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Jun 4, 2021 at 7pm UK
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Preview: Hungary vs. Cyprus - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's International Friendlies clash between Hungary and Cyprus, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hungary host Cyprus in Budapest on Friday in their first of two friendlies ahead of co-hosting Euro 2020.

The Magyars are unbeaten in nine games and will be looking to keep that run of form going into this month's finals, while Cyprus are gearing up for their next batch of World Cup qualifiers in September.

Match preview

Hungary coach Marco Rossi pictured on March 28, 2021© Reuters

Hungary may have finished fourth in their Euro 2020 qualifying group, but they earned a place in the playoffs thanks to their second-placed finish in the previous Nations League campaign.

Marco Rossi's side beat Bulgaria and Iceland in the playoffs and are now looking forward to their second successive appearances at the European Championship finals, which they will host along with 10 other countries.

While excitement may be building in Hungary, though, the Magyars know they face the toughest of all tests if they are to advance out of a group that contains France, Germany and Portugal.

However, Hungary should not be written off completely, having won six and drawn three since last tasting defeat in September 2020.

That run of form helped them to finish top of Nations League League 3 Group B, and they are also second to England in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

Cyprus coach Nikos Kostenoglou during the match on March 24, 2021© Reuters

Rossi's men eased to a 4-1 win in Andorra in their most recent match at the end of March and also face the Republic of Ireland in a friendly before their opening Euro 2020 game against Portugal on June 15.

Cyprus will not be taking part in the pan-European competition after finishing fourth in their qualifying group.

Nikos Kostenoglou's side also finished bottom of their Nations League group, though they have at least taken four points from three games in their World Cup qualifiers.

After drawing 0-0 with Slovakia and losing 1-0 to Croatia, Cyprus beat Slovenia 1-0 last time out for a much-needed victory that would have boosted confidence in the camp.

This month's friendlies with Hungary and Ukraine will be used as preparation for September's qualifiers against Malta, Russia and Slovakia.

Hungary form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Cyprus form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Hungary's Roland Sallai celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on March 28, 2021© Reuters

Hungary were dealt a major blow this week as Dominik Szoboszlai, who scored the decisive last-minute goal against Iceland last November in the qualifying playoff, has been left out of their Euro 2020 squad through injury.

The Magyars still have a number of other talented players in their ranks, though, including Adam Szalai, Adam Nagy and Laszlo Kleinheisler, each of whom may start on Friday evening.

Rossi must decide to go with his strongest-available XI for the first of the two friendlies, or perhaps rotate between the Cyprus match and the upcoming clash with Republic of Ireland.

As for the visitors, Ioannis Pittas is set to lead the line after scoring the winning goal against Slovenia last time out, likely alongside Pieros Sotiriou.

Chambos Kyriakou, Loizos Loizou and Marios Ilia are among those pushing for recalls to the starting lineup.

Hungary possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Fiola, Lang, At.Szalai; Lovrencsics, Kleinheisler, Nagy, Kalmar, Hangya; Ad.Szalai, Nikolic

Cyprus possible starting lineup:
Michael; Antoniou, Kousoulos, Sotiriou, Laifis, Ioannou; Pittas, Artymatas, Kastanos, Papoulis; Sotiriou

SM words green background

We say: Hungary 2-0 Cyprus

Hungary have been on a good run of form since September and will be aiming to pick up from where they left off a few months ago with victory against Cyprus on Friday.

The visitors have improved slightly of late with two wins in their last five games, but this will likely be a step too far for Kostenoglou's charges.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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