NBI Round 23 Preview

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Welcome to HungarianFootball.com’s weekly preview of round 23.  My trusted partner and the brains of the team, Chris Barrett is on assignment this week.   I will do my best to tackle the column until round 24 when he returns. Round 22 was full of defensive blunders some of which helped to result in a total of 21 goals for the week.   Mezőkövesd was very impressive in their win over Ferencváros who made some uncharacteristic mistakes to show they can still be beaten at any time.   The predictions appear too easy this week which is always a concern in the pick game.

Kisvárda-Paks   

Paul: .  Kisvárda lost a two goal lead to draw against Diósgyőr.  They are still just 4 points above the relegation zone and these lost home points are keeping them in the zone.   Their new manager has brought a fun, attacking style to the side but their defense continues to let them down. They are ripe for a home loss…

Paks played and scored four goals in their win against Debrecen.  What I liked was the team chemistry I saw in the club. It was an up and down match the players are showing motivation and fight.  I see this continuing this week in an upset win for Paks. Just a gut feeling and the recent win one, lose one away pattern for the side…In short no Chris Barrett-like statistics to back it up just a feeling…

Prediction:  Kisvárda 1-2 Paks  

Mol Fehérvár-Kaposvár    

Paul:  Fehérvár had some of their old offensive power back last week with a good amount of it courtesy of Ivan Petryak.  Petryak has yet to regain his excellent form from his season at Ferencváros so maybe this will get him an Fehérvár moving in the right direction.  A home match against Kaposvár should help the offense click even more.

I do not know what to write about Kaposvár to tell you the truth.  They show up to every match ready to play and do their job.  They are professionals. They are now 15 points adfift of the 10th spot and I don’t know when they will win a match again.  I do know for sure they will come to play in every match.

Prediction:  Mol Fehérvár 3-0 Kaposvár 

Honvéd-Diósgyőr

Paul:   Honvéd will be without their manager Giuseppe Sannino but this time not due to cards but to exposure to the coronavirus.  They are battling a side just below them in the table so a win here would be vital. I will go with the home side here in a battle decided by a goal.

Diósgyőr has not lost in their last five away matches (2 draws, and 3 wins) but they still have the Budapest curse.  I don’t see them giving up bunches of goals here but they battle the home side and lose through a late Lanzafame goal.   Honestly, I would love to see a Diósgyőr win but don’t see it.

Prediction:  Honvéd 2-1 Diósgyőr

Újpest-Puskás Akadémia

Paul:  Újpest did not look very impressive at all in their single goal win at Kaposvár .  They did get the three points. Their home record has not been good which makes any home match for the Lilak an adventure. I am stuck  and will pick the safe choice of a draw though an away win by Puskás would not be a suprise in the least.

Puskás are falling further behind Mezőkövesd in the race for third place.  These are the kinds of matches they need to win if they wish to earn that coveted top 3 spot.  I see this as being a sloppy match where the home side should be overjoyed at earning a point.

Prediction:  Újpest- 1-1 Puskás Akadémia

Mezőkövesd-Zalaegerszeg

Paul:  Mezőkövesd sure came to play against Ferencváros.  They came out very strong against the top side in Hungary and dealt the knockout blow early in the first half of the match.  Atilla Kuttor has his side playing very well and their winter additions have proven to be a great benefit to the side as well.   Perhaps a litlte let down here but a win nonetheless by a single goal, which is the Mezőkövesd way.

Zalaegerszeg were soundly defeated  by three goals to Fehérvár.   They had some defensive lapes that made the score a bit more than it should have been but a loss is a loss.  I can’t see them getting any points here at all but a good, solid performance would be a start after the match last week.

Prediction:  Mezőkövesd 2-1 Zalaegerszeg

Ferencváros-Debrecen 

Paul:  Ferencváros had a major let down against Mezőkövesd with two of their three allowed goals coming from defensive lapses.  No excuses from Rebrov and they should rebound nicely here with a full squad. This should be a case of playing a weak defensive side like Debrecen at the right time.   Business as usual for Fradi.

Debrecen have lost two matches in a row and their shaky defense had been exposed once again.  The situation should not get any easier in Budapest. At this point, who knows what can be done to shore up the defense as it fell completely apart against Paks in yielding four goals allbeit two in the final moments of the match.

Prediction:  Ferencváros 3-1 Debrecen