NBI Round 8 Preview

Welcome to HungarianFootball.com's weekly preview where Chris Barrett and Paul Treso take a look at each game and give their predictions throughout the season. Read on for all the latest news for each match this week.

Paul:  Chris, what an interesting round 7 with no draws and three away wins.     There were a total of 15 goals scored in round 7. With Mol Fehérvár’s loss to Újpest, there are no longer any undefeated sides in the NBI.  Ferencváros and Mol Fehérvár occupy the top two spots to no one’s  surprise and it figures to be a battle between the two for the championship.  Everything else is up in the air at the moment. Kaposvár may not be the easy relegation pick I predicted at the start of the season.  This is the last week before yet another break for international matches. Please be on the lookout for upcoming  podcasts from Chris and I concerning everything about Hungarian football.

Chris: Better late than never. It's been a hectic week. Looking forward to getting back on the air with the podcasts.

Saturday, 5 October

Újpest vs Mezőkövesd

Illovszky Rudolf Stadion, Budapest (14:30)

Chris: Újpest look like a completely different team after dismantling Fehérvar last week.  Róbert Feczesin’s work rate and mentality seems to be affecting the team and manager Nebojša Vignjevic has taken notice.  All three players that joined a couple of weeks ago (including Jonathan Heris and Antonio Perosevic) have really contributed in positive ways.

Mezőkövesd fell asleep at the wrong times last week and Honvéd made them pay with their second defeat of the season.  The return of Aliaksandr Karnitski from suspension will improve their midfield, but an invigorated Újpest attack will be a handful for them.

Prediction: Újpest 2-1 Mezőkövesd

Paul:  Újpest looked sharp in their upset win over Mol Fehérvár.  The Lilak featured a crisp, compact passing game.   Dávid Banai provided solid goalkeeping and made the team of the week for round 7. Róbert Fecszesin gets a National Team call up after a nearly 8 year absence.   A comment on his play or the current supply of quality Hungarian strikers? Krisztián Simon is rounding into form after his injury problems of the last few years.   With all this praise, the Lilak continue their recent good run with a victory.

Is Mezőkövesd coming back to the pack after loses in two of their last three matches?  They dominated possession 57-43% in their match against Honvéd but as we all know this beautiful game is played for goals.  Mezőkövesd have won all three of their away matches but streaks are meant to be broken as is their away record.

Prediction: Újpest 2-0 Mezőkövesd

Kisvárda vs Zalaegerszeg

Várkerti Stadium, Kisvárda (17:00)

Chris: After suffering their third defeat on the trot, Kisvárda are looking far more ordinary these days.  Winners of three of their first four, Vasile Miriuta’s side have scored only one goal in their last three as teams are keying in on danger man Gheorghe Grozav.  Midfielder Stavros Tsoukalas continues his red-card ban and will be missed.   

ZTE saw Zoltan Stieber pick up his first NBI goal last week in a sensational win against Paks. They are playing good football and have turned heads this season with their competitiveness all over the pitch. András Radó leads the team in offensive production and was at his best against Paks.

Prediction: Kisvárda 1-2 Zalaegerszeg

Paul:   Kisvárda have lost three matches in a row but were the better side and should have taken the three points against Ferencváros.  Other than a loss to Mezőkövesd, they have won their other two home matches.  Kisvárda will get back on the right track this week with big matches from Gheorghe Grozav and Felipe.

Zalaegerszeg are looking very good lately and dispatched Paks with ease.   András Radó was the player of the week and may have found a home with the newcomers.  Zoltán Stieber also is back to form with a goal and an assist last week.  It would be nice to see him regain his pre-Euro 2106 form. I am still waiting to see improved away performances before I can trust Zalaegerszeg on the road.

Prediction:  Kisvárda 2-1 Zalaegerszeg

Paks vs Kaposvár

Paksi Stadion, Paks (17:00)

Chris: Paks have conceded seven goals in their last two games, and have not scored in their last two home games, albeit against the top two teams in the league.  Dániel Böde scored his first of the season last week before being sent off at Zalaegerszeg and he won’t factor in this one. With László Bartha now out with an achilles injury until the spring it makes thing even more difficult for the Nuclear Team.

Kaposvár have won two of their last three and have really shortened the gap between the bottom and mid-table.  Martin Ádám gives the promoted side a legit scoring threat 

Prediction: Paks 1-1 Kaposvár

Paul:  Paks have now lost two matches in a row and have established themselves as a possible relegation contender.  Dániel Böde had an odd match last week  that began with a goal but ended with a red card which eliminates him from this match.  They have not scored a goal in their last two home matches but this is the type of match where János Hahn and scores multiple goals.   Should he not earn a national team call up?

Kaposvár looked good in defeating Diósgyor for their first home win of the season.  They catch a Paks squad in disarray and could earn a result here.  Last week Kaposvár had three players by the name of “Nagy” in the starting eleven with another Nagy on the bench.  Just a useless piece of information that caught my eye. Full disclosure, I had this match as a draw but upon further review changed it.  Based on my American Football experience, I’ve learned to go with your first choice. But I won’t!

Prediction:   Paks 4-2 Kaposvár

Diósgyőr vs Puskás Akadémia

Diósgyőri Stadion, Miskolc (17:00)

Chris: Diósgyőrare in trouble as they continue to tailspin at the bottom of the table with dangerous Puskas Akademia. New manager Tamás Feczkó is hoping to pick up his second win in three games with DVTK but they’ll need to find someone to score some goals.

Puskás are beginning to look more and more like a team with intentions of a top three finish after their last two games (both victories).  They’re also undefeated in their last four and should feel confident against Diósgyőr.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 1-2 Puskás Akadémia 

Paul:  Diósgyor are a mess right now and it will take new manager Tamás Feczkó some time to possibly wave his magic wand.  For the time being, their poor play continues as they come into this match having lost 4 out of their last 5 matches.  Even the great fans of Miskolc will not be enough to energize the home side to gain any points in this home match.

With all their recent foreign signings, I counted 6 Hungarians in the starting 11 for Puskás in their last match against Debrecen .  Zsolt Nagy is playing well and caught my eye against Debrecen.  Ádám Gyurcsó has been a valuable addition and scored two goals with one being an early Christmas present from a Debrecen defender.  Ezekial Henty was nowhere to be found last week but this club is rolling along quite nicely without him. They will leave Miskolc with three valuable away points.

Prediction:  Diósgyőr 0-2 Puskás Akadémia

MOL Fehérvár vs Debrecen 

MOL Aréna Sóstó, Székesfehérvár (19:30)

Chris: Fehérvár were humbled at home last week as Újpest ended their perfect start to the season, beating them 2-0.  Veteran midfielder Szabolcs Huszti looks to be set for an extended time on the sideline after undergoing knee surgery this week. This is still a very good team and it will be interesting to see who replaces Huszti in midfield.  Can this be the break for Chelsea loanee Danilo Pantic?

