NBI Round 10 Preview

Welcome to HungarianFootball.com’s weekly preview where Chris Barrett and Paul Treso take a look at each game and give their predictions throughout the season. We’re approaching the one-third mark of the NBI season and this week has a number of tantalizing matchups on offer.

Paul:  Chris, there were ONLY a total of 13 goals scored in round 9 with five sides failing to score a goal.  Despite this, it’s an exciting time in Hungarian football right now. The U-17 team opens up their World Cup play Saturday against Nigeria with Australia and Ecuador also in their group.  Over 25,000 tickets have already been for the grand opening of the rebuilt Puskás Aréna with a  match against Uruguay on November 15th.  But, our focus is back on NB1 football where it’s taken 10 rounds but we finally have our marquee match:  Fehérvár against Ferencváros.  Even better yet, the match is featured on Sunday all by itself!

Chris: Yeah, this is an exciting weekend for Hungarian football. The U17s have done well to reach the World Cup and we’ll all be watching closely to see if they can announce to the world a new “golden generation” of Magyars. We’ll have our eye on the youngsters, but for now we will keep the league in focus as the top four look to break off from the rest of the league. Lets go!

Saturday, 26 October

Mezőkövesd vs Debrecen

Városi Stadion, Mezőkövesd (14:30)

Chris: The team who looked to be punching above their weight early in the season are holding their own against the big boys.  Mezőkövesd weren’t too far off in a goalless draw against Fehérvár last week.  Right back Dániel Farkas returned to the lineup and impressed along with Erik Silye on the left.  They book-ended a solid back four which shut down the highest scoring offense in the league but are taking on another offensive juggernaut in Debrecen.

Despite having Kevin Varga sent off last week, Debrecen pilfered a home win to end a run of four consecutive defeats.  This team has been quite entertaining at both ends this season and Andras Herczeg will have to address his back line before it’s too late.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 1-0 Debrecen

Paul:  Mezőkövesd showed they will be a side to contend with this season after a hard fought draw with Fehérvár.   I really like their style of play and their fans are getting behind their club.   Tamás Cseri is so much fun to watch and does a great job of scoring and setting up his teammates  for great chances. Mezőkövesd played well enough to win against the league leaders, and should have taken the match.    Once again Mezőkövesd will outplay their opponents but another strong goalkeeper, Sándor Nagy, will deny them from the three points.

Debrecen broke through and ended their 4 match losing streak with a win over Diósgyőr.  They were fortunate to take the three points and will be without Kevin Varga for 3 matches due to his foolish red card.  Debrecen has lost their last two away matches after an initial away win against Honvéd.  Loki should lose this much but somehow, they will rally in this match to overcome the loss of their young playmaker.  Debrecen will leave Mezőkövesd with a well earned point.

Prediction: Mezőkövesd 2-2 Debrecen

Újpest vs Zalaegerszeg

Illovszky Rudolf Stadion, Budapest (17:00)

Chris: Újpest were unfortunate to not get a result in the derby last week.  Lilák were the better team by far in terms of creating chances but they just couldn’t bundle one of them over the line.  They were very good defensively, bossed the play, but the one real chance that Fradi got was well-taken by Franck Boli and the beat goes on.  This is a chance to turn that frustration into a result.   

ZTE were resilient in the first half last week against Honvéd but were outclassed in the second half with as they were opened up again and again.  It was only good fortune that they didn’t lose by a bigger margin and will have to step things up against a Újpest team that looked good in defeat.

Prediction: Újpest 2-1 ZTE

Paul:   Újpest dominated the derby against Ferencváros.  They had so  many chances but somehow failed to score and lost.   It was a very exciting derby but a frustrating one for Lilak fans.   I have to think the goals will come here but at this point, your guess is as good as mine.   Újpest have to hit the back of the net sometime right?

Zalaegerszeg  as their opponents, are doing everything but win their matches.  They have not been routed in any match yet this season and are just missing those finer points of the game to turn those draws into wins.  I would flip a coin for this match but I can’t find out with three sides. In a very close match, I will go with the home side to win by a goal in an entertaining match.

Prediction:  Újpest 3-2 ZTE

Honvéd vs Kaposvár

Uj Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion, Budapest (17:00)

Chris: Honvéd really came together last week against ZTE in the second half but spurned a number of opportunities that seemed almost easier to score.  If Amadou Moutari had his GPS on last week he could have found the back of the net on at least two occasions but he just didn’t have it. Of course it was Davide Lanzafame who bailed them out with the winner despite missing an earlier penalty.

Kaposvár were at their worst last week in a home defeat against Kisvárda.  Despite getting the advantage in possession, Kaposvár have struggled to create quality chances.  This will be a big test as they must find a way to stop a Honvéd team that’s finding their groove.  

Prediction: Honvéd 3-1 Kaposvár

Paul:  Davide Lanzafame is back doing what he does best, scoring goals and causing controversy.  He missed a penalty and then scores a header to win the match. Whether you like him or not, Lanzafame causes great excitement in NB1 football.  Honvéd have yet to win at “home” but that will end with a comfortable win. Several goals will be scored and no doubt Lanzafame will be involved one way or another.

