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

NB1 Round 11 preview

Hungarian NB1 football returns this week!  Take a few minutes and get caught up with what’s going on in the league and take a peek into all of Saturday’s matches as Paul and Chris give you their previews and predictions for each game.

Paul: Chris, we are back after a one week break for international matches.  It was a mixed bag for the Hungarian National Team and I will leave it at that.    Let’s get back to the NB1 where anything is possible and nothing is predictable.  Nonetheless, Chris and I will attempt to skillfully predict each match, good, bad or indifferent.  This week all the matches will be played on Saturday and off we go…

Chris: Yeah, it was a frustrating break in terms of results but I think we can hold on to a shred of hope as Marco Rossi looks like he has a plan and it will take some time to undo what’s been done over the past year or so.  The domestic league, however, has turned into an exciting mix of surprises and disappointments.  It will be interesting to see what twists and turns round 11 will have for us.

Saturday, 20 October

Debrecen vs Paks

at Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen

Paul: Debrecen gave Fradi all they could handle and almost left the Groupama Arena with a win.  Can they continue this type of effort at home or have a let down?  This should be an up and down match with two clubs that love to counter attack and play little defense.  This match can go any of three ways but a draw is the safe choice here.

Paks have not lost in their last five matches while winning four of them.  They are playing very good football at the moment.  They could easily come away from Debrecen with a win but the fact that Loki are playing well should make this an interesting match.  This could well be the most entertaining match of the week and one I will watch for sure.

Prediction: Debrecen 2-2 Paks

Chris: This should be a hard-fought game against two solid teams in good form.  Paks have been resilient and are showing a vastly improved attack as well as a tight defense.  It seems as if Tamas Balo has currently taken over starting left back role for Paks during János Szabó’s injury - the 34 year old has been a big part of their solid defense during their current three-match winning run.  Tamás Kecskés has also played a key role in the heart of their midfield, while leading scorer János Hahn has scored all five of his goals in the last six games.

Debrecen haven’t been as impressive, but their 2-2 draw at Groupama against high-flying Ferencváros was good result for them and they should get a boost with captain Dániel Tózser returning to the lineup.

It’s a long trip for Paks and Loki have their tails up.  It should be a close game and possible rainy conditions may affect the score a bit. 

Prediction: Debrecen 1-1 Paks

Diósgyőr vs Újpest

at Diósgyőri Stadion, Miskolc

Paul: Diósgyor have lost their last two matches and have not scored a goal  in either of those matches.  They have only earned a single point at home this season.  With that said, their hope is to stack the defense and hope for a counter attack and a 1-0 win.  The chances of that are very, very slim.

Újpest looked solid  in their victory over Puskás last week.  It was nice to see Soma Novothny score his first goal in league play this season.  For the Lilak, he will need to score goals for them to be successful.  Újpest have been excellent in defense this season and have only allowed two goals in their last five matches.  This match  will be an easy, comfortable win for them.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 0-2 Újpest

Chris:  Last season’s leading scorer Soma Novothny scored his first goal of the season last round, but Újpest are in a world of hurt with injuries to key players this week.  Benjamin Cseke hasn’t featured much this season but Alassane Diallo and Dominik Nagy have been the the most productive offensive players in a misfiring team.  With both Diallo and Nagy out perhaps Novothny will rise to the occasion again.

Rumors are swirling about the future of Diosgyor’s manager Fernando, and the news that young striker Gábor Makrai is out for an extended time won’t be welcome either.   That’s a tough blow for a team that has scored just three goals in their last five and one in their last three at home.

It will be tough to breakthrough for Lilák but I think they’ll edge a close one.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 0-1 Újpest

Kisvárda vs Mezőkövesd

at Várkert Sportpálya, Kisvárda 

Paul: After two straight wins, Kisvárda have two straight losses by a total of five goals.  The initial magic of a new manager appears to have worn off.  Their defense has been giving up goals in bunches.  This match can go any way but the logical choice is a close home loss.

