NB1 Round 14 preview

Welcome to our weekly preview and prediction column as Paul and Chris take a closer look at each of this week’s games in the NB1.  They give you their expert opinion on how things are shaping up as well as collect all the team info they can to give you a better picture of each side’s chances ahead of kickoff.

Paul: Chris, we are a week away from a short break for the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches.  As normal we are starting to see some separation at the front and back of the table.  Kisvárda, Diósgyor, and surprisingly Haladás look set to battle it out for relegation.  On paper the round 14 matches appear quite straight forward but as you and I know, the NB1 is anything but straight forward.  Let the curves and surprises begin in week 14 of the NB1.

Chris: The temperatures are getting colder.  All of this week’s matches will be played in 10 to 12 degrees (celsius) colder weather than last week’s.  There are also some long trips this weekend (Újpest to Kisvárda, Fradi to Szombathely, and Vidi to Mezőkövesd on Sunday).  These are some factors to consider as you make your picks this week. 

Saturday, 10 November

Diósgyőr vs Debrecen

at Diósgyőr Stadion, Miskolc

Paul: Diósgyor simply can’t score goals and another loss has moved them further down the table.  Fernando is still the manager of the club, but the question remains “for how long?”  As the losses add up, one must ask when will Fernando be given the boot?

Debrecen has been a totally different club depending on playing at home or away.  That should change against Diósgyor but with their poor away form I cannot predict a win.   They will leave Miskolc and in doing so lose two points as well.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 1-1 Debrecen

Chris: Tamás Takács scored his team-leading 6th goal of the season off the bench for Debrecen last week as they stole a point in Mezőkövesd to extend their unbeaten run to five games.  Debrecen have owned the Eastern Derby, winning ten out the last 11 meetings between these two sides; and with Debrecen in good form it’s difficult to see Diosgyor getting anything here.

Diosgyor have been patient with manager Fernando.  They’ve looked better as the weeks progress but they aren’t getting results.  They’ve lost six in a row and are without a victory in their last eight.  Looks grim for the hosts.

Prediction: Diósgyőr 1-2 Debrecen

MTK vs Puskás Akadémia

at Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest

Paul: MTK gave Fradi a tough match last Saturday but lost by two goals in the end.  This week they find themselves at home against a very beatable opponent.  It won’t be as easy as it appears on paper but, as I’ve noted before, a win is a win.

Puskás barely scraped by for a single goal win against Diósgyor.  This week will find them on the opposite end of a one goal loss.  Puskás have been dreadful away from home and have lost their last five away matches.

Prediction: MTK 2-1 Puskás

Chris:  Last week MTK lost their first game after a four-match unbeaten run in the league.  The 2-0 defeat at Ferencváros showed a distinct lack of attacking movement and they’ll be looking to get back on the right track this week, though their home form isn’t great and they’re second bottom in scoring with only six scored at home thus far.

Puskás have been amazing at home, but away from home they are the direct opposite.  Five defeats and a draw with only six goals scored in their travels have kept them from rising out of the bottom third.  Don’t expect fireworks here.

Prediction: MTK 1-0 Puskás

Kisvárda vs Újpest

at Várkert Sportpálya, Kisvárda 

Paul: Kisvárda seem to have lost all the momentum gained when new coach László Dajka came on board early in the season.  The defense gave up three goals last week and things don’t look to get much better this week.  A month ago we might have a had a different result, but now a loss is inevitable. 

Any win regardless of the opposition can turn a team around.  Újpest certainly hopes that happens after a two goal win against lowly Haladás.  Injuries have hurt the club and it shows in their results.  Another match against lower table club comes at the right time for the club from Újpest.

Prediction: Kisvárda 0-2 Újpest

Chris: I almost hate to say it but Újpest looked really good last week.  They dominated against bottom of the table Haladás and, although the goals weren’t spectacular, they were efficient and took their chances.  With the possibility of Alassane Diallo and Krisztián Simon returning to the lineup this week they’ll be looking to keep their good form going. 

