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.


Mezőkövesd

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


NB1 Round 7 Preview

Round 7 of the NB1 is upon us already.  Time flies.  Each team should be set now that the transfer window has passed.  There are a couple of mouth-watering ties this week so let’s hear what the boys have to say about each game. 

Paul: I congratulate Mol Vidi FC of representing Hungary very well in Europe this season.  They played AEK Athens very tightly and with some luck could have advanced.  Playing on two fronts this season should be a challenge for them but they can do it.   Vidi had their match postponed last week so in five matches, 14 goals were scored.  On to round 7 and lets hope for some higher quality football than last week..

Chris: Paul, you had a good week with your picks last time - great job! Vidi has definitely captured the hearts and minds of Hungary as they’ve been drawn into a tantalizing group with Chelsea, PAOK, and BATE Borisov in Group L in the UEFA Europa League.  Exciting times!  There’s still three weeks before all of that begins and for now we look to this week’s NB1 fixtures. 


Saturday, 1 September


Debrecen vs Haladás

at Nagyerdei Stadion, Debrecen

Paul: Debrecen were trounced by three goals last week against Honvéd but I see them coming back this Saturday.   A home  match against a poor Haladás club should be the right medicine to produce a result for Loki.

Home or away, Haladás are playing terribly this season.  The home magic seems to be gone as they lost last week to MTK.   Manager Michal Hipp has his work cut out for him and keeping the club up in the first division would be a major achievement.

Prediction: Debrecen 3-0 Haladás

Chris: Both teams had poor results last week, but Debrecen return home and have been a much better side so far this season.  Look for the return of Aleksandar Jovanovic in this one.

Haladás are slowly getting their players back from suspension but lost at home for the first time in their new stadium last week.  Leading scorer for Haladás after six games is Karol Mészaros (2 goals, 2 assists) - wouldn’t have been my pick.  Priskin will pick it up soon.  The last two head-to-heads have been draws, but I think Loki shade this one here.

Prediction: Debrecen 2-1 Haladás


Diósgyőr vs Paks

at Diósgyőri Stadium, Miskolc

Paul:  Diósgyor are a very difficult side to watch these days unless you are a die hard fan of the club.  They were hard pressed to draw against Kisvárda and the home advantage of their beautiful new stadium is not enough to power the team in home matches.

Paks is playing well right now but almost blew it last week after a two goal lead.  In fact, they won by a single goal after being a man down.   I see them continuing their good form against a Diósgyor club that should not provide much offensive punch.  

Prediction: Diósgyőr 1-2 Paks

Chris:  It’s going to be a hot one in Miskolc. Even though we’re in September the summer heat still lingers.  Lots of changes for Diósgyőr this week as they scramble to add to their squad before the deadline.  Surprisingly Attila Busai was released from the club, and former NT striker Roland Ugrai has gone MIA.  They did sign left-sided attacker Martin Juhar this week to try and improve their weak attack.  This is only Diosgyor’s second home match of the season and they haven’t lost there yet.

Paks picked up another Vasas regular in Tamás Egerszegi.  The midfielder joins his captain Mohamed Remili who played his first minutes for Paks last week.  Recent history shows Diosgyor as the favorites and both sides are unbeaten in their last two, but Paks are the more settled side and should be able to get a result.

Prediction:  Diósgyőr 1-1 Paks


MTK Budapest vs Kisvárda

at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest

Paul: MTK is off to a very good start and you would never think they played in the NB2 last season.  Another nice match here should add three points but I predict a let down by the men in blue.

Kisvárda are slowing improving and after signing a few new players should be making it difficult for their opponents.  Things should be tough here but if a draw can be called an “upset of the week” then this is it.

Prediction: MTK 1-1 Kisvárda

Chris:  MTK are no regular promoted team looking to play it safe.  They’ve returned after a year in NBII as a better side and have shown some real quality in their first six games so far.  They lost both games against Kisvárda last season in NBII but they’ve made the right moves over the summer and look solid.  Lászlo Lensce is in fine form with 3 goals and 4 assists, and DM Adam Pinter has looked solid in the heart of their midfield.

On the other side, Kisvárda have had problems from the start this season.  Recently banned Anton Shynder has had his contract terminated and the club have brought on a couple of replacements.  Despite the visitor’s recent uptick in form, I think MTK wins easily here..

Prediction: MTK 2-0 Kisvárda


Újpest vs Honvéd

at Szusza Ferenc Stadion, Budapest 

Paul: Újpest had a week off after their match against Vidi was postponed.   This extra week off has to be beneficial to them, right?  Look for the real Újpest team to step forward and upset Honvéd and play like the club they have the potential to be this season.

This has all the making of a high scoring match.  Honvéd came back to earth, finally, with a big loss to Mol Vidi.  They have great fans but with playing their matches at the MTK grounds things will be tougher for them.