Debrecen proved just how poor they are defensively, and they continue to struggle to get results in recently weeks because of it.  If their attack can wake up and keep up with Fehervar they could have a chance here, but I think this is too much for them.

Prediction: Fehérvár 2-1 Debrecen

Paul: Fehérvár were clearly outplayed in their first loss of the season last week.   The highlight of the match was legendary goalkeeper Peter Disztl catching Krisztián Simon’s shot in the crowd.  He still has those magic  hands that saved a PK against Manchester United  in the 1984 UEFA Cup en route to a finals appearance.  Szabolcs Huszti is out for half a year after injuring his knee in the last match.  I can’t see Fehérvár losing a second straight home match and they will win a tightly contested match.

Debrecen have now lost three straight matches and are not looking good on either side of the ball.  They could have scored five goals last week but in a reoccuring NBI theme, they lacked the final finishing touches.   Playing the league leaders is not an ideal situation for them but they will give a good showing losing on a late goal in the final moments of the match.  They will get it right and while not winning this match, they will make a good showing nonetheless.

Prediction:  Fehérvár 2-1 Debrecen

Sunday, 6 October

Honvéd vs Ferencváros

Uj Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest (16:00)

Chris: Honvéd took advantage of a couple lapses in concentration last week and emerged with their second win in three games.  If Davide Lanzafame is fit, this will be the perfect game for him to make an impact - against his former club.  Lanza always seems to play better with a chip on his shoulder.  

Ferencváros’ disastrous defeat at home against Ludogorets has exposed what we’ve seen sporadically throughout the season.  Despite their depth in talent in all positions, Fradi are susceptible to the counter attack.  Rotation will be light here as the international break is next weekend.  Isael is available after serving this three match ban.

Prediction: Honvéd 2-2 Ferencváros

Paul: Honvéd really impressed me last week in their win over Mezőkövesd.   Once again, Ben Hatira continues to play well as is Krisztián Vadócz.  Nice job by Italian manager, Giuseppe Sannino, whom I would have fired already.  The management believed in him and now it’s paying off and showing in the team’s play.  I sure hope Davide Lanzafame plays as it would only add to the drama. In the game of the week, I cannot convince myself predict a Honvéd win just quite yet.  But I do see 2 goals by Lanzafame if he plays.

Ferencváros come into the match after having played Thursday but is of course a “Budapest derby” and they should come out strong.  The Fradi fans should make this a home atmosphere and play the role of the “twelfth man.” Fradi will come in mad, aggressive and overwhelm the home side.  Can Leandro score another goal once again?

Prediction:  Honvéd 2-3 Ferencváros

Szoboszlai - herald of a new golden age

by Bence Bocsak (@BenBocsak)

Often in life football wonderkids arrive out of nowhere and take the world stage by storm. Sometimes they crumble under the pressure and never fulfill their full potential. Other times, they are over-hyped and falsely expected to perform beyond their means. And, very rarely, they go on to trump peoples’ wildest expectations and achieve absolute football stardom. 

Hungarian Dominik Szoboszlai will hope to be among the latter in the promising football career which awaits him. While Szoboszlai’s name may be a newcomer onto the world stage, to Hungarians it has been a name which has been touted as the country’s saviour for the last few years. 

Szoboszlai’s fledgling career begun in the academies of Hungary. His father Zsolt Szoboszlai was an ex-footballer who was forced to retire after a brutal achilles injury. Zsolt would continue his career as a coach working with 6-7 year olds at one of Hungary’s biggest academies, Videoton, and then later Phoenix Gold FC.  

He would use the expertise and skill which he developed at the academies to nurture his son into the world of football. Senior Szoboszlai would train Dominik from the age of three to hone the talents of his son. 

In an interview to Hungarian paper Feol, senior Szoboszlai described how he had ‘worked with a lot of talented players, but his son truly stood out from the age of 5-6.’ 

It was Zsolt’s nurturing and astute eye for talent which helped Szoboszlai grow and develop. His father would train with Szoboszlai for hours and analyse his game to find areas in which the young player could improve. Szoboszlai himself credits much of his early success thus far to his father stating in an Interview with Nemzeti Sport this summer that, ‘without him, I would be nowhere.’ 

Szoboszlai would jump around Hungary’s major academies, he had a spell at his father’s club Phoenix Gold, before moving to Videoton, Ujpest and ultimately settling at MTK, Hungary’s biggest export of football talent. 

The youngster’s technique, pace and innate understanding of the game was quickly picked up a young football agent in the name of Matyas Eszterhazy who had just split with his partner and created his own agency. One of Eszterhazy’s first move was to convince Red Bull Salzburg to offer Szoboszlai a trial at the age of 16. 

Szoboszlai took the trial by storm and Salzburg quickly offered him a contract.

Szoboszlai moved to the ancient industrial city of Austria in 2016 once he had turned 16 years of age. He would spend much of the first season in Red Bull’s U18 side. 

It was in the spring of 2017 when Szoboszlai first broke into the scene in Hungary with a single moment of genius whilst playing for Hungary’s U17 side at an U17 European Championship qualifier. 

Hungary were playing against Norway and the game had been tied 0-0 with Hungary needing a win to qualify. The game was already two minutes into added time when Szoboszlai received a ball about five yards outside of the eighteen yard box. Szoboszlai deftly struck the ball first time and whipped into the back of the new with absolute precision. 

The strike was one of utter brilliance and it would send major hype waves around Hungary. 

It was the second last minute winner Szoboszlai had scored for the U17 side after an astutely placed free-kick against Russia in the prior Qualifying match. 

Szoboszlai quickly became a household name in Hungary and the latest young talent touted as the next superstar to lead Hungary back to its golden years. 

The early hype despite Szoboszlai putting in strong performances in the U17 European Championship which followed was much too premature. 

Back in the spring of 2017, Szoboszlai had not even established himself as a regular for Red Bull Salzburg’s 2nd team Liefering and was miles away from first team action. 

Thanks to his father’s guidance and nurturing, Szoboszlai kept his feet on the ground and continued his hard-work rather than letting the praise get to his head. 

The following season Szoboszlai would establish himself as a regular for Liefering making 33 appearances, netting 10 times and handing out 7 assists as well as scoring once and assisting six times for the club’s U19 side in the UEFA Youth League. 

At the end of the season Szoboszlai made his debut for Salzburg’s first team capping off an excellent campaign. 

Szoboszlai remained at Liefering at the beginning of the following season despite many high profile departures at Salzburg. On top of that a torn ligament kept him out of action for several weeks which compounded his disappointment.  