Kaposvár have now lost two matches in a row and find themselves in Budapest against an improving opponent.   They have lost four out of their five away matches with their only win coming against Debrecen. Kaposvár are proving to be a competitive side despite being in most matches the inferior squad on paper.   László Disztl was very frustrating in the calls going against his side which I admit have been apparent in a good number of matches.

Prediction:   Honvéd 3-1 Kaposvár

Kisvárda vs Puskás Akadémia

Várkert Stadion, Kisvárda (17:00)

Chris: Welcome back László Dajka!  Last season’s manager ended a run of three defeats in his first game back in charge after László Miriuta was relieved of his duties before last round. Captain Lucas and Gheorghe Grozav provided the sparks last week, and with central midfielder Stavros Tsoukalas returning from suspension this week they’ll be confident that they can return to a better run of form.

Puskás are another side that have shown they’re not a one-hit wonder this season.  After dismantling Paks in Felcsút  last week they are comfortably in fourth place among a lead pack that’s slowly distancing themselves from the mid-table pack.  Ádám Gyurcscó added two more goals to give him four on the season in just five appearances. This won’t be an easy task but I think they can get a result.

Prediction: Kisvárda 2-2 Puskás  

Paul:  Who would have thought  in round 10 this match would feature two sides in the top half of the table?   Kisvárda took care of business in defeating Kaposvár by a goal.   Lucas played a good match and it would be nice to see him in good form once again.  I am anxious to see how the clubs responds to having László Dajka back on the bench.   I am inspired just by listening to Dajka’s post game interviews.

Puskás easily dispatched Diósgyor in scoring four goals at home.  Ádám Gyurcso is scoring goals in bunches and the club would be wise to quickly to sign him to the club permanently.   With Gyurcso and David Vanacek playing so well, who needs Ezekial Henty? With neither side showing dominating home or away form, I will play it safe and call for a draw.

Prediction:  Kisvárda 2-2 Puskás

Paks vs Diósgyőr 

Paksi Stadion, Paks (17:00)

Chris: Tomislav Sivic’s Paks side suffered a third defeat in their last four games.  Dániel Böde will finish his three-match suspension this week, but defender András Fejes will join him in the stands after seeing red last week as well. It’s difficult to see them pulling out of this even at home, but Diósgyőr are a team they can beat if they can get some service to János Hahn.

Diósgyőr are a horrible team away from home.  They’ve lost all four away games, conceding 10 goals.  They’re repeating last season’s form where they lost 11 of 17 away games and conceded a league leading 41 goals on the road.  After losing to Debrecen last week despite having a man advantage for the last 30 minutes, Diósgyőr need someone to step up in the attacking third and get things done.  With Mirko Ivanovski, Haris Tabakovic, Rui Redro and Florent Hasani all looking for their first goal of the season, something will have to break for them eventually. 

Prediction: Paks 1-1 Diósgyőr

Paul: Paks are a very underperforming side.  On paper they have good players but it doesn’t translate on the pitch.   Not sure who is to blame? Tomislav Sivic was very frustrated with his club in his post match interview last week.   I feel his pain and he stated if things don’t change they will have to go to church and pray. His side should have enough to earn a win here.  It’s about time for Dániel Böde to show something and score some goals.

Diósgyőr were unlucky not to earn at least a point in their last match against Debrecen.  They had so many chances and played well but perhaps this is something to build on. Tamás Feczkó is doing his best to mold something of this side and it’s coming along slowly.   They have lost all four of their away matches but remove their Fehérvár match and the matches have been close.

Prediction:  Paks 2-1 Diósgyőr

Sunday, 27 October

MOL Fehérvár vs Ferencváros

MOL Sóstó Aréna, Székesfehérvár (17:15)

Chris: Fehérvár played to a goalless standoff against early title challenger Mezőkövesd last week and they’ll be looking to remain atop the league as they entertain Ferencváros at Sóstó Aréna this week.  Marko Nikolic started a younger back line against Mezőkövesd with no Roland Juhász or Stopira in the starting XI.  

Ferencváros must be feeling on top of the world after riding their luck in their last two games.  First, they won the derby against Újpest despite being played off the pitch, and then they organized a smash and grab in Moscow in the Europa League to keep them in the thick of a top two spot in their group.  With a Magyar Kupa midweek match ahead of them and the exhaustion of a close game in Russia behind them, I think Fradi will be off a bit in Székesfehérvár this week.

Prediction: Fehérvár 2-1 Ferencváros

Paul: Back to back matches for the leaders against the second place side in the NB1. Fehervar are now on top of Ferencvaros by only 3 points and having played an extra match.   Adrian Rus started for the injured Roland Juhász but it is still not known if the captain will be fit for this “big” match.   Perhaps Mol was looking forward to this match and as a result were lacking a bit of concentration in their last match?   They were not quite clicking on all cylinders against Mezőkövesd.  I am hoping for a very good match but we all may be let down perhaps?

Ferencváros were outplayed in their last two matches against  Újpest and CSKA Moscow but came out on top both times.  A combination of luck and excellent goalkeeping by Dénes Dibusz.   Endre Botka has taken advantage of injuries and has regained his form of old.   @MilitarIvan7 made a good point that Fradi play a deep counter-attacking game in their European matches  and a high intensity pressing style in NBI. Which side and style of play will we see here?  Let’s say somewhere between the two and a draw at best.

Prediction:  Fehérvár 1-1 Ferencváros