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  • 4 June 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Puskás Ferenc Stadion, Budapest
  • Referee: K. Hansen
  • • Attendance: 17000

Hungary - Republic of Ireland Preview: Damage limitation for Trapattoni's men as they head into final warm-up game

Hungary - Republic of Ireland Preview: Damage limitation for Trapattoni's men as they head into final warm-up game

David Maher

Veteran Italian coach takes his Irish side to Újpest in Hungary for their last warm-up match before their highly-anticipated Euro 2012 opener against Group C rivals Croatia



Atletico Madrid

Pinter, Juhasz, Vanczak, Korcsmár
Laczko, Varga, Szakaly, Koltai
Dzsudzsák, Szalai



O'Shea, Dunne, St.Ledger, Ward
Duff, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady
Keane, Doyle

Hungary host the Republic of Ireland fresh from an impressive 2-1 away win against Euro 2012 qualifiers Czech Republic last Friday.

QPR midfielder Ájos Buzsáky will miss the game for the hosts as a precaution after suffering an injured knee, his place being taken by 25-year-old Tamás Koltai. Defender Zoltán Lipták will also miss out through injury.

Hungary coach Sándor Egervári is likely to field a number of younger players, with his side looking ahead to the World Cup qualifying matches that begin in September.

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has a number of injury concerns ahead of his team's final Euro 2012 warm-up match. With their first game of the tournament coming against Croatia just six days after this friendly, the Italian is likely to make a number of changes to his starting XI from the side that beat Bosnia-Herzegovina in Dublin last week.

Hull City defender Paul McShane has replaced Kevin Foley in the final squad, after the Wolves right-back suffered a hamstring injury.

Defenders Darren O’Dea also remains an injury doubt and will require fitness tests before being considered for the Euro 2012 opener in Poznan.

Goalkeeper Shay Given was carrying a knock prior to Ireland’s 1-0 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina, which meant Keiren Westwood stepped in and kept a clean-sheet in his place. However, the Aston Villa shot-stopper is likely to be back in contention.

  • Hungary are ranked 35th in the world, directly below Slovakia, Turkey and Serbia, and exactly 17 places behind Ireland.
  • Of the 10 games they have played against Ireland, they have won four and only lost on two occasions.
  • They finished third in their qualifying group for Euro 2012 with 19 points, five points behind Sweden and eight behind the Netherlands.
  • In September 2011 the Hungarians achieved their highest ever FIFA ranking of 27th.
  • Mainz forward Adam Szalai will be looking to continue his recent good form for the national side, having netted five times from his seven appearances.
  • Ireland are currently unbeaten in 11 games, having not lost since the 3-2 reversal at the hands of Russia in October 2010.
  • This is only the second time Ireland have qualified for the European Championship, the first occasion being in 1988 in West Germany when they failed to get out of the group stages.
  • They begin their Euro 2012 campaign on 10 June against Croatia, before playing Spain and Italy in Group C.
  • The last major tournament Ireland have featured in was the 2002 World Cup, when they were knocked out on penalties by Spain in the last 16.
  • If Fulham winger Damien Duff (pictured above right) features against Hungary he will make his 97th appearance for his country, and will be in line to make his 100th cap at Euro 2012.

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Players to watch

Á. Szalai

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The 24-year-old striker has been in excellent form for his national side, with five goals to his name from just seven appearances. The Mainz player scored a hat-trick during Hungary’s 8-0 win over San Marino during the Euro 2012 qualifier in October, and then contributed another goal four days later during the 2-1 win against Finland. However, he has since struggled for goals for both club and country having suffered a year-long injury.

The 6ft 4in forward is a lot to handle, and the Irish defence will have watch him intently from crosses and set-pieces into the box.

A. McGeady

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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The tricky winger was in sterling form during Ireland’s 1-0 win against Bosnia in Dublin last week, coming close to scoring on a number of occasions and creating a hatful goalscoring opportunities. Now with Russian side Spartak Moscow, the 26-year-old will prove a handful for the inexperienced Hungarian back line, and his performance will be key for Trapattoni's side as they look to break down the hosts' defence.

Editor's Prediction

Taking into account Ireland’s injury problems and the amount of changes that are likely to be made, the visitors may find it tough going against a lively Hungary side. The fringe players will be looking to stake their claim for a starting role, but a number of the more senior players may want to take it easy to avoid suffering a knock.

However, given the Republic’s reputation of being tough to break down and their trickery from wide positions, Ireland should have enough to come away from Hungary with a narrow victory to take into their first Euro 2012 game next weekend.

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