Szoboszlai kept his head down however and came back from his injury strong. He quickly picked up tremendous form managing scoring 6 times and handing out 4 assists in just 9 appearances for Liefering during the first half of the 2018/19 campaign. 

By March 2019, Salzburg manager Marco Rose could not ignore Szoboszlai’s impressive exploits and he handed the Hungarian his first start for the club. 

Szoboszlai did not disappoint and scored to help Red Bull secure a 2-0 victory against FC Wacker. 

The goal would help catapult Szoboszlai in the pecking order and Marco Rose would continue to give him more and more taste of first team football from thereon. 

Szoboszlai netted and assisted two goals in his third start for Salzburg merely a month later. 

He would also hand out an assist against Napoli on his Europa League debut. 

His fine run of form earned Szoboszlai his third call-up to Hungary’s senior side. 

In the two previous occasions Szoboszlai did not make it off the bench for Hungary. His first call-up included an especially cruel defeat to Andorra which Szoboszlai had to watch from the side-lines at just 17 years of age. 

Szoboszlai’s big moment came in March 2019. At just 18 years of age he made his debut for Hungary coming on as a substitute in a disappointing defeat to Slovakia. 

Merely three days later however he would start and star in a famous 2-1 victory against World Cup runners up Croatia. Szoboszlai faced off against FIFA World Player of the year Luka Modric and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic but the Hungarian showed maturity beyond his years and did not look out of place against two world class midfielders as he helped Hungary secure an impressive victory. 

All in all, Szoboszlai ended the second half of the year with 16 first team appearances in the league for Salzburg with 3 goals and 4 assists and securing the Austrian Bundesliga title. 

In the summer he featured in two victories for Hungary against Azerbaijan and Wales before impressing in pre-season for Red Bull Salzburg. 

Szoboszlai has begun the current 2019/20 campaign in strong form too. He currently has three goals and three assists in ten appearances for Salzburg in all competitions including a debut Champions League goal against Genk. 

Szoboszlai has also scored his first international goal for Hungary in September with a trademark free-kick goal against Slovakia. 

At still just 18 years of age, the Hungarian has the world at his feet. He has all the attributes to go right to the top. He is fast, with incredible football intelligence which enables him to cut through defences similar to the creativity of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne. Meanwhile Szoboszlai’s pace and commanding stature at 6 foot 1 makes him a dominating physical presence which would help him settle in any of Europe’s major leagues. 

It is Szoboszlai’s shooting technique which makes him stand out from the rest however. His right foot is lethal and extremely accurate and it makes him potent from long distance. With already a plethora of impressive long range finishes Szoboszlai has Europe’s biggest club’s keeping a close eye on his development. 

Currently however, the Hungarian has no intention of leaving Salzburg. The Austrian side is one of Europe’s biggest breeding ground for young talent and thus a fine institution for Szoboszlai’s development. 

Szoboszlai will be hoping to impress in the Champions League against the current holders Liverpool on Wednesday when he faces off against some of the best players in the world.  

How far Szoboszlai will go is only down to him. With the right support system and his father’s guidance and counsel he has the right backbone. And if he continues his methodical training and development on the football pitch he will have a long and successful career in European football. 

NBI Round 7 Preview

Welcome to HungarianFootball.com's weekly preview where Chris Barrett and Paul Treso take a look at each game and give their predictions throughout the season. Read on for all the latest news for each match this week.

Paul:  Chris, we are back after yet another break.  I’m not quite sure why we needed one after a break two weeks ago but who am I to argue with the MLSZ? The Hungarian Cup season started so perhaps that was the reason?   The MLSZ needs to realize that the clubs have to get accustomed to playing two games a week if they are to build any stamina and sustain it should they reach the European group stages.   We had a total of 16 goals scored in round 6 so in that respect it was a normal NBI week. Off to round 7 we go after we both predicted perfect scores for round 6.5 (Zalaegerszeg 1-2 Ferencváros).

Chris: This should be an interesting week as each NBI team is coming off a victory in the Magyar Kupa (some easier than others), and most have had a chance to heal some injuries and refocus their squad as the fall season hits its stride. Fehérvár's perfect record will be put to the test by visiting Újpest, and Zalaegerzeg are due a result after a number of good performances without reward. Let's dive into this week's feast of football.

Saturday, 28 September

Debrecen vs Puskás Akadémia

Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen (15:00)

Chris: Consecutive narrow defeats for Debrecen in their last two games have put an abrupt end to their encouraging start to the season.  We’ve seen both sides of this team and I’m guessing the real Debrecen is somewhere in the middle.  One thing we can probably count on is goals as their free-flowing and quick attack led by Kevin Varga is always dangerous - especially with legitimate targets such as Haruna Garba and Tunde Adeniji roaming up front.  However, their defense has been spotty at best.  Center backs Bence Pávkovics and Csaba Szatmári have both tailed off after strong starts this season and it looks like lack of concentration is the culprit rather than lack of ability. 

Puskás Akadémia have shown a fairly competent attack as well in the opening six games with David Vanacek emerging as their early-season danger man. Kamen Hadzhiev has led a strong back line that has conceded more than one goal on just one occasion this season.  Both teams are coming off confidence-boosting cup wins this week and should provide some entertainment here.

Prediction: Debrecen 3-1 Puksás

Paul:  Debrecen have lost their last two matches after winning their first three matches of the season.   Something seems to be lacking in the side this season even without the services of playmaker Ádám Bódi.  Until they can discover some consistency it could be a difficult season for the Debrecen fans.

I like what I am seeing from Puskás.   Ezekiel Henty has not played well since his opening match but Ádám Gyurcsó and David Vanecek have been stepping up their play as of late.  In what could be the most entertaining match of the week, I will pick Puskás as my “upset of the week.”

Prediction: Debrecen 1-3 Puksás

Kaposvár vs Diósgyőr

Rákóczi Stadium, Kaposvár (15:00)

Chris: Even after a 4-0 win at Soltvadkert in the cup this week, Kaposvár manager Róbert Waltner wasn’t very impressed with his team’s mental approach in recent matches.  It’s no surprise that they are tipped to go straight back down this season, but he still feels he can get more from his players.  A win at Debrecen was a bit lucky, but a home game against struggling Diósgyőr might be just what they need at the moment to keep them from falling off the pace too early.  

Tamás Feczkó had a successful debut for Diósgyőr as they edged ZTE at home.  It was an important win for them as a fifth consecutive defeat would have been monstrously bad for a team with mid-table aspirations.  Miskolc will be hoping to keep a winning run going against Kaposvár but they have struggled in the scoring department with just five goals in six matches.  With Rui Pedro they have a chance to get something from this match, but their slim 1-0 win over NBIII Érd VSE was sub-standard, especially with so many first-team players in the starting XI. 