Kisvárda are without a win in five and have also not won at home in 3 games.  Lázsló Dajka’s side were picked apart by Honvéd last week.  They committed a number of errors in the back that led to a flattering scoreline for Honvéd.  Újpest haven’t keep a clean sheet away all season, but this might be their first. 

Prediction: Kisvárda 1-2 Újpest

Paks vs Honvéd

at Fehérvári úti Stadion, Paks 

Paul: Paks were humiliated at home last week against Vidi.  A four goal loss at home is a most rare occurrence for Paks.  I can guarantee they won’t give up four goals this week but their home field advantage will be tested.  I can’t see them losing again but a draw is the sensible choice. 

Honvéd found a way to finally score some goals against  Kisvárda while the defense held tight for a shutout.   They have won two matches in a row albeit against inferior competition.  They can take the three points here but have yet to show, in recent form, if they can.

Prediction: Paks 2-2 Honvéd

Chris: Paks suffered their first home defeat of the season against high-flying Vidi FC last week.  I think that was more Vidi playing well than Paks looking poor, however.  Paks are still a good team and even better at home most weeks.  With the temperature dropping and the pitch starting to show its usual wear and tear, this is the environment Paks are familiar with.  I’m backing the hosts to turn things around this week.

Honvéd had a great result last week with their highest goal output since August.  They’re still missing something, however, and I think they’ll come back down to earth at Paks who will be looking to avenge the 1-0 defeat in their first meeting with Kispest this season. 

Prediction: Paks 1-0 Honvéd

Haladás vs Ferencváros

at Szombathely Haladás Stadion, Szombathely

Paul: Remember last season when Haladás defeated Ferencváros to open their new stadium? Things have changed for the home club with a new manager and the loses piling up one after another.  With the top club in Hungary at the moment coming to Szombathely another loss is in the cards.   Will we at least see  a goal from Tamás Priskin?

The goals still aren’t coming in big numbers for Ferencváros but the wins are the main thing, right?  The club has performed better away from home under new manager Rebrov and that will most certainly continue in this match. 

Prediction: Haladás 0-2 Ferencváros

Chris: Haladás have yet to win a point since Ferenc Horváth’s appointment.  Six defeats in a row and four without scoring a goal means much frustration for the Szombathely side as they sit rock bottom in the table. It’s so difficult to see where goals are going to come from in this team.  There were encouraging signs a fortnight ago, but they were manhandled by Újpest last week.

Ferencváros kept the top spot in the league with a clinical win against MTK last week.  They have yet to lose away from home this season and shouldn’t have much trouble this week.

Prediction: Haladás 1-3 Ferencváros

Sunday, 11 November

Mezőkövesd vs MOL Vidi

at Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd

Paul:  Mezőkövesd has not lost at home since losing against Ferencváros by a single goal in what was Sergei Rebrov’s first match as manager.   If there is a time to beat Mol Vidi, then this would be the match.  They have not been particularly strong at home and will again lose to a club high up on the table. 

Mol Vidi find themselves once again playing two matches in a week.   They can do this when the extra match is in the Hungarian Cup but the Europa Liga is an entirely different beast.  Can they get a win in the NB1 after a tough European match?  The streak has to end sometime and it will in Mezőkövesd.  

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 1-2 Vidi

Chris:  Mezőkövesd experienced a late collapse last week against Debrecen to break a string of three consecutive home wins.  They’ve played very well and should be encouraged heading into this week’s game, however.  Gábor Molnár is in fine form and has been scoring like it’s going out of style.

Look for the inevitable ‘European hangover’ for Vidi this week.  They have yet to win a league match following a continental fixture so far this season.  With Pátkai out and a tired side to rotate, Marko Nikolic’s side will need everything they have in reserve to get a point out of Mezőkövesd. 

Prediction:  Mezőkövesd 2-2 Vidi