It’s been a concerning 2022/23 Nations League campaign for Gareth Southgate, with England still winless after three Group A3 matches, including that opening-day defeat to Hungary in Budapest, which has left them bottom of the pile, while they are yet to score from open play this month.
The Three Lions suffered a shock 1-0 reversal at the hands of Tuesday’s visitors on matchday one, with Dominik Szoboszlai netting the match-winner after Reece James conceded a penalty, before Southgate oversaw back-to-back draws with Germany and most recently Italy, a goalless stalemate in Wolverhampton.
Hungary, by contrast, are deservedly second in the table ahead of England and Germany, following up their curtain-raising win over Southgate’s men with a recent 1-1 draw against Hansi Flick’s Die Mannschaft, in which Zsolt Nagy grabbed the decisive goal that secured the Magyars a precious point.
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England vs Hungary match stats
With England’s only goal this month coming from the spot — Harry Kane’s late equalising penalty against Germany — Southgate will need his men to start upping the final-third ante, or risk firing another blank and generating more concern from the press and fans alike. He may well turn to Kane to transform those fortunes up top. Tammy Abraham was deployed as Southgate’s No. 9 against Italy but largely proved ineffective, before Kane came on in the second half.
The Spurs marksman (55) is one of only two players alongside Mohamed Salah (60) who managed 50 or more shots on target in the Premier League across 2021/22. That kind of final-third potency will be key here if the Three Lions are to end their open-play drought and get back to winning ways.
04 Jun 2022 – Hungary 1-0 England – Nations League
12 Oct 2021 – England 1-1 Hungary – World Cup Qualifier
02 Sep 2021 – Hungary 0-4 England – World Cup Qualifier
11 Aug 2010 – England 2-1 Hungary – International Friendly
30 May 2006 – England 3-1 Hungary – International Friendly
England are currently winless in their previous two matches against Hungary. You would have to go back to September 2021 for the last time Southgate masterminded a win, a 4-0 triumph at the Puskas Arena. Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice all got on the scoresheet last year to claim an emphatic victory away from home.
Where are England and Hungary tipped to finish in Group A3?