Preview: Hungary vs. Greece
Hungary take on Greece in an international friendly at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on Sunday.
It is set to be the first meeting between the two nations since 2018, and the game will serve as match practice before Euro 2024 qualifying begins in March next year.
Despite being handed a tough UEFA Nations League group, Hungary performed very well, only losing top spot due to a 2-0 defeat to Italy in their final game.
Marco Rossi has always managed to overperform since being appointed as manager in 2018, with his side drawing against both France and Germany in their Euro 2020 group, although they exited before the knockout stages due to a 3-0 loss against Portugal.
Notable victories in recent times include two wins against England in the Nations League, 4-0 victors in a clash at Molineux back in June, with Roland Sallai bagging a brace, and both Zsolt Nagy and Daniel Gazdag scoring late goals to complete the rout.
While Rossi’s men seem to be able to punch above their weight, they did struggle in their most recent match against a weaker opponent, drawing 2-2 in an away trip to Luxembourg.
Goals from Attila Szalai and Andras Nemeth fired Hungary into a lead after Gerson Rodrigues had opened the scoring for the home side, but Alessio Curci struck with just under 15 minutes to go, and the game finished all square.
Greece enjoyed a very good Nations League campaign, winning five of their six games in the group to ensure that they were promoted to League B.
The Sky Blues and Whites only conceded two goals en-route to topping the table, breezing past Kosovo, Cyprus and Northern Ireland to finish six points clear as group winners.
The 2004 European champions have not qualified for an international tournament since appearing at the 2014 World Cup, and so manager Gus Poyet will be using this break to figure out what tactics to employ ahead of their first Euros qualifying match next March, an away trip to Gibraltar.
While the Nations League performances will have been encouraging for Poyet, who was appointed in February this year, the most recent friendly result was poor, drawing 2-2 at Malta on Thursday night.
It could have been even worse for Greece, as they looked to be heading towards a shock defeat against the European minnows, but a late Taxiarchis Fountas goal was enough to earn them a draw.
Hungary International Friendlies form:
Hungary form (all competitions):
Greece International Friendlies form:
Greece form (all competitions):
We say: Hungary 2-0 Greece
Hungary have proven themselves as more of a force in recent times, qualifying for Euro 2020 and putting up a good fight against strong teams. As such, they should run out comfortable winners, especially considering Greece could not beat Malta in their last match.