Romania vs Hungary by Rostick

Big game here in group D, with Romania (10 points) and Hungary (11 points) battling it out for the second place behind Netherlands. The previous meeting between these two ended 2-2 a couple of months ago in Hungary, with the romanians equalising in the last meeting.


The hosts are the better team here, but not by much. Romania will miss Mutu (not called up) and possibly Tottenham`s new centre-back Chiriches, who is doubtful. Free agent Marica will highlight Romania`s attacking line, but he always performed well for the NT. Hungary has a huge blow at the centre-back positions with the absence of Roland Juhasz, so the visitors will present themselves with an inexperienced defense composed of domestic league players or fringe players for weak foreign clubs.


Probable line-ups:


Romania: Tatarusanu – Matel, Chiriches (Papp), Goian, Rat – Pintilii, Bourceanu - Torje, Stancu (Tanase), Maxim – Marica


Hungary: Bogdan – Vanczak, Guzmics, Korcsmar, Kádár – Varga, Elek – Hajnal, Koman, Dzsudzsak – Szalai


Both competitors will try to win this, there are two reasons for this: there is a great rivalry between Romania and Hungary, and also both teams need points to be in the best 8 second-placed teams. They are not sitting so well in the standings and could miss out on the playoffs even from the second position if they don`t gain some points.


Romania should keep the ball and peg at that poor Hungary defense, which will inevitably break down at some point, like in every group-game so far. On the other hand, the visitors have their best players in attack, Dzudzsak and Szalai, so they should be extremely dangerous on counters against a Romanian back line which will field old and slow Goian (Asteras) and inexperienced Matel (Astra). If Chiriches will misss, Romania will be in trouble at the back since they don`t have an adequate replacement.


With goal differences of 13-8 (Hungary) and 10-10 (Romania) in just 6 group games, it`s obvious these teams can produce goals. This should go over, and the odds are great. Look for a close game that could go either way, with 3-4 goals to show for in the end.

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