HomeNFLPreview: Hungary vs. Turkey - prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: Hungary vs. Turkey – prediction, team news, lineups


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Sports Mole previews Friday’s friendly clash between Hungary and Turkey, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two nations who qualified for Euro 2024 as group winners do battle in an international friendly on Friday as Hungary play host to Turkey at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.

The two teams meet for the first time since November 2020 when Hungary secured a 2-0 home victory in the UEFA Nations League.

Match preview

© Reuters

After failing to qualify for the European Championships for nearly four decades between 1976 and 2012, Hungary have since sealed qualification to their third Euros in a row after finishing top of Group G in Euro 2024 qualifying at the end of last year.

The Tricolours enjoyed an unbeaten qualification campaign and picked up 18 points from their eight fixtures, scoring 16 goals in the process, to finish four points clear of Serbia in second place.

Since the middle of June 2022, Hungary have been in fine form across all competitions under the tutelage of manager Marco Rossi, winning nine, drawing five and losing only two of their last 16 internationals, beating the likes of Serbia (twice), England and Germany along the way.

Ranked 27th in the world by FIFA, Hungary will welcome a return to home soil on Friday as they have not lost any of their last seven matches on their own turf, while they have also won their previous two home meetings with Turkey by an aggregate score of 5-1.

Like Hungary, Turkey have also progressed to their third successive European Championships after finishing at the summit of their qualification group ahead of Croatia, Wales, Armenia and Latvia.

After missing out on Qatar 2022, the Crescent-Stars secured a safe passage through to Euro 2024 with a game to spare, accumulating a total of 17 points from eight matches including seven points from their final three group games to end 2023 on a high.

Vincenzo Montella – who will meet fellow Italian coach Rossi on the touchline on Friday – has made a bright start to life as Turkey boss, winning three and drawing one of his first four games in charge – punching a ticket to Euro 2024 and a memorable 3-2 friendly win over Germany have been the standout moments of his reign thus far.

Ranked 35th in the world by FIFA, Turkey only lost two of their 10 internationals in 2023, but they head into Friday’s contest having failed to win any of their last four meetings with Hungary having won the previous three encounters between 1995 and 2007.

Hungary form (all competitions):

Turkey form (all competitions):

Team News

Hungary's Roland Sallai celebrates scoring their second goal with Dominik Szoboszlai on October 14, 2023© Reuters

Following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a cruciate knee ligament injury, RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi is in contention to make his first appearance for Hungary since September 2022, although he faces competition from Denes Dibusz for a start between the sticks.

Marton Dardai, Attila Mocsi and Gabor Szalai are three uncapped defenders in Rossi’s 25-man squad who will all be looking to make their senior debut in some capacity on Friday.

Liverpool’s Dominik Szoboszlai, who has scored 10 goals in 38 caps for Hungary, is expected to play in midfield, while Martin Adam, Barnabas Varga, Daniel Gazdag and Roland Sallai will all be pushing to start in attack.

As for Turkey, Fenerbahce duo Cengiz Under and Ferdi Kadioglu have been forced to pull out of the squad with respective groin and calf injuries, while Manchester United goalkeeper Altay Bayindir is also absent due to a muscle problem.

Although he has made just seven appearances for Real Madrid during an injury-ridden 2023-24 campaign, highly-rated teenager Arda Guler has been called up to the senior squad this month and is in contention to earn his fifth international cap in midfield.

Inter Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu is the most-capped player (82) in Montella’s squad and the playmaker is expected to play in midfield, while either Baris Alper Yilmaz or Enes Unal could lead the line.

Hungary possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Lang, Orban, Szalai; Nego, Nagy, Szoboszlai, Kerkez; Gazdag, Sallai; Adam

Turkey possible starting lineup:
Cakir; Celik, Demiral, Kabak, Ozkacar; Ozcan, Kokcu; Akgun, Calhanoglu, Akturkoglu; Yilmaz

SM words green background

We say: Hungary 2-2 Turkey

Both nations enter Friday’s friendly in buoyant mood and in strong form, while they have also had few problems making the net ripple, so an entertaining contest could be in store, albeit depending on the lineups that the two teams select.

Hungary have impressed on home soil during a period when Turkey have looked strong on the road, and considering there is little to separate these two nations, a score draw may be on the cards in Budapest.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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