Sports Mole preview Tuesday’s Nations League clash between England and Hungary, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
England will aim in the UEFA Nations League on the fourth try, if they are welcome Hungary against Molineux on Matchday 4 of League A Group 3.
Gareth SouthgateThe Madagascar side played a dismal goalless draw against Italy on Saturday night, while the Magyars impressively defeated Germany to a 1-1 draw.
Gareth Southgate had no qualms about describing a behind-closed-doors game at Molineux after the Euro 2020 crowd chaos as an “embarrassment” for England, but the portrayal of both sides on the pitch wasn’t far from a similar description for a young and restricted audience.
Aaron Ramsdale was called into action a few times during this time mason mountain hit the bar for England, but the lucky fans in attendance might not have felt so fortunate to take part in what was largely a flat affair – one that left the Three Lions winless in the section.
Southgate’s side have picked up just two points from a possible nine to remain bottom of the table, which would result in an unthinkable relegation to League B without fortunes immediately changing, and a review is inevitable for Southgate.
Since the 2014 World Cup, England have gone four games without a win in all competitions, drawing a friendly against Honduras before failing to win at all in Rio, while a goal in three games will certainly worry Southgate for the attacking talent available .
Of course, Southgate’s side have entered the hectic schedule after their grueling national and continental seasons, which has led to a much wider debate about player welfare, and Hungary’s resilient streak against the big boys isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Whatever mentality lessons Marco Rossi has taught this Hungarian side to have paid dividends week in and week out as the Magyars stole a point after a narrow loss to Italy from a German side they also held during the Euro 2020 group of deaths.
After the ninth minute there were no more goals to be scored Zsolt Nagy‘s early opener and Jonas Hofmann‘s immediate response for the squad, and Rossi should be happy with his side’s start in League A after starting in the third division in the First Nations League.
Hungary go into Matchday 4 ahead of Germany and England in second place – just a place behind Italy and a potential route to the Nations League finals – but their brave attitude still wasn’t enough to earn a spot in Qatar for the World Cup to secure.
Another disappointingly poor performance from England helped Hungary to a 1-0 win over the Three Lions in Budapest less than two weeks ago, and the Magyars’ recent trip to England – which has been overshadowed by some of their supporters causing trouble in the stands did – saw them travel home from Wembley with a 1-1 draw.
Form of the England Nations League:
England form (all competitions):
Form of Hungary Nations League:
Hungary form (all competitions):
England and Leeds United midfielder Calvin Phillips was somewhat surprisingly fit to come on as a substitute against Italy, having escaped with a “heavy dead leg” against Germany a few days earlier Phil Foden was not involved at all as he continues to recover from COVID-19.
Aaron Ramsdale just earned his second cap for the Three Lions and held the position well, however Jordan Pickford or Nick Pope will expect to take possession of the gloves as one of several changes.
They like Kyle Walker, John Steine and Jude Bellingham enjoyed the weekend in complete peace and meanwhile everyone was able to move back in here Harry Kane should also shift Tammy Abraham as he continues his quest for the all-time Three Lions record.
As for Hungary, Rossi might have been tempted to switch goalkeepers anyway, but is forced to do so here as number one Peter Gulacsi took his second booking for the tournament on Saturday and was suspended for one game in the process.
Denes Dibusz will likely act as a last line of defense here while Andrew Shepherd is back from a ban of his own and Rossi has been generally reluctant to make any significant changes this month.
Shepherd’s return from the naughty step is likely to see Callum styles fall back on the bench while Daniel Gasdag and Szabolcs Schon are ready to fill in for the revised front three Dominik Szoboszlai, Roland Salai and Adam Szalai if needed.
England possible starting line-up:
pope; Wanderer, Stones, Guehi, Trippier; Bellingham, Ward-Prowse, Gallagher; Saka, Kane, Sterling
Hungary possible starting line-up:
dibusz; Lang, Orbán, At. szalai; L Nego, Schäfer, A Nagy, Z Nagy; Sallai, Szoboszlai; Advertisement. Szalai
We say England 1-0 Hungary
The fact that England’s only Nations League goal to date came from the penalty spot just goes to show how much the Southgate players could do with a well-deserved break, but Three Lions fans are growing increasingly concerned about their hopes with every game that continues team in Qatar.
The possible introductions of Jude Bellingham and Conor Gallagher into midfield could still prove crucial if England break through the Hungarian lines and while a high-scoring encounter is certainly not on the cards, Southgate’s side can finally claim a long-awaited victory before the summer holidays begin.
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, goal scores and more for this game, please click here.
Our expert Tipster partners at Sporita.com predict over 2.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their tried and true football tips.Above 2.5: Data