’s more a tactical issue.  David N’Gog looked lost and Danilo and Patrik Tischler looked ineffective.

Diosgyor did well to hold Vidi to just one goal last week but looked lost going forward.  Fernando has so much to do to right the ship and I’m afraid his time might be running out.  This is a good game for Honvéd to find their scoring boots again.

Prediction: Honvéd 2-0 Diósgyőr

Mezőkövesd vs Haladás

at Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd

Paul: Mezőkövesd played well enough to defeat MTK last week but tied on a late penalty.  They have won their last two home matches after losing the prior two.   Look for this to continue and win number three in a row at home.

Haladás welcome their new manager, Ferenc Horváth, who was relegated to cheering from the stands in their last match due to a one match suspension.  They have lost four of their last five matches and hope a new manager will instill some confidence in a club lacking it.  This scored could be easily reversed if the squad rejuvenate under their new manager.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 3-1 Haladás

Chris:  Mezőkövesd have been very impressive but unlucky in their last two matches.  Haladás have only gotten one point in their five games away from home and look like the league whipping boys in recent weeks.  The frustration is clear in the team and it’s difficult to say what Horváth’s influence will be in the next few weeks.  Mezo have had success at home in the last two years against Haladás and they should have little trouble against them if they continue their recent form.  Tamás Cseri has been impressive and is one to watch for the hosts as well as Stefan Drazic who has scored 3 goals in his last three games.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 3-1 Haladás

Paks vs Kisvárda

at Fehérvári úti Stadion, Paks 

Paul: Paks are a team on the rise and now stand fifth in the table.  They are back home where they have won their last two matches.  Their good play should continue and result in a win against a Kisvárda squad with a uncertain form at the moment.

Kisvárda have improved their play as of late in winning their last two matches after drawing their last two.  They begin very well last week against Debrecen but then fell apart.  I see that form continuing this week as well.  This will be the highest scoring match of the week.

Prediction: Paks 4-2 Kisvárda

Chris: Kisvárda’s recent vein of good form came crashing down in Debrecen last week as they lost 3-1. Zoltán Horváth kept up his torrid pace in front of goal (bagging 2 goals and 3 assists in his last four games), but Kisvárda looked decidedly average at the back.  Now they travel to Paks who have been playing out of their minds.

Paks are unbeaten in their last six league matches and scoring goals.  This is a better version of Paks than we’ve seen in years and they will be bolstered by being back at home this week. Tamás Takacs is the one to watch for the hosts.

Prediction: Paks 2-1 Kisvárda

Újpest vs Puskás Akadémia

at Szusza Ferenc Stadion, Budapest

Paul: Újpest appeared to be intimidated by the large number of fans in the derby and played scared as noted by their manager.  They have yet to discover their good form of last season.  This match will be more difficult than expected.

Puskás has won their last two matches in defeating Mol Vidi and Honvéd.  They appear to be adjusting to the new tactics imposed by manager who admitted last week it was necessary to try something new.  I haven’t done an “upset of the week” in a while so this is it!

Prediction: Újpest 1-2 Puskás

Chris: Újpest are getting hammered in the press for their lack of ability going forward this season.  Last season’s leading scorer, Soma Novathny, has yet to score a goal in the league this term.  Not sure if it’s lack of confidence or something else, but manager Nebojsa Vignjevic is going to need to make some changes soon.  Problem is, like with any Duchatelet team, depth is shallow at the club.

Puskás have had an amazing turnaround since making major changes to their squad over the past few weeks.  With victories over champions Vidi and Honvéd in the last two rounds they will have some confidence going into this one.  Újpest haven’t beaten Puskás since 2015 and they won’t here. 

Prediction:  Újpest 1-1 Puskás

Ferencváros vs Debrecen

at Groupama Aréna, Budapest

Paul: Ferencváros have not scored as many goals since the arrival of their new manager.  That changes this week with an easy three goal home win against Loki.  The fruits of their labor will start showing in more comfortable wins in their future matches.  They are creating goal scoring chances but need to convert them.

Debrecen have been ravaged by injuries but played better in their match against Kisvárda last week.  It was impressive in that they plaed eight home grown players, a pattern I would like to see more of in Hungary.  Catching Fradi at home will be too much for one of the youngest clubs in NB1. 

Prediction: Ferencváros 3-0 Debrecen

Chris: Ferencváros have a great record of winning their next match after the derby.  They’ve won their last four follow up games after the big game over the past couple of years.  The league leaders have yet to lose a game this season and seem to be hitting on all cylinders.  This is a big game for them as Debrecen are coming off a massive win at home and can surprise the big teams.  Truth is, however, they’ve only won against bottom half teams this season and had only scored one goal in their last three before their win against Kisvárda last week.  If captain Dániel Tozsér returns to the lineup this week it should bolster them in the big atmosphere of Groupama.

Fradi tend to concede more at home than away but they should still do the job here.  

Prediction: Ferencváros 2-1 Debrecen

Sunday, 7 October

MOL Vidi vs MTK Budapest

at Pancho Aréna, Felcsút

Paul:  Vidi will be worn out after their match against Chelsea and this is affecting their play in the NB1.  They lack the depth for the two matches a week schedule even with an extra day of rest and playing matches on Sunday.

MTK were lucky to draw against Mezőkövesd in the last minutes of their match.  They catch the champions at a good time and earn a draw though a win would be the pick had they not been in their current poor form.  

Prediction: Vidi 1-1 MTK

Chris:  Vidi continue to get just what they need to stay in hunt for a championship run, but Ferencváros’ form isn’t helping them.  They’re coming off a huge game at Stamford Bridge in the Europa League where they held Chelsea to a slim 1-0 result, but they played their hearts out.  It’s hard to tell how they’ll respond in the league, but so far Marko Nikolic has done fairly well at rotating his squad and grinding out results.  

MTK are a veteran team with smart players who might be able to take advantage here.  I’m feeling a bit of a let-down in the home side will allow MTK to steal a point in Felcsút – especially if Kovácsik doesn’t return between the sticks for the hosts.

Prediction:  Vidi 2-2 MTK