Prediction: Kaposvár 1-1 Diósgyőr

Paul:   Kaposvár play only their third home match of the season and entertain fellow strugglers Diósgyőr from the opposite eastern end of Hungary.  I am still trying to figure out this club due to their inconsistency.   Their victory over Debrecen showed that anything is possible but I am still very skeptical.  This will be a defensive battle but Kaposvár will have to wait longer for their first home victory of the season.

Tamás Feczkó is back in the NBI and returned with a victory.  His appointment will prove to be a boon to the club. These two breaks came at the perfect time for him to have extra practice sessions with his players.  The results will start showing. I still feel Feczkó was unjustly let go from MTK last season. A great recent signing was Rui Pedro who will provide some greatly needed creativity to the squad.

Prediction:  Kaposvár 0-1 Diósgyőr

Mezőkövesd vs Honvéd

Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd (15:00)

Chris: Mezőkövesd won a hotly-contested match at Kisvárda last round to keep pace near the top of the table.  With five wins in six games they are getting a lot of attention with their good form, solid defense and all-around good team play.  They will slowly grind a team into the pitch and walk off with a narrow win any day than participate in a sexy defeat. Aliaksandr Karnitski, who has helped strengthen Attila Kuttor's midfield, will be suspended after being sent off before the break against Kisvárda.

Honvéd are not quite the finished product as they’ll still be without Davide Lanzafame and Patrick Ikenne-King.  The addition of Krisztián Vadócz in midfield and Tomas Tujvel in goal has strengthened the side but this will be a tough trip for them.  Perhaps things will look up for them next week, but his isn’t the week they turn it around.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 2-1 Honvéd

Paul:  Mezőkövesd bounced back with a difficult away win against Kisvárda.  Tamás Cseri, who continues to play great football, was accosted by several fans after the match in front of his wife and child.  As for football,  Mezőkövesd are back home and the week’s rest should do them good.  They will control the course of play and edge the visitors by a goal which is their usual modus operandi. 

Honvéd played a surprisingly defensive match in losing to Fehérvár by a goal.   Davide Lanzafame should miss this match again.  Krisztián Vadócz is back with the club but I am not sure if he has much left in the tank as they say.  Honvéd appear to have shored up their defense which should keep them close until a late goal wins it for the home side.

Prediction:   Mezőkövesd 2-1 Honvéd

Zalaegerszeg vs Paks

ZTE Aréna, Zalaegerszeg (15:00)

Chris: For 88 minutes Zalaegerszeg were the better team against Ferencváros last week, but two late lapses in concentration on set pieces let them down in a match they should have gotten something from.  The emergence of Eduvie Ikoba as their main target man took another step in the right direction with his second goal in three appearances for the towering American striker.  This isn’t a team to be trifled with.  Barna Dobos is also getting key midfielder Gergo Kocsis and defender Szilárd Devecseri back after both were suspended against Fradi.

Paks went from the heights of beating Mezőkövesd away to the depths of being thrashed by Ferencváros at home 4-0 in one week.  Dániel Böde has yet to open his account for his new club and the onus of offensive production has fallen to the familiar János Hahn.  They’ve run hot and cold this season and will find themselves against a team that can match them at both ends.

Prediction: Zalaegerszeg 1-0 Paks 

Paul:  Zalaegerszeg is still trying to learn how to win in the NBI.  They have come very close several times including nearly defeating the defending champions Ferencváros last week.  They had the match under control but then fell apart.  Zoltán Stieber is still a bit rusty after not playing much in MLS and we are still waiting to see the player from years ago.  This is the week where everything comes together for this newly promoted side.

Paks were embarrassed at home in their last match against Ferencváros.  Dániel Böde still hast not found his goal scoring form and has had some trouble adjusting to his new club.  Paks will continue to be a club of inconsistency despite having a good number of quality players. I still think letting Aurél Csertői go was a mistake but you never know as he may one day return to the club.

Prediction:  Zalaegerszeg 2-1 Paks

MOL Fehérvár vs Újpest 

MOL Aréna Sóstó, Székesfehérvár (19:30)

Chris: With all the attention on Ferencváros in the Europa League, Fehérvár have “quietly” gone about starting the season undefeated and assembling a chilling, deep squad of talent.  Every position is stacked with Armin Hodzic and Márkó Futács leading the way with 11 goals between them.  They’ve also posted four clean-sheets thanks to a combination of stellar goalkeeping by Ádám Kovácsik and a new, improved defense with the addition of Visar Musliu to the veteran leadership of Roland Juhász. .

Újpest couldn’t have asked for a better signing than Róbert Feczesin who has scored three goals in two games since joining on a free at the transfer deadline. Lilák were headed for a third consecutive defeat until a sensational comeback against Debrecen last round earned them their second win of the season.  It’s been a frustrating season for manager Nebojsa Vignjevic who has dealt with injuries and the inability to lure talent to his squad - more from a lack of commitment from the owners than anything.  With supporter frustration mounting, the win was a welcome relief over the last couple of weeks.  Their history against Vidi/Fehérvár in recent seasons isn’t an encouraging indicator of Újpest getting a result here, and their lack of a solid goalkeeper is worrying as well.

Prediction: Fehérvár 2-1 Újpest

Paul: What a start for Fehérvár with six straight wins to open the season.  They only bested Honvéd by a goal but 3 points is 3 points however it is done.   Armin Hodzic is playing very well and fulfilling his potential when Liverpool signed him back in 2012.  The Fehérvár train will not be derailed as they win yet again.

Újpest came to life in their home win against Debrecen.  Now the question is will the week off stop this momentum?  Róbert Feczesin has been a nice addition to the club and is a scoring threat.   Things will be back to normal as the Lilak will struggle and not put any goals past in-form keeper Ádám Kovácsik.

Prediction:  Fehérvár 2-0 Újpest

Sunday, 29 September

Ferencváros vs Kisvárda

Groupama Aréna, Budapest (16:00)

Chris: Ferencváros will be playing two games per week from now until December as they are participating in three competitions.  This will be their fourth game in 11 days and it will be a test of their depth.  They showed signs of fatigue last week at Zalaegerszeg but managed to score two late goals to grab a sensational win.  The absence of Isael, who will be serving his last of a three-game ban, will keep the winger fresh as Sergei Rebrov looks ahead to Ludogorets this week.  

Kisvárda are in need of a win this week after consecutive defeats but they will have their work cut out for them in Budapest.  There is no doubt this is an improved squad from last season with Gheorghe Grozav meeting expectations and Patrik Tischler showing his quality as he broke his duck last week with a diving header for his first goal of the season in a losing effort against Mezőkövesd. The absence of Stavros Tsoukalas (suspended) will certainly be felt in midfield.  In three games last season, Kisvárda lost all three meetings with the champions without scoring a goal.  They’ll do marginally better against a slightly rotated Fradi team.