Mezőkövesd are playing well and as a team which makes them a tough club for any team to play.  On paper this should be a victory.  Anything other than a win will be a loss for Mezőkövesd and lost points will add up at the end of the season.

Prediction: Kisvárda 1-2 Mezőkövesd

Chris: The only form of offense for Kisvárda has come off the foot of Zoltán Horváth in recent weeks.  Despite his consistent production, the team’s brief resurgence has been cut short over the last two rounds with heavy defeats at Debrecen and Paks.  They return home but will host a team that has won three of its last five league games and have taken a lot of teams by surprise this season.  

Mezőkövesd are playing like they can beat anyone this season, but they’ve yet to do so away from home so far.  They’ve seen the great recent form of central defender Róbert Pillar and defensive midfielder Patrik Mevoungou support Stefan Drazic’s attacking prowess up front.  They’ve been a fun team to watch this season as the whole team plays well together.  Look for these two to share the points. 

Prediction: Kisvárda 2-2 Mezőkövesd

MTK vs Honvéd

at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest

Paul: After being anti-MTK for most of the season, I am now a believer in the squad.  István Bognár is playing particularly and showing much creativity in the midfield .  They are a scrappy club and easily dispatched a tired Mol Vidi club.  While this is a home match, Honvéd also play their matches now on MTK’s ground.  This should be a hotly contested match with a late MTK winner on a penalty kick.

Honvéd haven’t been playing too well recently but Diósgyor is the squad to play for three points and reestablish confidence.   Look for Honvéd to have more fans at this “away” match which should make for a good atmosphere.  They will play MTK tough in what should be an offensive  match.

Prediction: MTK 3-2 Honvéd

Chris: With this derby between teams who share the same stadium this season it makes it trickier for MTK who “host” Honvéd - a team that is no stranger to the surroundings.  MTK looked great against a tired Vidi team last round as István Bognár has stepped up his game and has shown glimpses of the player we saw a couple of years ago. Andras Shäfer also looked tireless on the right wing.  Sándor Torghelle made a rare start, but will likely make way for László Lencse who is just behind Kanta in production for MTK.

Honvéd are still struggling in attack and their narrow 1-0 win over Kisvárda from a deflected Filip Holender shot didn’t do much to restore confidence in their ability in the attacking third.  Patrik Tischler scored a hat trick last week but don’t let that fool you as it was in a friendly match during the international break against NBII side Csákvár.  Scoring has been a big problem for Kispest and the slim result against lowly Diosgyor punctuated their need for a new approach.

Prediction:  MTK 2-1 Honvéd

Haladás vs MOL Vidi

at Szombathely Haladás Stadion, Szombathely

Paul: Haladás are a mess and have lost their last three matches and have only earned one point in their last five matches.  The week off was good for their new manager to have some extra practice time with the squad.  Will they rise to the occasions against the champion as many clubs have recently?

The week off was probably the most beneficial for a Mol Vidi squad that has played the most matches of any Hungarian squad.  This week they will get back to their usual form and a poor Haladás is the right team to play at the right time 

Prediction: Haladás 1-3 MOL Vidi

Chris: Vidi should be rested and ready to return to action after their horrible 3-0 defeat against MTK before the international break.  The ‘likely’ return of goalkeeper Ádám Kovácsik would be another boost to Marko Nikolic’s side.  

Haladás went shopping over the break and brought in a couple of depth players on free transfers.  Home or away they’ve been disappointing and a rested Vidi side shouldn’t have much trouble here.

Prediction: Haladás 0-2 MOL Vidi

Puskás Akadémia vs Ferencváros

at Pancho Aréna, Felcsút

Paul:  Puskás came back to earth in their last match against Újpest.  This week will be even more difficult against the league leaders.  In a surprisingly close match, they will lose in the later stages of the match.  Teams tend to get “up” when playing Fradi and things will be no different here.

Ferencváros were lucky to escape with a draw against Debrecen.  They played even better with a man down.  Lanzafame has found his form with his new club and is playing dazzling football.  Away matches have been difficult for Fradi and their pattern of fewer goals will continue with a difficult match at the Pancho Arena, one of the most beautiful football grounds in Hungary.  

