NB1 Round 12 preview

Hungarian NB1 football is back as Paul and Chris preview the games of Round 12 this weekend.  The league is truly at the heartbeat of the season as each team has faced every other team once now as the second third of the campaign gets underway.  Read on for previews and predictions of each game. 

Paul: Chris, what a round 11 it was!  Some crazy results as always.  Only one draw last week with a total of 14 goals scored.  Round 11 once again showed that any team can be beaten on a given match day and that no result is certain.   All of this makes predicting very difficult but at the same time a great challenge for the two of us.  Let’s get to it.

Chris: Yeah, who would have thought Ferencváros would fall to Puskás by such an unlikely (but lovely) goal?  I’m immune to the capriciousness of this league and will continue to forge ahead in my prognostications despite the erratic inconsistency that prevails on a weekly basis.  Here we go!

Saturday, 27 October

MTK vs Újpest

at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest

Paul: Another derby match between two Budapest clubs.  MTK came on late to tie Honvéd in an otherwise uninspiring performance.  A bit surprising  to see Sándor Torghelle with another start up front for MTK.  I see him more of a 15-20 minute player and would prefer to see László Lencse start up front.  This should be another tough match and the most logical call is for a draw.

Újpest have now won two matches in a row and appear to be coming into form.  This will be a good battle for them.  They came on at the end last week  and were lucky to beat Diósgyor with two late second half goals.  They need to play better in this match to even earn the draw.

Prediction: MTK 1-1 Újpest

Chris: Újpest have to feel good, coming from behind to defeat DVTK away last week.  They only have two defeats all season, one of which came against MTK in their season opener at home.  No doubt they’ll be looking for a measure of revenge here.  The likely return of Dániel Nagy and Alassane Diallo to the side should be a boost for manager Nebojsa Vignjevic. 

MTK have defeated Lilák in their last two meetings and haven’t lost to them at home since 2014.  They are riding high on István Bognár’s recent form – the pesky forward has scored in each of their last 3 games and confidence is high when he’s playing with freedom.   Kanta picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last week, but there’s been no word of an official ban so he very well could play.  

Lilák will not win this game, but if they can get a sip of what Giorgi Beridze had at halftime last week they might be able to salvage a point across town.

Prediction: MTK 2-2 Újpest

Paks vs Mezőkövesd

at Fehérvári úti Stadion, Paks 

Paul: Paks had their three match unbeaten streak broken at Debrecen with a rare corner kick goal by their opponents.  Debrecen almost scored one earlier in the match so it was a complete lapse by their goalkeeper.  I see them bouncing back here at home with a win.

Mezőkövesd are up to the fourth position after two straight wins while  not losing in their last five matches.  This will be a tough, competitive match between two solid sides.  In the end, the firepower of Paks will be too much for Mezőkövesd to handle.

Prediction: Paks 2-1 Mezőkövesd

Chris: Paks have re-establish their home dominance this season, going unbeaten at Fehérvári út thus far with three wins and a draw.  This will probably be their toughest challenge yet, however, as Mezőkövesd are in stellar form and have lost only once away from home so far this season. 

It’s difficult to ignore Gábor Molnár’s influence in Mezo’s form and Attila Kuttor has his side playing a positive style of football, but Paks are smarting after losing it late against Debrecen last week.  Expect a reaction by the players and a boost from the home fans. 

Prediction: Paks 2-1 Mezőkövesd

Haladás vs Honvéd

at Szombathely Haladás, Szombathely 

Paul: Haladás have now lost four matches in a row and are at the bottom of the table.   Their home field advantage has quickly disappeared with their poor start to the season.  They are creating chances but have not been able to convert them.  They should be competitive here but loss #5 is in order.

Honvéd lost some points with their draw against MTK.  They played better most of the match but a late defensive lapse saw the loss of two valuable points.  They seem a bit confused up front and the goals are not coming much with only two goals  in their last five matches.  This will be a tougher match than expected but they narrowly pull out a victory.