Prediction: Ferencváros 2-1 Kisvárda

Paul: Ferencváros are on a roll and I don’t see that stopping in this match.   Rebrov has them playing very well and they are an exciting team to watch.   I am curious to see if they will be able to handle their large number of matches but here they are coming off a week’s rest after salvaging a late, exciting win over Zalaegerszeg.

Many fans of Kisvárda did not show any sportsmanship in their last match against Mezőkövesd.  This will be a situation to watch and should it continue the club must face consequences.  Back to football, I don’t see Kisvárda putting up much of a fight here and Fradi fans will show up in good numbers and voices.

Prediction:  Ferencváros 3-0 Kisvárda

Your guide to ZTE vs Ferencváros

In the midst of all the attention this week surrounding Ferencváros' return to continental competition and the start of this season's Magyar Kupa this weekend, there is a league match that mustn't be forgotten. Zalaegerszeg's home opener against Ferencváros was postponed in round 2 due to Fradi's involvement in continental qualification, but they will shoehorn that match in between Europa League and Magyar Kupa matches on Sunday at ZTE Aréna in front of what is expected to be a capacity crowd.

The stats:

Zalaegerszeg (LDWL) - 10th place, 4pts

This is just ZTE's second home game of the season. The first was a 1-1 draw against Puskás Akadémia. They've been held goalless twice this season and they've kept one clean sheet (against Kaposvár).

Former Ferencváros prospect András Radó leads ZTE with two goals this season (both penalties), while Krisztián Tamás has two assists.

Only three field players have played every minute of their five matches thus far. Tamás, defender Zoran Lesjak, and midfielder Bence Bedi.

They've scored four first half goals and three in the second half while five in the first half and just one in the second half.

Ferencváros (WWLW) - 5th place, 9 pts.

This will be Fradi's third game away from home this season. The first two were polar opposites they conceded four at Pancho Arena in defeat against Puskás and then pummeled Paks with four last week on the banks of the Danube. All three of their league victories have been clean sheets.

Roland Varga and Oleksandr Zubkov share the league team lead in scoring with 2 goals apiece, with the majority of those goals coming in their win in Paks last week.

Only one player has played every minute of each league match and that is right back Endre Botka who is sure to end that run this week as he is likely out with an injury suffered against Espanyol on Thursday.

Ferencváros have scored six goals in the first half and just one in the second half this season.

The predictions:

Chris: Barna Dobos’ side has been competitive in every game this season, conceding more than one goal only once in their 3-2 defeat at Debrecen.  They’ve seemed to lock down everyone else and still manage a formidable attack.  ZTE will be missing the services of captain Szilárd Devecseri and midfielder Gergo Kocsis, who has arguably been their best and most consistent player thus far. 

Ferencváros are coming off an amazing result in the Europa League.  Their 1-1 draw in Barcelona against Espanyol was unexpected and showed they won’t be looked over in their group. Turning their attentions back to the league they will be playing at a sold out ZTE Aréna with a rotated side as they have a cup match midweek.  This should be a test of their depth.

Prediction: ZTE 1-2 Ferencváros

Paul: This should be a full house of near 9,000 spectators.   I sure hope so as the home squad could use the extra energy of the “12th man.”   Zoltán Stieber made his NBI debut last week but was not very impressive in my eyes.   Perhaps this is the match where he will get things right? I won’t be surprised with any result here but just don’t have the faith to see a home win.

MOL Fehérvár showed us last season how difficult it is to compete on two fronts in Europe and the NBI.  Ferencváros have a deeper squad and hopefully their blunder against Puskás will prove to be the exception and not the rule.   We have no idea what type of starting 11 Rebrov will list, so your guess is as good as mine. These matches were made for Roland Varga who will score two goals in a hotly contested match.

Prediction: Zalaegerszeg 1-2 Ferencváros

NBI Round 6 Preview

Welcome to HungarianFootball.com's weekly preview where Chris Barrett and Paul Treso take a look at each game and give their predictions throughout the season. Read on for all the latest news for each match this week.

Paul:  Chris, welcome back after a weeks break  due to Euro 2020 qualification matches. Round 5 saw Debrecen and Mezőkövesd fall from the unbeaten ranks with boths clubs losing home matches in upsets.   A total of only 14 goals were scored with four sides going scoreless. In watching the matches I am struck by the lack of the finishing touch in the NBI. I am often reminded of unfinished homes in my city where the plans have been made, the homes have been framed but lay in wait to be finished.  It is amazing how many excellent scoring chances are not converted. Regardless, I am anxious to return to NBI football matches to brighten my Saturday.

Chris: Even though the frustration of goals continues in NBI there have actually been six more goals scored this season with two less matches in comparison to this stage of the season a year ago. I think we're all a bit ready for domestic matches to start again to rinse the poor taste of Hungary's defeat at the hands of Slovakia in Euro qualifiers. Enough said about that ... on to the previews!

Saturday, 14 September

Diósgyőr vs Zalaegerszeg

Diósgyőri Stadion, Miskolc

Chris: Fernando was sacked almost immediately after DVTK’s feeble effort against Ferencváros in round 5.  Former MTK boss Tamás Feczkó came in and made some quick changes after Fernando’s departure, sending  Patrik Ternován, Zsolt Óvári, Martin Juhar, Yannick Ndzoumou, Branko Mikhailovich and Neljän Osuman all to train with the reserves.  He also picked up Rui Pedro who impressed at Haladás last season on loan from Ferencváros.  Defensive midfielder Bence Iszlai - who was recently released by Atilla Kuttor at Mezőkövesd - and proven Croatian top flight forward Mirko Ivanovski are also good additions in a busy week in Borsod.

 ZTE had another impressive performance in round 5 against Puskás in which they had as much a right to claim the three points as their visitors did but settled for a draw.  Zoltan Stieber made his ZTE (and NBI debut) in the second half against Puskás and looked good.  Reports suggest he’ll be starting against Diósgyőr this week in what should be a hard-fought match against a team that has been overhauled in the last two weeks.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 2-1 ZTE

Paul:  Adios to Fernando.  He did an amazing job keeping Diósgyor up last season but in truth he was never given the players to really succeed.  Somehow he was not able to bring in Spanish players who had had great success at the club in the past.  Welcome back to Tamás Feczkó to first division football. I think he is a good choice and will be a new vision to the club.   Finally kudos to Diósgyor for not signing Attila Pintér.  

