Hungary v Scotland Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
March 26, 2018
Groupama Arena - International Friendly
Hungary and Scotland - who will both be missing in Russia over the summer - face each other at Budapest's Groupama Arena on Tuesday. With neither side gearing up for the World Cup, this game could be used for experimentation and preparation for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifying campaigns.
The teams have only met once before, in a 2004 friendly at Hampden Park. A Szabolcs Huszti brace and David Marshall own goal gave Hungary a 3-0 win, condemning Scotland to a seventh consecutive friendly defeat at Hampden.
Alex McLeish marked the beginning of his second reign in charge of Scotland by naming a squad with six uncapped players in it. Three of those - Scott McTominay, Oliver McBurnie and Scott McKenna - started in the defeat against Costa Rica on Friday, and could be handed another chance to impress.
For the visitors, Belgian manager Georges Leekens gave an international debut to Kenny Otigba at the weekend. The Hungary squad has a much more experienced feel to it than Scotland’s, outpointing Tuesday’s hosts by 558 caps to 199.
Hungary v Scotland Preview and Predictions
It certainly feels like the beginning of a new era for Scotland, who need to build on the good work done by Gordon Strachan. McLeish’s second spell at the helm began in underwhelming fashion on Friday night, but this is a good chance to test themselves against a Hungary team ranked much lower than them.
The Scottish players will hope the Tartan Army travel in numbers for a game against the country ranked 50th in the world. Scotland currently lie 32nd, after an encouraging World Cup qualifying campaign that saw them only miss out on a play-off spot by virtue of goal difference.
France 98 remains the last time Scotland were at a major tournament, while Hungary competed with distinction at Euro 2016. They topped a group containing Iceland, Austria and Portugal, almost knocking out the eventual champions but for Cristiano Ronaldo’s brilliance.
Leekens’ side were paired with Portugal once again in World Cup qualifying, but couldn’t repeat the magic as they finished a distant third to the Portuguese and Swiss. The contrasting qualifying campaigns has led to the disparity in rankings, although Hungary still start Tuesday’s game as slight favourites in the betting. The hosts are priced at 7/4, while Scotland are available at 19/10 and the draw is 9/4.
Nemanja Nikolic to score first at 6/1
The Chicago Fire striker had a great season in MLS last term, bagging 24 goals in 33 games, and he’ll be a threat to Scotland’s defence in this one.
Charlie Mulgrew to score and Scotland to win at 16/1
The Scottish skipper takes a mean free-kick, and he’ll be a danger in the air from set pieces too, making this bet attractive at these odds.