Sports Mole previews Sunday’s UEFA Nations League fixture between Hungary and Russia, including team news and injury news.
Meanwhile, the home side head into Sunday’s contest on the back of a surprise 1-0 win in Turkey after Dominik Szoboszlai‘s 30-yard free kick.
On the back of qualifying for Euro 2020, Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov would have been determined to get a win over a quality Serbia side in order to maintain their momentum.
After a goalless first half, Artem Dzyuba took centre stage, netting a double which takes his return for his country to 26 goals from 43 appearances.
While the argument that Russia are heavily dependent on the forward is justified, they still had to perform solidly at the back to restrict the impact of Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Although the Fulham frontman eventually got himself on the scoresheet, Russia got off to the best possible start against opponents who they will regard as their biggest rivals in this group.
Nevertheless, the pressure is on Cherchesov and his side ahead of squaring off against opponents who will be on a high after their excellent win in Turkey.
The game was on course to end goalless, a result which would have still satisfied the visitors, but Szoboszlai’s tremendous set piece with 10 minutes remaining has given Hungary something to work with ahead of Sunday’s encounter.
Having been stuck on a run of five defeats from six matches from last year, head coach Marco Rossi will admit that it was imperative that another setback did not follow on Thursday evening.
However, the mood has now changed in the Magyars camp, and there will be a feeling that they can throw caution to the wind in their upcoming fixture in a bid to gain hold of top spot.
Despite progressing through to Euro 2020 via the playoffs being at the top of their priority list, Hungary will want a positive result at the weekend ahead of back-to-back trips to Serbia and Russia in October.
Hungary Nations League form: W
Hungary form (all competitions): LLWLLW
Russia Nations League form: W
Russia form (all competitions): WWWLWW
While both managers will want to name unchanged starting lineups, much will depend on the recovery of their respective squads.
As far as Russia are concerned, veteran Yuri Zhirkov could drop down to the substitutes’ bench after playing 80 minutes on Thursday night.
Anton Miranchuk, who is up to match speed through his appearances for Lokomotiv Moscow, is a natural replacement on the left.
Hungary possible starting lineup:
Gulasci; Fiola, Lang, Orban, At.Szalai; Holender, Nagy, Siger; Szoboszlai; Ad.Szalai, Sallai
Russia possible starting lineup:
Shunin; Fernandes, Semenov, Dzhikiya, Karavaev; Ozdoev, Zobnin; Ionov, Bakaev, Miranchuk; Dzyuba
We say: Hungary 1-2 Russia
After their triumph over Turkey, Hungary will be on a considerable high heading into this contest. However, given the significance of recording maximum points from two matches, Russia’s experience could prove key, and we feel that the visitors will run out narrow victors.
Top betting tip
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:-
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