Zalaegerszeg should have done better than a draw in their first home match of the season.  Their finishing let them down which was the theme of the week for the NBI. Zoltán Stieber came on late and showed that he will be an important addition to the club.   Zalaegerszeg make their longest trip of the season as I believe no other two clubs are farther away from each other in the league.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 2-1 ZTE

Honvéd vs MOL Fehérvár

Uj Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest

Chris: Honvéd entered the international break on a high note with their first win of the season, a 3-2 decision over Újpest.  Unfortunately, however, it took a toll on the team as Patrick Ikenne-King re-injured his achilles tendon and is out for an extended period of time.  Davide Lanzafame is also out after minor surgery to remove cartilage on his knee will keep him sidelined for a month.  Some good news to report is that globe-trotting midfielder Krisztián Vadócz is back after a stint in Hong Kong with Kitchee.  The 42-times capped Hungarian NT player will bring leadership and experience to the side at a time when they need it.  

Davide Lanzafame begins recovery from knee surgery.

Marko Nikolic’s side seem to be moving from strength to strength these days.  The addition of Chelsea prospect Danilo Pantic on loan from the PL giants will be a welcome one to a team with high ambitions this season.  This is a high-profile signing for Fehérvár and he should be available to slip right into the side this week.  They also added Hungarian forward Levente Szabó who was on the 2015 Primavera champion Atalanta side and has featured regularly in Hungary’s youth NT setups.  There’s not much to suggest Fehérvár will end their perfect start to the season. 

Prediction: Honvéd 1-3 Fehérvar

Paul:   Honvéd was much improved last match and looked spectacular at times.   Davide Lanzafame played well but more importantly brought out the best in his teammates.   Unfortunately, Lanzafame had minor surgery over the break and will miss this match. This will have quite an impact and we will see the pre-Lanzafame Honvéd.  Krisztián Vadócz returns to the clubs once again from Asia.   I am not sure if he plays but Honvéd is doing everything but sign a striker to improve the club.

What can I say?  I still hold a grudge against Fehérvár for their Europa League play but have to admit they are playing excellent football at the moment.   Their offense is finding a multitude of ways to score and the defense is coming along. With Attila Fiola out, I’d really like to see Adrian Rus play but it appears Visar Musliu is his replacement.

Prediction:  Honvéd 0-3 Fehérvar

Kisvárda vs Mezőkövesd

Várkerti Stadion, Kisvárda

Chris: Kisvárda return home after defeat in Székesfehérvár and it was the first time they were kept off the score sheet this season.  It will be interesting to see how manager Vasile Miriută's side responds at home where they’ve yet to concede a goal in two games.  Defender Theodoros Berios and midfielder Hugo Seco are question marks ahead of this game as both are working to return from injury, but will face late fitness tests.   

Mezőkövesd fell at home to Paks last round, ending their perfect start but they’ll be looking to rebound away from home where they have a perfect record so far.  Ironically, though, the last time they lost away from home was against Kisvárda at the end of last season.   Mezőkövesd are a much-improved team this season with the additions of midfielder Aliaksandr Karnitski and defender Andrii Nesterov (who missed out last round), as well a resurgent Tamás Cseri who has been delightful to watch thus far.  Look for a tough match where both sides will take a point.

Prediction: Kisvárda 1-1 Mezőkövesd

Paul:  Kisvárda were fortunate to lose by only three goals against Fehérvár and it could have been much worse except for the play of keeper Felipe.   They are unbeaten at home in two scoreless wins. I am starting to believe manager, Vasile Miriută  who stated at the start of the season that his side are still ultimately a relegation zone club.

What happened to  Mezőkövesd last week?   They had everything set up for their fifth consecutive win of the season.   Mezőkövesd showed that making that big step into the top five isn’t easy but I still believe they are ready for that step.   Mezőkövesd will bounce back this week and take a valuable three points away from Kisvárda.

Prediction:   Kisvárda 1-2 Mezőkövesd

Puksás Akadémia vs Kaposvár

Pancho Aréna, Felcsút

Chris: Since he scored twice against Újpest to open the season, Puskás striker Ezekiel Henty has been one of the most talked-about, non-producing forwards in the game.  It’s not as if he hasn’t had the chances either.  There’s no doubt the 26 year-old has the talent but it’s always been about his mindset which currently can be described as frustrated.  Puskás are by no means a one man attack, however, as their leading scorer in the past two seasons - Josip Knezevic - is coming into form and now new-signing David Vanacek is off the mark with a goal in their draw against ZTE last round.  Manager Zsolt Hornyak has them playing some energetic football, but they need the stars to align each week to make it happen on the score sheet.  It happened against Újpest and against Fradi as they collected seven goals between them, but only once in their other three games combined.  Be on the lookout for the "Horny Boys" ;)

Kaposvár ended their run of defeats to start the season with an improbable win at Debrecen before the break.  It was quite a result for them as Loki had been undefeated entering that game and dominated but just couldn’t find a way past a stubborn defense.  They’ll find it tough to repeat that kind of performance against a Puskás sides that’s on the edge of a breakout each week.

Prediction: Puskás 2-1 Kaposvár 

Paul:  Puskás were lucky to leave Zalaegerszeg with a point.  Now they play the other new side to the NBI.   I still believe Puskás will ultimately finish as a top 5 club and once they really get things going watch out.  This could be the match that sends them on a winning streak.

Kaposvár’s wild green uniforms brought them good luck as they secured their first win of the season at Debrecen.  It was nice to see a solid performance from goalkeeper, Krisztián Pogacsics, after his rough start to the season. Martin Ádám continues to  show that he is a competent first division striker while providing  the club with valuable leadership. I can’t see a clean sheet here and the goals Debrecen missed will come in abundance in this match.

Prediction:  Puskás 3-1 Kaposvár

Újpest vs Debrecen 

Illovszky Rudolf Stadion, Budapest

Chris: Robert Feczesin made a positive start in his first game back for Újpest with goal in the first five minutes but they went on to lose their second consecutive match 3-2 to Honvéd.  Some supporters are boycotting the games after Lilák’s stuttering start and have been calling for the dismissal of Nebojsa Vignjevic - the league’s longest tenured manager.  If they ever need a win this would be the week.  The two week break has been kind to them and it’s likely to have repaired some of their injured players including captain Robert Litauszki who started in a 4-3 friendly defeat against Vasas last week.  It’s getting more and more difficult to think that Újpest can count on goalkeeper Filip Pajovic as the season progresses and the lack of a consistent backline has exposed his weaknesses.

Debrecen fought long and hard to overcome an early goal by Kaposvár last round but nothing fell their way and then ended up staring down the barrel of their first league defeat this season to the newly-promoted side.  Usually a trip to Újpest would provide a bit more concern but, with all of Lilák’s struggles both on and off the pitch, this could be a good time to steal some points away from home.

