Exclusive: Hungarian expert explains Ferencvaros' biggest weakness ahead of Celtic trip
Hungarian football expert Tomasz Mortimer has explained the biggest weakness Ferencvaros have heading into their game against Celtic on Tuesday.
The two sides will meet in a mouth-watering Europa League clash at Parkhead on Tuesday night. Victory for either will put them back into the reckoning for qualification into the last-32 of the competition.
However, whilst Ferenvaros rocked up at Celtic Park and won 2-1 in the Champions League qualifiers last season, it’s all change this year. The Hungarians have a new manager in Peter Stoger and are banging in plenty of goals. Like the Hoops, they’ll feel their performances have deserved more than the 0 points they have to show for their European campaign.
And ahead of Tuesday’s monumental meeting, Mortimer, founder of HungarianFootball.com, has said the following to 67HailHail:
“I think midfield definitely is a weakness. They lost [Igor] Kharatin in the summer who was really good, he scored in the Champions League last year. They replaced him with [Balint] Vecsei, who is good and is playing very well at the moment, but he’s kind of come from nowhere. He wasn’t playing for Ferencvaros first-team, he was loaned out, and now all of a sudden he’s kind of the first name on the teamsheet. And that, in my opinion, is a bit of a worry.
“[Stjepan] Loncar can play there and [Kristoffer] Zachariasson plays alongside him as well, but these 2 players despite how talented there are, haven’t set the world alight considering how much they were bought for.
“This is the reason someone like Besic was bought a month ago. He used to play for the club before he went to the Premier League and was thought of highly. That’s why he was brought in, but it was too late for the Europa League campaign so the midfield is a definite worry.”
“I think they can get run over in there because that midfield isn’t going to dominate the game. That’s a bit of a problem sometimes for the attacking talent because there’s so much attacking talent up front that they do have. But they sometimes don’t get the ball enough because that midfield doesn’t dominate the game. And especially against Betis and Leverkusen, they just couldn’t get the balls to them. They just can be run over. I think if they are better in midfield then they will win it.”
Celtic have the midfield talent to overrun Ferencvaros
It’s a real boost to hear that the midfield is perhaps Ferencvaros’ biggest weakness heading into this one. That couldn’t be said for Real Betis or Bayer Leverkusen respectively.
Celtic definitely have the talent to dominate the game. Comparing this Ferencvaros team to last season is unfair – both sides are in a better place and playing better football. But the fact we largely controlled the midfield in that one should be a promising sign.
Restricting the service to inform Ryan Mmaee is absolutely essential. The former AEL Limassol frontman already has 11 goals and 6 assists in just 18 appearances [Transfermarkt]. Give him a sight of goal and, knowing our luck, he’s bound to take it.
Celtic are still trying to figure out their best midfield operators at the moment. Whilst Callum McGregor will always keep his spot as captain, it’s difficult to read whether David Turnbull or Tom Rogic should be in there together.
Nir Bitton can alternatively be used as a natural sitter, allowing McGregor to push forward. But this could be a game where Postecoglou tries to rely on our attacking quality more than anything. A game where he tries to outscore the opposition through his forward play more than snuffing our Ferencvaros’ attacking threats.
Even so, the engine room isn’t an ideal position of the pitch to be having issues in. If Mortimer’s comments are anything to go by, there’s an opportunity for Celtic to boss things on Tuesday. Let’s hope we take it.