Prediction: Puskás 1-2 Ferencváros

Chris:  Ferencváros haven’t lost in Felcsút in five years but they’ll be without a couple of key players this week with both starting LB Marcel Heister and league-leading goalscorer Davide Lanzafame both banned for this match.  Ferencváros have a deep lineup to choose from with Dániel Bode waiting in the wings to provide goals.  

Puskás will be without Csaba Spandler on the right side for what could be the rest of the season as he was injured on international duty.  They’ve won their last two at home against two top clubs in Honvéd and Vidi and will try to shut down Fradi at Pancho Aréna.  However, Ferencváros have won their last four away games without conceding and although this one might not be as impressive, I think they’ll still take all the points. 

Prediction:  Puskás 1-2 Ferencváros

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

NB1 Round 9 preview

All twelve NB1 teams progressed past the sixth round of the Magyar Kupa last week and we are back with a full slate of league matches this week.  Read on for preview and predictions of each game from Paul Treso and Chris Barrett.  Also, feel free to follow along our banter as we “watch” the the matches together with others on Twitter.

Paul: Chris, welcome back after a one week break for the start of the Hungarian Cup and with all first division clubs safely making  it through to the first round.  Also you had a very good week in round 8 so late congratulations for that.  Now its  back to the NB1 and it’s hard to believe we are already in round 9.  Another coaching change and this time it’s for Haladás.  That now makes three coaching changes so far this season.  Wow.  Let the games begin.

Chris: Yeah Paul there’s been a lot of excitement in NB1 this season and let’s hope we get back to more of it on the pitch than in the clubhouse this week.  The derby is certainly the pick of the games as Újpest and Nebojsa Vignjevic look to end a 3 year winless run against Fradi. Read on for surprisingly delightful paragraphs from the best prognosticators in NB1 who dare to post scores for one of the more unpredictable leagues in Europe.

Saturday, 29 September

Debrecen vs Kisvárda

at Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen

Paul: Debrecen have not won in their last five matches.  They have a talented squad but are not playing as a cohesive unit.  It will happen sometime as they have a very good manager in András Herczeg.   A  hard fought match with plenty of attacking football.

Kisvárda has won their last two matches after looking like a for sure relegated squad.  Their new manager, László Dajka, has brought a plan and a new philosophy to the squad and they have bought into this philosophy.  I see a draw here in a match that a month ago looked like a sure Debrecen victory.

Prediction: Debrecen 2-2 Kisvárda

Chris: After a strong start Debrecen are winless in their last five league matches and struggling to find the back of the net.  They return home where they are undefeated, but they have only scored once in their last three overall, and struggled in the Hungarian Cup to NBIII side BKV Elore in a nervy 2-1 win.  They have scored 7 goals in four games at home this season, however, and will be looking to return to form.

Kisvárda have grown in confidence since László Djaka took over as manager.  Four games without defeat in the league and a narrow away win the cup at the weekend has them buoyant ahead of this one.  They’ve only conceded three goals in their last five matches, surprising MTK and Puskás away from home during that stretch.

Prediction: Debrecen 1-1 Kisvárda

Ferencváros vs Újpest

at Groupama Aréna, Budapest

Paul: This is the grand  Budapest derby and always one of the best attended matches of the season. Ferencváros still seem to be adjusting to their new manager and have actually scored less goals since his arrival.  This is always an exciting match that brings out the best in both sides.

Újpest has not lost in their last five matches and has shown some improvement since exciting and exiting European play.  They now not  worry about extra matches.  The Lilak always bring extra motivation to this match and will play Fradi tough.

Prediction: Ferencváros 3-2 Újpest

Chris:  There is nothing like the atmosphere in this derby and all accounts show a full house at Groupama for this one.  Újpest haven’t won the derby since 2015 but they held Fradi to a goalless draw at Groupama in their last meeting in March. 