Prediction: Újpest 3-2 Honvéd

Chris: This is a tough one.  Újpest are the slight favorites at home but they’ve agreed to loan out F Patrick Tischler to Honvéd who will go straight into their opponents side to face his former team.  Tischler was Lilák’s second choice striker and hadn’t gotten off the mark in five starts this season. Újpest had the week off last weekend and despite rumors that they’ve signed Rod Duchâtelet’s butler to replace Tischler - nothing has been confirmed .  

Honvéd are coming off a 3-0 hammering of Debrecen last week - first win at their temporary home - and come into this one winning only once in their last seven head-to-head away games against Újpest.  Four of those seven have been draws. 

Prediction: Újpest 2-2 Honvéd


Mezőkövesd vs Puskás Akadémia

at Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd

Paul: Mezőkövesd gave Fradi a good battle but seem to be lacking the mental concentration to finish matches.  They had a draw in hand until the final minutes as Daniel Bode, the Mezőkövesd killer, scored in the final minutes of the match.  They should handle Puskás quite easily here.

Puskás gave a good battle against Paks coming back from a two goal deficit only to lose after being a man up.  They were quite busy in the final days of the transfer period so this is still a team in constant flux.  It’s only a matter of time until their manager is the next to leave the first division.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 2-0 Puskás

Chris: Puskás have seen a lot of shakeup this week in their side.  Without a win in their first six games they’re floundering.  Three starters have been released to find other clubs (reportedly) and replacements are untested and will take time to bed in.  

Mezőkövesd return home where they’ve suffered two 1-0 defeats to the top two teams in the league but should find home comforts this week.  In-form defender Robert Pillar leads a strong back line, and Patrick Mevoungou’s return last week looked encouraging despite not scoring against league-leading Ferencváros. 

Prediction:  Mezőkövesd 2-1 Puskás

  


Sunday, 2 September


Ferencváros vs MOL Vidi

at Groupama Aréna, Budapest

Paul: The marquee matchup of the week for sure.   Ferencváros catches Vidi at the right time after a mid-week match.   A win further separates the two clubs.  A lot depends on the weather here and with Fradi not having much time to work with their new coach.  It should be interesting and while I can see Chris picking a scoreless draw, I will go with a single goal draw.

Vidi had a tough match in against an Athens club that played quite dirty.  Physically and mentally they should be tired but I think they can make a match of this.  Both clubs will play conservatively and I see a justified draw 

Prediction: Ferencváros 1-1 Vidi

Chris: The centerpiece of this week’s action and much to Paul’s chagrin I will not be picking a goalless draw as Fradi are at home.  Unbeaten Ferencváros haven’t looked as dominant in the last couple of weeks since a very strong start to their season.  New boss Sergiy Rebrov took charge last week and the team looked a little nervous before getting a late winner in Mezőkövesd.

Vidi suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the last hurdle in the Champions League in Athens and many felt they were the better team (at least in terms of creating chances) but they’ve still made it to the group stage of the Europa League and will be buoyant and ready to play in the European atmosphere of Groupama Arena.  Without playing last weekend they won’t be too tired and I think they’ll be a bit more inspired.

Prediction: Ferencváros 2-3 Vidi (take THAT Paul!). :)


NB1 ROUND 6 PREVIEW

The NB1 season is well underway and Paul and Chris are back at it as they take a look at each match-up up in Round 6 on Saturday.  With Vidi playing in the Champions League Playoff Round they have agreed with Újpest to postpone this week’s match.  One thing that will be in common at each venue will be rain - be prepared for a wet weekend of football.

Paul: Chris, already we have new managers for the last place club and now the current leaders, Ferencváros.  We both know that Hungarian football is anything but predictable but that doesn’t stop us from trying.  16 goals were scored in round 4 with six of them coming on Friday’s Debrecen/MTK match.  Let’s put on our big boy shoes and try again to predict round 6.

Chris: Yeah, it seems like there’s so much going on at the moment.  Teams are still acquiring players to to fill squad needs and provide depth, and with two managerial changes already this is proving to be a season full of drama from the early stages.  On to the previews!


Saturday, 25 August


Honvéd vs Debrecen

at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest

Paul: This has all the making of a high scoring match.  Honvéd finally came back down to earth with a big loss to MOL Vidi.  They have great fans but with playing their matches at MTK's ground things will be tougher for them.

Debrecen could have scored five last week but also could have given up five with very poor defending.  For their sake, their defense must tighten up as the offense is solid.  This should be a competitive match and I see a draw in the making.

Prediction: Honvéd 2-2 Debrecen

Chris: Honvéd didn’t do well in their first match at their new “home” complaining that the ball played “much faster” than they were used to.  This is the beginning of transition pains for the club as they adjust to the new reality of being in limbo. Kispest will also be without a pair of starting defenders as Bence Batik (ban) and Eke Uzoma (injury) will be unavailable this week.

