Following the three-match winning run that saw them climb to the second place in the group, Hungary face a first real test as they play host to mighty Netherlands. Bert van Marwijk’s side currently top the group having won all four qualifying games and they now aim to make it five in a row.
Five wins in a row
Hungary were placed in a very difficult group for the World Cup qualifiers, but they played well at the start of the campaign before three straight defeats saw them miss out on the place in the play-offs. The team continued the poor run of form as they recorded several embarrassing defeats in the friendly games and the national team chiefs finally decided to sack boss Erwin Koeman. The arrival of Sandor Egervari had a very positive effect on the team as after the starting defeat to Sweden, Hungary went on to win next three qualifying games as well as two more friendlies. In all fairness, apart from giving the players a confidence boost, this was not such a big achievement seeing that their opponents were Moldova, San Marino, Finland, Lithuania and Azerbaijan. The hosts do enter this game in good spirits but Netherlands will prove to be too much for them.
Veteran striker Attila Tokoli could start as Adam Szalai misses out through injury, but the good news is that the Mainz forward is the only notable absentee.
Can anyone stop Netherlands?
Netherlands are definitely one of the most successful national teams ever when it comes to World Cup and European Championship qualifying campaign as the Dutch usually finish the qualifying campaign with 100% record. Bert van Marwijk’s side finished the World Cup qualifiers without dropping a single point, while they won six straight games at the final tournament before losing to Spain in the World Cup final. Oranje started the Euro 2012 qualifiers in the same manner, winning every one of their four group games and I definitely won’t be surprised if they make it five in a row. The Netherlands have now won six in a row, after beating Turkey and Austria in friendly games and they enter this match high on confidence.
Arjen Robben, Theo Jansen, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Hedwiges Maduro and Maarten Stekelenburg all miss out, so Luuk de Jong, Stijn Schaars, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Jeremain Lens have been called as replacements.
Hungary have been recording great results of late, but let us not forget that they only played very weak European sides in that period and they are bound to have problems against mighty Netherlands. Oranje continue to dominate European football and they should be able to win this game without too many problems.
Our prediction: Away win with -1 Asian handicap
Odds: 1.94 (47/50)