Ferencváros have slowed down their scoring pace since their rocket start to the season, and they’ve yet to keep a clean sheet at home despite having three away from Groupama already this season.

Újpest have brought on a strong defender in Kire Ristevski who has a lot of NB1 experience spending the last two season with Vasas.  I can’t see the Macedonian getting the start ahead of Róbert Litauszki or Mijusko Bojovic unless the latter moves up to play defensive midfielder in place of Vincent Onovo. 

This is a massive game for Lilák especially as they have the chance to make a statement and signal their intent as a club with an eye on the podium.  They haven’t won away from home yet this season and, barring a heroic effort, I don’t see Fradi getting anything but a win here.

Prediction: Ferencváros 2-1 Újpest

MTK Budapest vs Mezőkövesd

at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest 

Paul: MTK has  lost their last two matches after starting the season off very well.  Maybe the week of will do them some good?  This match will be a good challenge for MTK against a team in the upper half of the table.

On the other hand,  Mezőkövesd has won their last two matches but both of them were at home.  They have drawn in their last two away matches and the logical pick here is a draw between two similarly matched squads.

Prediction: MTK 1-1 Mezőkövesd

Chris: MTK hammered Cup minnows Tallya 8-0 on Sunday but they’ve lost their last two consecutive league matches by an aggregate score of 4-0.  Goals have been hard to come by since beginning their season with three victories out of their first four matches.  Manager Tamás Feczkó will be hoping Sunday’s comprehensive win will ignite their feeble offense.

Mezőkövesd are coming off a 3-1 defeat against MOL Vidi on Wednesday in a game where they looked very good going forward, but two mistakes at the back took the fight out of them.  Gábor Molnar’s presence should provide a huge spark as they’re looking to build their attack around him.  Mezőkövesd have lost just once in three away games and should put up a good fight in this one despite playing midweek. 

Prediction: MTK 2-2 Mezőkövesd

Puskás Akadémia vs Honvéd

at Pancho Aréna, Felcsút

Paul: Puskás played surprising well in defeating Mol Vidi.  Was it blip in the radar or signs of things to come?  I see some improvement in the squad and this should translate to this week as well.  If not, I predict the next coaching change to be here.

The schedule has been kind to Honvéd and this is only their third away match of the season.  This is one of those matches where a top club needs to take the three points.   Honvéd brought back Patrick Hidi after his stint in Spain.  He will be a welcome addition and strengthen the squad even further.  This will be a surprising, tough match and a draw to boot.

Prediction: Puskás 1-1 Honvéd

Chris: Puskás are coming off consecutive wins (that is not a typo).  First, against champions Vidi in the league, and then a 3-1 win in the cup last weekend.  They are a team with some talented players but so often don’t live up to that level.  Against Vidi they looked decent and could provide Honvéd with a game if they can feed off their recent successes.

Honvéd, however, bolstered their squad with the return of Patrik Hidi, and the addition of Dávid Kálnoki Kis who will be welcome additions to their backline.  Their narrow defeat against league-leaders Ferencváros was followed by a strong 6-0 win in the cup. Goalkeeper Dávid Gróf is in fine form, conceding just once in his last four games overall. 

Prediction:  Puskás 1-2 Honvéd  

Haladás vs Paks

at Szombathely Stadion, Szombathely

Paul: Haladás are in team in turmoil and as teams in turmoil do, they fired their manager.  Will this have a positive effect on the squad?  It sure did for Kisvárda and Hali hope for the same.  Home field in Szombathely was once  an advantage for this squad but the luster of a new stadium seems to have worn off this season.

Win or lose, Paks play attractive football.  They catch the home team at the right time.   Paks have been weak on the road but the time is ripe for their first away win of the season.   A team on the rise.

Prediction: Haladás 1-2 Paks

Chris: Haladás sacked manager Michael Hipp and replaced him with Ferenc Horváth who is well known in Hungarian football and last managed Balmazújváros who narrowly missed out on NB1 survival last season.  He’s a strong character and will be a bonus in the the Haladás dressing room, but veteran goalkeeper Gábor Király has hinted at some unrest among the players this season.  The coaching change, the return to playing at home, and a positive result in the cup last weekend will hopefully take the bad taste out of their mouths in losing 4-1 to Kisvarda in round 8.  Horváth is suspended for this game (from the end of last season) so he won’t sit on the bench.