Prediction: Újpest 1-3 Debrecen

Paul: Welcome home to Róbert Feczesin who scored a goal and looked very good in his return to his former club.  The once mighty  Újpest defense have been decimated by injuries and looks very vulnerable and disorganized at the moment.   I hope things start to look up as I would hate to see Nebojša Vignjević sacked. With the home crowd behind them, the Lilak will come through in my “upset of the week.”

Debrecen did everything well in their match against Kaposvár but score.  On the positive side Loki created a great number of chances but were held to a scoreless defeat.   Manager, András Herczeg, had to be scratching his head or pulling out his hair after that match. I would have been but my current hairstyle prohibits me from the latter.  I don’t see things improving this round against a motivated home side.

Prediction:  Újpest 2-1 Debrecen

Paks vs Ferencváros

Paksi Stadion, Paks

Chris: Paks made a statement win in Mezőkövesd before the international break, winning in classic style with Janos Hahn scoring twice more to double his tally on the season.  Now with Ferencváros coming to visit, and the drama of Dániel Böde facing his old club, this should be an interesting one to watch.  Böde has yet to score since returning to Paks and Fradi have won without conceding in their last two trips to Fehérvári úti. 

Ferencváros supporters are likely to swell Paksi Stadion bringing an energetic atmosphere to the round’s finale.  With the start of the Europa League right around the corner the excitement is building around the club.  The adjustment to fixture congestion begins and it will soon be evident if Fradi can compete on multiple fronts.  According to manager Sergei Rebrov, the league will be the priority but that will only be evident in his team selection.  With Isael out for three weeks because of his horrible (even though unintentional) challenge on Diosgyor’s András Vagi, and Gergo Lovrencsic’s injury it will likely mean starting spots for Roland Varga and Endre Botka again but the rest of the team is up for debate ahead of kickoff.

Prediction: Paks 1-1 Ferencváros

Paul: Paks played well in handing Mezőkövesd their first loss of the season.  They have a deep squad with several quality players on the bench.  János Hahn is playing very well and it is amazing that at the tender age of 24, he has already played in 150 NBI matches!  I am anxious to see Dániel Böde playing against his former club.  It could be the most interesting match of the week.   This will be my “upset…, no no no… I can’t do it, but came close to calling it :)

Ferencváros had some time to rest the squad  but for a few players who had national team duty.   Unfortunately, Gergő Lovrencsics was injured but hopefully will fully match fit at the very least when the Europa League matches begin.  I am anxious to see Franck Boli play again to see if he can carry on his good play in Europe in the NBI. This will be a good battle but the real Ferencváros will come to play once again.

Prediction:  Paks 0-2 Ferencváros

NBI Round 5 Preview

Welcome to HungarianFootball.com's weekly preview where Chris Barrett and Paul Treso take a look at each game and give their predictions throughout the season. Read on for all the latest news for each match this week.

Paul:  Chris, round 4 proved to be quite interesting with the most exciting match for me the one  between Debrecen and Honvéd.  A total of 21 goals were scored with all the other matches determined by two goals or more.   Four of the six matches were won by away clubs in a surprising turn of events. Chris, is it too soon to start analyzing home vs. away results?  The transfer period ends on Saturday, August 31st so players may still move before the midnight deadline. For now, I hope to see more competitive matches than last week please.

Chris: Interesting is a good word for last week. I'm getting tired of picking just 50% of the results correctly. Hopefully this week the stars will align for me and all of my hard work will pay off. :) Congratulations to Ferencváros for reaching the group stage of the Europa League this week!

Saturday, 31 August

Mezőkövesd vs Paks

Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd

Chris: Tamás Cseri is on fire with three goals in his last three games.  Last season, the Mezőkövesd playmaker scored just four over 29 league games, but without Stefan Drazic in the lineup this term he’s stepped up.  Another key addition this season has been the stellar work of defensive midfielder Aleksandr Karnitskiy, and let’s not forget the sensational goalkeeping of Péter Szappanos who has only conceded one goal in their first four.

 Paks dumped four players this week as Tomislav Sivic finalizes his squad for the season.  It looks as if former Fradi backup goalkeeper Ádám Holczer has won the #1 job over last season’s starter Gergo Nagy.  Benjámin Cseke, Róbert Kővári, and Dávid Bobál were released this week while Benjámin Cseke was sent on loan to MTK.  Despite Dániel Böde’s arrival, Paks have floundered in attack with János Hahn’s two-goal effort against struggling Kispest in round 2 the highlight performance so far.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 2-1 Paks

Paul:  The opening schedule could not have made better for Mezőkövesd and they have taken advantage by opening with four straight wins.   They are still to play a top club but should make it five wins in a row here. Attila Kuttor has built a very good club that could turn out to be the surprise team of the season.   Dániel Nagy has proved to be a great addition to the squad while Tamás Cseri has been playing at a level that deserves a Hungarian National team call up.  

Paks had plenty of chances in their match last week against  Fehérvár but were unable to score against a great keeper.  They will find the defense of Mezőkövesd to be a bit too much for them.  Paks will fall victim to a club that is playing great football and  who have held opponents scoreless in all but one match this season.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 2-0 Paks

MOL Fehévár vs Kisvárda

MOL Aréna Sóstó, Székesfehérvár

Chris: Fehérvár are the only other team with four wins besides Mezőkövesd and they look to be getting better each week.  Márkó Futács splendid five-goal haul through four games has been like cool water in a dry desert for Marko Nikolic’s side.  Enough so that Fehérvár allowed last season’s leading scorer Marko Scepovic leave for Turkey.  Futács is becoming the type of player the club hoped he’d become when they acquired him for the second half of last season, but the former Leicester City forward scored just twice in 13 games in the spring.  Goalkeeper Ádám Kovácsik looks to have his edge back as he’s been outstanding when called upon thus far. 

Kisvárda have nine points in their first four games.  Remember last season?  They didn’t reach nine points until late October (12 games in), coincidentally against MOL Vidi.  Felipe is back between the sticks and he’s looking confident as ever, leading Vasile Miriuta’s side to back-to-back victories over Honvéd and Újpest the last two rounds.  Let’s also not fail to mention the other five-goal scorer in the league, Gheorghe Grozav, who scored as many in 14 games last spring.  The prolific Romanian is worth the price of admission and is a legit danger-man who can create something from nothing.  Buckle your seatbelts for this one.

Prediction: Fehérvár 3-2 Kisvárda

Paul:   Fehérvár have quickly put their early Europa League exit behind them and are off to a great start to the season.  Marko Scsepovics is leaving the club in the final season of his contract and the club was wise to let him go and receive some compensation at the same time.  They have found their man in Márkó Futács.   The defense is still not at last season’s level but they were saved last week by the brilliant performance of their goalkeeper, Ádám Kovácsik.  They will win a wild match in what could be the match of the week.

