Nations League Preview: Germany v Hungary

The Bundesliga pauses for the first time this season to allow the national teams to get in on the busy schedule in the build up to the World Cup. Germany takes on Hungary in Leipzig looking for a win and some finetuning as the big tournament approaches.

Three Nations League points are on offer, but in terms of preparation for the World Cup there is so much more to be gained from the clash with Hungary and the subsequent trip to Wembley to take on England.  Germany’s opening clash with Japan is on November 23 so the Bundestrainer will be close to deciding his final selection, with just a few places still open.

In terms of Nations League group A3 standings, Hungary are top on seven points with Germany one behind in second. Italy have five points and England just two. A win for Germany in Leipzig would give them a very good chance of topping the group and going through to the finals tournament.

Hungary didn’t qualify for the World Cup in Qatar and have to go back to the halcyon days of 1986 and Lojos Detari for the last time they made the finals. They have however appeared at the last two European Championship tournaments.

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Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena will be a home from home for three of the Hungarian squad, who all play their club football for the Bundesliga side. Peter Gulacsi, Willi Orban and Dominik Szoboszlai will all be very familiar with their surroundings on Friday as the Magyars take on Germany.

Hungarian captain Ádám Szalai has announced that following the matches with Germany and Italy this week that he will be retiring from international football. The FC Basel striker has made 84 appearances for his country since 2009 scoring 25 goals.

Team news:

Germany

Hansi Flick only called up one new player to the squad in Southampton defender Armel Bella Kotchap but he may have to wait for his first start. Marco Reus’ injury at the weekend saw RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Henrichs called up as a replacement.

Both Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka have tested positive for Corona virus with Oliver Baumann and Maxi Arnold being called-in as late replacements. Julian Brandt has also left the training base with an illness and is thought to be on his way back to Dortmund.

Possible starting line-up: ter Stegen, Kehrer, Sule, Rüdiger, Raum, Kimmich, Gundogan, Hofmann, Müller, Sané, Werner

Hungary

The main headache for coach Marco Rossi is how to replace the injured left-back Zsolt Nagy. Vitesse Arnhem’s Milos Kerkez is in-form and could deputise, while both Callum Styles or Attila Fiola could play there.

Marco Rossi has also called up one new face to the Hungarian squad with 22-year-old ZTE defender Attila Mosci making the squad for the first time. Freiburg attacker Roland Sallai is still sidelined with the facial injury he suffered against Bayer Leverkusen so Philadelphia Union’s Dániel Gazdag will probably fill in. He is in fine goalscoring form in MLS, so looks the obvious choice.

Possible starting line-up: Gulacsi, Lang, Orban, Attila Szalai; Nego, Schäfer, Styles, Fiola, Gazdag, Szoboszlai, Adam Szalai

What they’re saying:

Germany

Joshua Kimmich: “It’s always about the way, but in the end it’s about the result. We want to win our group, get through first and take the confidence with us. Hungary are an unpleasant opponent, we noticed that in the first leg and at EURO 2020. They defend very passionately.

“Rarely have I played against a team that is so disciplined. The first leg was difficult because there was a good atmosphere there, which is unusual for an international game, and we didn’t have many chances to score.”

Jonas Hofmann: “In every international game we are representing our country and want to win the game. That these games are now competitive matches rather than friendlies is an even greater incentive to try to win a title.

“Depending on the draw for the groups, you are also playing against absolutely top-class teams. Hansi sets an example of this which transfers to the players. Especially looking forward to big tournaments, as players we would like to use this opportunity to make a case for selection.

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“Hungary are a team that above all is very powerful defensively and doesn’t let much get past them. In the first game against them we didn’t have many goal-scoring opportunities, which already says quite a lot. We have to be determined and consistent and play quickly in front of goal”

Hungary

Marco Rossi: “I can’t emphasize enough, we still have to keep our feet on the ground. After the four-nil win in England, we felt that we had created something special, something that will be remembered years and even decades later. In addition, we also know that, despite the historic success, we are not the new Golden Team, none of us became a phenomenon overnight.

“We’re on the right track, that’s not in dispute, but we still have to work on getting better. It was a huge feat that we scored seven points in four games, but that still gives us a sense of where we are. The next two opponents, Germany and Italy, are both stronger than us.

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“The important thing is that we don’t fall out of the A-League. If our wish comes true, we will be able to compete against the strongest teams in Europe at least once more, which would only serve our development. I would like us to play a good match against the Germans and the Italians as well. The final result is always important, I’ve never heard of a team that didn’t go on the pitch without wanting to win.”

Milos Kerkez: “It’s an honour to wear the jersey with the crest. Whether for five or ninety minutes, but if the coach needs me, I go and give my best, I give everything to the tackles. I feel I’m ready.

“Obviously we have some big games coming up. When you play against an Italian team or a German team, you have to play against really good attackers, but that’s what I really want. I want to compare myself with the best strikers and play football at the highest possible level.

“If I can stop Serge Gnabry or Leroy Sané as a one-on-one defender and perform well, then I know I can reach that level and even get into the big teams.”

Kevin Varga: “It’s always great to join up with the national team. It’s like meeting up with your best friends. The team has had a very successful summer, but I hope that if I’m given the chance, I can contribute to the team’s performances.

“Fortunately, I am playing more and more at my new club and I feel in good condition. I’m sure Germany and Italy won’t take us lightly and will produce their best form against us, but we just want to focus on our own game and will follow the tactical instructions handed down to us by our national team coach to the letter, and we’ll maintain that team unity which has characterised the national team so far in my career”.

Form

Germany

14.06.22  Germany 5 Italy 2  (Nations League)

11.06.22  Hungary 1 Germany  (Nations League)

07.06.22  Germany 1 England 1 (Nations League)

04.06.22  Italy 1 Germany 1  (Nations League)

29.03.22  Netherlands 1 Germany 1  (Friendly)

Hungary

14.06.22  England 0 Hungary 4  (Nations League)

11.06.22  Hungary 1 Germany 1 (Nations League)

07.06.22  Italy 2 Hungary 1  (Nations League)

04.06.22  Hungary 1 England 0  (Nations League)

29.03.22  Northern Ireland 0 Hungary 1  (Friendly)

Last time:

The two sides met in the reverse fixture back in June when the players were coming off the back of a busy season and looking forward to their summer break. The game in Budapest finished 1-1 with both goals coming in the opening ten minutes. Zsolt Nagy opened the scoring after six minutes after Manuel Neuer had parried Adam Szalai’s header. Germany equalised two minutes later when Nico Schlotterbeck’s long pass picked out Jonas Hofmann, who rounded the keeper to score. Both teams squandered second half chances to win and had to settle for a point apiece.

Players to watch:

Germany

Despite his tender years, Jamal Musiala has been Bayern’s go-to guy this season in terms of creativity and goals. The 19-year-old performs like a veteran and Julian Nagelsmann may rotate others, but on current form Musiala is an undroppable name from the team sheet. That will hopefully also be the case for the Nationalmannschaft.

Hungary

Union Berlin have made an unbelievable start to the Bundesliga and lead the table on their own after seven matches. Midfielder Andras Schäfer has been a key element in the side even if the goalscoring duo of Sheraldo Becker and Jordan Pefok attract the headlines. He tackles well and the offence often starts with him either winning the ball or starting the passing move. He will be familiar with many of his opponents and has already done well against Joshua Kimmich this season.

About Mathew Burt 381 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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