Paks, on the other hand, are unbeaten in their past seven games and are playing well.  Once a primarily defense-minded club, they’ve shown some real proficiency up front in recent games with 13 goals in their last four contests.

Prediction: Haladás 1-3 Paks

Sunday, 30 September

Diósgyőr vs MOL Vidi

at Diósgyőri Stadion, Miskolc

Paul:  Diósgyor are already in the regulation battle and will be there all season.  A home match against the defending champions will be very tough.  Can they pull a Puskás and defeat the defending champions?  That is a bit too much to ask of this side at the moment.  Their penny pinching philosophy in the lack summer signings is glaringly apparent.

Mol Vidi looked terrible against Puskás but a match against Diosgyor should be the right medicine to get them back on track. An additional week off from the league will help as well. Goodbye to Danko Lazovics after his surprising retirement.  Love him or hate him, he was a very special player and will be a huge loss for Vidi.  The diving and the goals were often spectacular.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 0-3 Vidi

Chris:  With talk of Bundesliga-like, supporter-controlled group taking over Diosgyor due to a long stretch of discontent with the club, they will host the champions who looked good against Mezőkövesd midweek.  DVTK haven’t lost at home yet this season, but their current form is not good.  They needed extra time to defeat cup minnows ESMTK Budapest in the cup last weekend. 

Vidi showed great fitness and depth in their win against in-form Mezőkövesd on Wednesday.  Backup goalkeeper Tomas Tujvel is a bit of a step down from the injured Ádám Kovácsik, but I don’t see him being called into action too much in this one.

This is a rematch of the final game of last season where Vidi fielded a younger team and lost 2-1 to Diósgyőr, sending Balmazújváros out of the top flight.  

Prediction:  Diósgyőr 0-2 Vidi

MOL Vidi vs Mezőkövesd Preview

Vidi host Mezőkövesd at Pancho Arena tonight, making up their postponed match from round three.  The originally scheduled match was in the middle of Vidi's impressive qualification run to reach the Europa League group stage.  Mezőkövesd make the long trek west to Felcsút in good form, but come with the knowledge that they’ve never defeated Vidi away from home.  Marko Nikolic's side are preparing for a battle ahead of quite possibly their biggest test ever against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next week.

MOL Vidi

Coming off a tough home defeat to BATE Borisov last week in the Europa League, and the surprise decision of veteran forward Danko Lazovic to retire from the game, Vidi are in a bit of a spin as they face a confident Mezőkövesd side.  With the fixture congestion already building they'll have to rotate their squad at some point with a match against Diósgyőr on Sunday ahead of their Europa League group stage match in London against Chelsea next Thursday. 

Vidi were anything but dominant against third tier side Cigánd in the Magyar Kupa on Sunday with most of their starting XI in the side.  They played the final 24 minutes with an extra man and were still unable to add to the scoreline.  Roland Juhasz, Stopira, and István Kovács were all given a rest and probably will return to the side at Pancho Aréna tonight barring any training injuries. Starting goalkeeper Ádám Kovácsik remains out of contention with a serious head and facial injuries suffered against Puskás in round eight. 

Based on his performance against BATE, new Vidi forward Georgi Milanov looks like he could be an improvement on Lazovic.  Milanov was brought in from CSKA Moscow to add depth to their attack, but will now have to quickly adapt as their target man up front.


Attila Kuttor's side defeated fourth-tier Fovarosi Vizmuvek 5-0 in the cup last weekend with Denes Szakály scoring a brace.  Despite a goalless scoreline at the break, Mezőkövesd's quality emerged in the second half and Kuttor was able to bring on newly-signed, German youngster Dominik Wieland for his debut.  Wieland was acquired from Ferencváros last Friday.

