Hungary welcome England to Puskas Arena, Budapest, in a top of Group I showdown as Qualifying for 2022 FIFA World Cup continues.
Victory would see Hungary climb above England and go top of Group I, whereas the Three Lions could move three points clear at a minimum with a win.
Dominik Szoboszlai is set to return for Hungary after injury kept him out of this summer’s Euros.
Filip Helander (knee), Loic Nego (Coronavirus) and Gergo Lovrencsics (ankle) are ruled out, whilst David Siger is snubbed after featuring in Hungary’s Euros squad.
England have a near-full squad available for selection as Jadon Sancho is the only doubt after suffering a knock in training.
- Hungary have lost both of their two previous World Cup Qualifying meetings against England (L2), which came in June and October 1981 although both teams eventually qualified for 1982 World Cup.
- England are unbeaten in their last five away visits to Hungary (W3, D2).
- Hungary have scored first in all three of their World Cup Qualifying matches so far in Group I.
- Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions have conceded just three goals in 12 matches across all competitions in 2021 (W10, D2).
- Hungary have conceded seven goals in four of their five home matches in 2021 across all competitions (W1, D3, L1).
Despite their early Euro 2020 exit after finding themselves in an impossible group with France, Germany and Portugal, Hungary definitely proved that they’re a team on the rise because their compact defensive style did cause massive issues for their opponents in breaking them down despite failing to attack much.
This game though should see Hungary do more attacking because this is probably their best chance of keeping automatic qualification as group winners within reach, otherwise the pressure will certainly be on them throughout the next two months whilst needing England to slip up elsewhere.
England though will be eager to put their Euros heartbreak behind them but they need to be more ruthless against difficult opposition, especially after blowing their shot at glory in Euro 2020 Final because they just largely sat back against Italy after getting an early lead and paid the ultimate price on penalties.
Either way, this should be a good contest but if England can be patient in breaking Hungary down and score first, I fancy them to push on and get the win.
Prediction: Hungary 0-2 England
Result: Hungary 0-4 England