Prediction: Haladás 1-2 Honvéd

Chris: Rock bottom in the league and without a win since taking over at the end of September, Haladás boss Ferenc Horváth is benching Hungarian legend GK Gábor Király to try and shake things up.  Hali have scored just twice in their last four games, and have averaged over 2 goals per game conceded in that span.  Playing at home used to be a positive for them but they’ve lost their last three league matches now at their new stadium.

Honvéd were unable to hold onto three points against MTK last week and their scoring woes continue as they’ve managed just two goals in their last five games.  Haladás should provide them with an opportunity to boost their confidence in the attacking third, but I still think the problem is more tactical than anything.   Either way Honvéd scrape it. 

Prediction: Haladás 0-1 Honvéd

Diósgyőr vs Ferencváros

at Diósgyőri Stadion, Miskolc

Paul: Diósgyor had the lead late last week and fell apart with some major defensive lapses.  They almost pulled off a nice upset against Újpest .  They catch a Ferencváros club at a bad time who are hungry for redemption after a surprise loss last week.  It should be a full house in their new stadium but that will not be enough to inspire the home club.

Ferencváros greatly missed Lanzafame last week and  it showed very little offense in their loss against Puskás.  He is the straw that stirs the drink so to say.  The return of Lanzafame will ignite the club to an easy win against a home side with both very little offense and a suspect defense 

Prediction: Diósgyőr 1-3 Ferencváros

Chris: Whew!  Miskolc are dreadful and Fradi are pissed.  On paper this should be a massacre and it very rightly could be so.  With Heister and Lanzafame returning rested to the side after sitting out last week, Ferencváros (who lost their first game of the season last week) will have their strongest lineup against a reeling Diósgyőr.  I honestly can’t see another result here.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 0-3 Ferencváros

Debrecen vs Puskás Akadémia

at Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen

Paul:  Debrecen were lucky to escape with a late win over Paks last week.  They played well and the chances were there.  On paper they should easily defeat Puskás but in a choice that can’t be fully explained, a draw will occur here.  In other words a “gut” feeling.

Puskás may have pulled off the upset of the year in defeating Ferencváros with a free kick goal from nearly 61 meters away.  I’ve never seen such a long distance goal outside of American Football.  They are developing into a very defensive team with the hope of counter attacking goals.  This is possible against Debrecen.  

Prediction: Debrecen 1-1 Puskás

Chris:  This is my lock this week.  Puskás have had some very impressive results at home so far this season including last week against NB1 frontrunners Ferencváros, but away from Pancho Arena they’ve lost four in a row.  Debrecen come into this one on an impressive run of three without defeat.  Their Adam Bódi-inspired win last week was a massive three points against a similar side and the return of captain Dániel Tozser was indeed a boost for them.  Loki are doing well despite injury problems and have used a bunch of players so far.  I see them continuing their unbeaten home form with another win here – Paul’s gut feeling be damned! 🙂

Prediction:  Debrecen 3-1 Puskás

Sunday, 28 October

Kisvárda vs MOL Vidi

at Várkert Sportpálya, Kisvárda

Paul: Kisvárda, after showing some improvement, have now lost their last three matches.  They need to push a tired Mol Vidi club if they have any chance of earning points here.  They are catching Mol Vidi at the right time and place but will it be enough?

Mol Vidi have had a tough time of it when playing two matches a week.   Do they have enough left in the tank to pick up a win here?  They have moved up to the third spot and a match like this is one where the three points is vital.  Finally, they will bounce back and win a match after playing in Europe after losing their last two in these situations.

Prediction: Kisvárda 0-2 Vidi

Chris:  After a brief uptick in form, Kisvárda have returned to their early season form and have conceded an average of three goals per game in their last three.  Vidi are coming off a massive win against Greek side PAOK in the Europa League, but the last time they played to that level midweek they fell hard in the league the following match.  If Marko Nikolic can manage his side’s fitness and bring in some rested players, Vidi have the chance to get a big win here.  The return of goalkeeper Adám Kovácsik was a noted improvement for Vidi last week and should be helpful against Kisvarda as well.

Prediction: Kisvárda 1-3 Vidi