Winger Tamas Cseri has emerged as a beast for Mezo this season - seemingly covering every square inch of ground during recent games, and Daniel Vadnai has provided some amazing quality at left back defensively while supporting the attack as well.  Stefan Drazic leads their attack with 3 goals and an assist in seven games thus far.  Starting goalkeeper Dávid Dombó was injured in their last league game and didn’t play in their cup match last weekend.

This will be a much tougher game for Vidi than one might expect and it’s likely the visitors can get something from this game.  Tomas Tujvel will likely be starting in goal against his former club, and he isn't quite up to the standard of regular starter Kovácsik.  Mezőkövesd's current form should give them confidence to score a goal or two.

Prediction: 2-2 draw

NB1 Round 8 Preview

Hungarian NB1 football is back this week for Round 8 and there is a full slate of matches on Saturday.  Paul Treso and Chris Barrett give their prediction for each game, as well as a short preview. So, sit back, relax and read on as they bring you the breakdown of each contest this weekend.

Paul: Chris, welcome back after a one week break for national team matches.  I hope the break did you as well as it hopefully will for our Hungarian clubs.  Quick note on the Hungarian national team matches.A tale of two matches.A loss against Finland where Hungary dominated the time of possession.  An impressive win over Greece where Greece dominated the time of possession.Of course, football is played for goal.On to round 8 with improvement possibly after a week of fine tuning each clubs by their respective managers.

Chris: Yeah, it was an encouraging start to the Nations League for Hungary, but onto the NB1 where the aftermath of the transfer deadline has each team’s squad basically settled until January.Let’s look at the fixtures for Saturday!

Saturday, 15 September

Kisvárda vs Haladás

at Várkert Sportpálya, Kisvárda

Paul: Kisvárda won their first match of the season against MTK and on the road to boot.  They have improved after adjusting to play in the first division.In a vanilla match look for a lackluster draw.

Haladás have also been one of the big disappointments of the season as they have not continued their improved play from the later stages of last season.  They are winning in their last away matches with three loses and a draw. A draw is the result here.

Prediction: Kisvárda 1-1 Haladás

Chris:Kisvárda have found some traction and, after a massive result against MTK in round 7 head home looking to extend their impressive unbeaten run after a horrible start to the season.Roberto Carlos look-alike Anderson Pico has been in great form for the newly promoted side who won their first game in the top flight last week.

Things aren’t looking good for Haladás, especially away from home where they haven’t won since April. The strugglers from Szombathely lost 3-0 to Mattersburg in a friendly in Austria last week.They are in poor form all around and worse away from home.

Prediction: Kisvárda 2-1 Haladás

Paks vs MTK Budapest

at Fehérvári úti Stadion, Paks

Paul:This should be an intriguing match with a lot of goals.  Paks lost their top defender in Janos Szabo so that will weaken their defense, but it’s their offense and counter attack that is the squad’s strength.  I see an offensive match with the home squad winning by a goal.

MTK played poorly in their last match in losing to Kisvárda.  MTK may be coming back to earth after a strong start to the season.  They score goals but also give up plenty as well.In a hard fought match, they lose to Paks in the final minutes.

Prediction: Paks 3-2 MTK

Chris:Paks are on a four-match unbeaten run but were unable to penetrate lowly DVTK’s defense in round 7.At home they’ve been much more attack-minded, scoring four goals in their two played there so far this season. They’ll be less effective on defense with starting left back János Szabó out for a few weeks with a knee injury.

MTK will be looking to rebound from an embarrassing defeat at home to Kisvárda two weeks ago. Tamás Feczkó’s side have only lost once in their last five away trips to Paks and should be able to get something out of this one.Myke Ramos left MTK for Al-Ittihad on loan during the break which leaves László Lensce as their primary threat up front.

Prediction:Paks 1-1 MTK

Mezőkövesd vs Diósgyőr

at Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd

Paul: A derby so to speak by clubs that are not located far from each other.   Mezőkövesd are not a particularly strong home side.  They won their last home match against Puskás and I see a similar result against a similar quality squad.

