Hungary travel to Prague tonight for the first of three summer friendlies in preparation for the World Cup qualifying campaign in September.
The Magyars go into tonight’s game coming off the back of one win in the last their last four internationals, with the only win coming over lowly Liechenstein.
Sandor Egervari raised plenty of eyebrows when naming his squad for the game’s against Czech Republic and Ireland, with Peter Szakaly, Adam Gyursco and Norbert Meszaros all in line to collect their first cap for the country.
There was also another call-up for veteran, Peter Halmosi and NBI player of the season, Gyor’s Tamas Koltai. While Daniel Tozser of Genk was dropped and Akos Buzsaky had to withdraw due to injury. Vladimir Koman and Tamas Hajnal will also miss tonight’s clash because of slight knocks.
Hungary’s midfield for tonight’s game, in particular, looks very weak, with 3 out of the 5, plying their trade in NBI. Adam Pinter of Zaragoza will sit alongside Jozsef Varga in front of the defence to allow more creative freedom for Tamas Koltai of Gyor, NBI’s player of the season, Peter Szakaly and Dinamo Moscow’s Balazs Dzsudzsak. The lack of experience in this midfield is very worrying for the Magyar fans. Varga, Pinter, Koltai and Szakaly only have 24 caps between them, and there are huge doubts as to whether the NBI boys can do the job on the international stage. Adam Szalai of Mainz will start up front on his own, and will have to work extremely hard to make sure he’s not a spectator for most of the game.
Hungary’s defence does provide a bit more optimism, and Egervari has now seemed to settle with the defensive partnership of tonight’s captain, Roland Juhasz and the ever-fledging Zsolt Korcsmar in the centre. Sampdoria’s Zsolt Lazcko will continue at left back while FC Sion’s top goalscorer, Vilmos Vanczak will fill in at right-back. Vanczak has done well for Hungary in his unaccustomed position on the right, but the worry for Hungary in defence is the frail Zsolt Laczko, who’s defensive capabilities are constantly being questioned. Bolton Wanderer’s player of the season, Adam Bogdan will start in goal.
The Czech’s, unlike Hungary, have been in decent form recently winning 4 out of their last 5 games, including back-to-back victories over Montenegro in the Euro 2012 qualification playoffs. They will also be very motivated to play well tonight in preparation for the Euro 2012 tournament starting next Friday, with places in the starting XI being still up for grabs.
The Golden Team of the 00’s may be over, but they still have plenty of talent in their squad and a very solid defence and goalkeeper. While Jaroslav Plasil of Bordeaux will definitely be a threat from midfield as well as Tomas Rosicky, who has been in fine form for Arsenal this season. Youngster Tomas Necid of CSKA Moscow is a livewire up front, and the Czech’s still have the experienced Milan Baros who has scored 41 goals in 88 games for his country.
The two sides have only met on one occasion since the separation of Czechoslovakia with the Czech’s claiming a 2-0 victory in Larnaca, Cyprus back in 2002.
Hungary: Bogdán – Vanczák, Korcsmár, Juhász, Laczkó – Varga, Pintér – Koltai, Szakály, Dzsudzsák – Szalai
Czech Republic: Čech – Gebre Selassie, Sivok, Kadlec, Limberský – Rezek, Plašil, Jiráček, Kolář, Pilař – Baroš.
Tomasz Mortimer (@HungariaFootbal): I fully expect the Czech’s to wipe the floor with us tonight. Our midfield will be overpowered, and we don’t really offer anything in attack – Czech Republic 3-0 Hungary.
Gaby Kovacs (@DJGabyG): I can see the inexperienced Magyars getting rolled over today. The Czech’s will have too much for them and will want to have a good send off before Euro 2012 – Czech Republic 3-0 Hungary.