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