Diósgyor have not won in their last four away matches, with a draw their best results.  This team is also lacking an identity and has a serious deficit in quality of players.  A draw is possible but despite a good effort, they will come up short.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 1-0 Diósgyőr

Chris:Diósgyőr are still scrambling to construct a team worthy of staying in NB1 and they made a bunch of moves at the deadline in hopes of doing just that.It’s difficult to understand the logic behind sending away two talented forwards with little to replace them.Most of the players they brought in were bit-part players, and with center back Márk Tamás injured their one strength - defense - will be under more pressure.

Mezőkövesd returned to winning ways last round and should continue in the same vein here.Left back Dániel Vadnai is the one to watch here.He’s been sensational so far for Mezo.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 2-0 Diósgyőr

Puskás Akadémia vs MOL Vidi

at Pancho Aréna, Felcsút

Paul: Technically a home match for both clubs.  Puskás are a team in turmoil and playing poorly.  A poor combination for a club playing an in form Mol Vidi club fresh from earning a spot in the Euro Liga next round.  Things continue to spiral down for a club that will look to avoid relegation all season.

The week off will do Vidi well after their hectic two match a week schedule.  The club will dominate Puskás though the score will be rather modest.   They will be able to make early substitution and and won’t be pressed hard at all in this match.

Prediction: Puskás 0-2 Vidi

Chris: Bottom of the table Puskás are still looking for cohesion.The league’s worst defense didn’t see an upgrade at the transfer deadline and will be playing the current champions Vidi who are playing really good, attack-minded football.They did, however, sign former Vidi defensive midfielder Jószef Varga who will be motivated against his former employer, but Puskás are dreaming if they think they can pick up points here.

Vidi increased their attacking depth with the addition of Georgi Milanov and they’ve had a couple of weeks to rest from their European qualification campaign so now would not be a good time to play them.

Prediction: Puskás 1-3 Vidi

Újpest vs Debrecen

at Szusza Ferenc Stadion, Budapest

Paul: Újpest have been one of the major disappointments in the league so far this season.  Can the extra week off do they some good?I see some improvement this week but against a tough Debrecen club a draw is in the works.

Debrecen has actually played better on the road than at home.  With that said, look for the Lilak to secure a draw in a exciting, offensive match.

Prediction: Újpest 2-2 Debrecen

Chris: Újpest are making it a habit to send players on loan to the club they’re facing the following week.With Patrik Tischler playing for Honvéd against them in round 7, now Bence Pávkovics will don a Loki shirt against them this week.Újpest played well in their goalless draw against Honvéd, but haven’t won in three rounds.They haven’t lost at home to Debrecen in their last five meetings at Szusza Ferenc Stadion.

Debrecen are still struggling with injuries and Pávkovic’s move is certainly to provide cover for a depleted side.They had a perfect opportunity to get maximum points against lowly Haladás last week but struggled with their finishing despite a 20-8 shot on target advantage.It looks as if last season’s leading scorer Haris Tabakovic’s return date won’t be until late October or early November - not good news for Loki.

Prediction: Újpest 2-1 Debrecen

Honvéd vs Ferencváros

at New Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest

Paul: The match of the week and not one to miss.  Honvéd finally have a good number of strikers and it should be interesting to see which ones start.  This will be an exciting match with plenty of goals and I see a draw.

Will the extra week provide some time for Ferencváros to jell under the concept of their new manager?  While one of the most talented squad in the first division, Fradi is not a super strong away squad.  They start off strong here but come away disappointed with a draw.

Prediction: Honvéd 2-2 Ferencváros

Chris: The top two face off in the capital.Both teams drew their games before the international break.Honvéd have had little success recently against Ferencváros with just one victory in their last 9 head-to-head meetings. This will be the first time Davide Lanzafame returns to face Kispest in a green and white kit and it should prove to be a fantastic match.

Ferencváros are still top and have enjoyed a good record away from home, but this will be their biggest test away from Groupama so far this season.

Prediction:Honvéd 1-2 Ferencváros