Debrecen are a team that refuse to lose as they showed last week against in a thrilling draw against MTK.  András Herczeg saw the return of Norbert Könyves last week and is likely to welcome back Aleksandar Jovanovic on Saturday.  This can only make them better and with Honvéd out of form up front and the weather possibly being a factor, I can see Loki getting a result. 

Prediction: Honvéd 1-1 Debrecen


Mezőkövesd vs Ferencváros

at Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd

Paul:  Mezőkövesd continue to be an enigma as just when I think they are ready to take the next step, they do not.  They did well to hold down Újpest.  They are not a particularly strong home team so that will not be an advantage against the league leaders.

Ferencváros has a new manager despite leading the NB1.  Ultimately Thomas Doll’s poor performance in Europe cost him his managerial position.  It should be interesting what the team does not with a new manager as they have been clicking to start the season.  

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 1-2 Ferencváros

Chris:  All the news has been about Thomas Doll’s sacking this week, but neither manager will be in the dugout as Mezőkövesd boss Attila Kuttor will serve the first of a two-match touchline ban for arguing with officials last week against Újpest.  

Of course Fradi will have a new manager in former Tottenham striker Sergei Rebrov, who has been upbeat and confident in his first week in charge.  If anyone will be encouraged it will be fellow Ukrainian Ivan Petryak who already has three goals this season.  The league leaders were disappointed not to win last week at home.  Watch the inevitable response as they shift into high gear this week. Ferencváros have won the last four head-to-head meetings with Mezőkövesd and three of their four trips to Városi stadion.

Prediction:  Mezőkövesd 0-2 Ferencváros


Paks vs Puskás Akadémia

at Fehérvári úti stadion, Paks

Paul: Paks always seem to play well against Fradi, and looked very good last week in almost defeating the league leaders.  The question now is can they continue this play against a team they should beat?  Consistency has always been a concern for this squad.  I see them defeating a weak Puskás club and starting a string of good play.

Puskás were lucky to come away with a draw against Kisvárda.  Things don’t look to be any better this week.  They should be in the match loss by a goal in a surprisingly high scoring match.

Prediction: Paks 3-2 Puskás

Chris:  Paks are back home after a successful trip to Groupama Arena last week.  They have won all four of their head-to-head meetings against Puskás dating back to 2013.  Puskás are getting worse as the season progresses.  They played bad enough to lose against Kisvárda at home last week and now they’ll be look to win where they’ve never won before.  Don’t count on it. 

Prediction: Paks 3-1 Puskás


Kisvárda vs Diósgyőr

at Várkert Sportpálya, Kisvárda 

Paul: Kisvárda played much better last week with in new manager.  They secured their first point and goal of the season and with a little luck could have won.  This is a winnable match for Kisvárda but it’s too early to call for their first victory of the season.

Diósgyor is coming off a nice home victory last week.  This match can go any way and I will not be surprised.  I will play it safe and call for a lackluster draw..

Prediction: Kisvárda 1-1 Diósgyőr

Chris: Diósgyőr have the perfect chance to win a second consecutive game - something they haven’t done in almost a year.  With Botond Antal coming off a world-class performance against Haladás last week, and Kisvárda toothless in attack it’s a good bet that the visitors could possibly pull it off.  The only question will be, “who will score for Diósgyőr?”  Roland Ugrai has gone missing, Nikolaos Ioannidis has gone cold, but new-signing Branko Mihajlovic looked solid in his debut last week.

Kisvárda are home and with their first success behind them.  They’ll feel confident and could likely grab something from this one, but I still think this team is a few weeks away from cohesion with all the new players and suspensions.  Miskolc to shade it.

Prediction: Kisvárda 1-2 Diósgyőr


Haladás vs MTK Budpest

at Szombathelyi Haladás Stadion, Szombathely

Paul: Haladás are coming off a disappointing loss away to Diósgyor.  Normally a return home would be a good thing but Haladás have not played well at home so far this season.  On paper MTK is the strong team and that should make things difficult for the home side.

MTK showed against Debrecen that they can score goals but at the same time they can give up goals in bunches.  Their back line is very susceptible to a decent offense.  They leave Szombathely with a draw and continue their good form.

Prediction: Haladás 1-1 MTK Budpest

Chris: In the late game Haladás are in danger of losing their unbeaten record at home.  The one thing they have going for them is the return of forward Tamás Priskin who is finished serving his four-match ban.  With forward Miroslav Grumic unavailable because of a red card in last week’s match, Priskin’s return is timely.

MTK are looking good in attack this season and, despite being unable to hold a lead last week, showed that they can score with the likes of Lászlo Lence and József Kanta on the prowl.  Myke Brouard Ramos is another danger in this lineup that has scored nine goals in 5 games - tied for second in league scoring.  The problem is they’ve conceded almost as many (8) and, as we saw last week, are susceptible to late collapses.  

Prediction:  Haladás 2-2 MTK Budpest