Kisvárda are off to a great start to the season by winning three of their first four matches.  Gheorghe Grozav is playing out of his mind and we have to think he will be leaving NBI in the winter to greener pastures.   At least we have until then to enjoy is brilliant play. His goal scoring continue here as he provides all sorts of problems for the home team.

Prediction:  Fehérvár 3-1 Kisvárda

Újpest vs Honvéd

Illovszky Rudolf Stadion, Budapest

Chris: In the first Budapest derby of the season we see two teams without homes playing in a rented NBII ground.  Imagine the atmosphere.  It’s nothing against Vasas’ brand new home, but more about two perennial podium-chasers who have failed to launch so far this season.  Újpest are coming off a disappointing defeat at the hands of Kisvárda and are dealing with injuries to Litauszki, Koszta, and Obinna.  Nebojsa Vignjevic welcomed a clutch of players including the familiar face of defender Jonathan Heris.  Róbert Feczesin’s signing is a homecoming as the 33 year-old former Hungarian international came up through Újpest’s youth team in the early 2000’s and returns from Adanspor in Turkey’s second-tier where he scored 5 goal in 25 games last season.   

Honvéd manager Guiseppe Sannino’s safety rope is unraveling and his acquisition of experienced NBI goalkeeper Tujvel this week might be the final piece to turn this project around. Despite another defeat last week, Kispest actually looked like the better team for most of the game against Debrecen and if not for a couple of goalkeeping errors they might have gotten a deserved result.   I imagine Davide Lanzafame will be playing with a chip on his shoulder hearing his former boss’ post-match comments after Ferencváros secured their Europa League group stage spot this week against Sūduva..

Prediction: Újpest 1-2 Honvéd

Paul:  We have a Budapest derby this week between two clubs trying to find themselves.  Újpest are in search of offensive attack  and hope the arrival of Róbert Feczesin will solve their striker situation.   That remains to be seen…

I was happy to see somewhat of a revival in Honvéd despite their close loss to Debrecen.   Daniel Lanzafame looked great in scoring two goals and the rest of the squad is improving and following his example.   Can I call this an “upset of the week” as Honvéd earn their first victory of the new season?

Prediction:   Újpest 2-3 Honvéd

Zalaegerszeg vs Puksás Akadémia

ZTE Aréna, Zalaegerszeg

Chris: I have to admit that Zalaegerszeg have been fun to watch so far this season.  The NBII champs have proven that they’re not going down lightly (if at all) this season and they are playing their first home game of the season this week.  A defense led by Zoran Lesjak and the solid Szilárd Devecseri whose 30 yard guided missile was a joy to behold last week.  Gergo Kocsis’ performances in midfield have not gone unnoticed and manager Barna Dobos even managed to unveil the monstrous Eduvie Ikoba last week - the American striker scored within five minutes of coming on against Kaposvár.  Oh, and by the way, Zoltan Stieber has been cleared to play this week.  The former DC United and Hungarian international has never played a game in the NBI. 

Puskás have to be delighted with such a comprehensive win over a second-choice Ferencváros side last week.  They exploded for four goals after scoring none in their last two - exploiting the flanks of Rebrov’s 3-4-3 approach last week.  I’m still not convinced of their quality to dominate. Perhaps they’ll prove me wrong this week, but until they do I’m going to stick to my skepticism.

Prediction: ZTE 1-1 Puskás 

Paul:  Zalaegerszeg finally play their first home match of the season.  They look better and better each week and finally earned their first win of the season against Kaposvár.  I am curious to see if Zoltán Stieber gets a few minutes of action in front of the home fans.  Zalaegerszeg will continue their improving form with a nice home victory.

Puskás are proving to be a team of multiple personalities.  They have the ability to look brilliant at times and then they take two steps backwards the following week.   Consistency is what the squad is lacking so far in the season. After a nice win over Ferencváros last week, they come back down to earth.

Prediction:  ZTE 1-0 Puskás

Debrecen vs Kaposvár 

Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen

Chris: Debrecen are playing an exciting brand of football, scoring ten goals in their first three games so far.  Kevin Varga has had a phenomenal start to the season and his performance last week against Honvéd was his best so far.  Returning to Nagyerdei Stadion for their third home game of the season already they should fancy their chances against a Kaposvár side that has shipped 11 goals in their first four.

Kaposvár will be without the suspended Krisztián Nagy and likely the injured Andrii Yakymiv who left injured after 39 minutes last week. They are still without a win and have only scored one goal in their last three games. .

Prediction: Debrecen 3-1 Kaposvár

Paul: Debrecen are off to a fine start to begin the season.   After a difficult victory against Honvéd,  they are back home to the friendly confines of Nagyerdei Stadion.  This sets up very nicely for them to get their fourth straight victory while top player Ádám Bódi heals from his ankle injury.  The goals will still come in a variety of ways for the home squad this weekend. Debrecen are truly a team as they have had seven different goal scorers so far in the new season.

Kaposvár caught a bad break with some questionable decisions that turned the course of their match into a four goal route against Zalaegerszeg.  I do commend them on fighting until the end in a match that was closer than the score indicated. What they lack in talent, they do attempt to make up in desire and fight.  So far the results are not promising and a fifth straight loss looms on the horizon.

Prediction:  Debrecen 3-0 Kaposvár

Sunday, 1 September

Ferencváros vs Diósgyőr

Groupama Aréna, Budapest

Chris: Ferencváros didn’t make it easy but they did what they set out to do and will play in the Europa League group stage this year after a gritty, come-from-behind performance against Suduva this week.  It’s likely Rebrov will rotate heavily this week after such an intense match but at least they don’t have to travel and should rebound with a win this week after a disappointing outcome in Felcsút last week. 

Fernando knows what he’s up against this week, and after a 3-0 home defeat last week against Mezőkövesd he’s looking at heading into the international break on a four-game losing streak.   They really missed the suspended Brkovic in their back line last week and will gladly welcome his presence back into their lineup.

Prediction: Ferencváros 3-1 Diósgyőr

Paul: Congratulations to Ferencváros for making the group stage of the Europa League.  They have some time until the next round begins so now they must focus and earn some victories in the NBI.  Fradi should be able to field a combination A/B squad and come up with a home victory for their enthusiastic fans.   On a side note, it was great to see Stefan Spirovski back playing for the first time since November.

After an opening round victory, Diósgyőr has lost three matches in a row.   They look lost and come to Budapest at the wrong time.  In truth, tt must be noted that they have a terrible record in Budapest and often leave Hungary’s capital city after giving up a boat load of goals.  I am not sure if that happens here but I will choose a number between one and five goals for the home squad.

Prediction:  Ferencváros 3-1 Diósgyőr