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  • EXCLUSIVE: By Alessandro Schiavone

Marco Rossi: Hungary will lose against England

EXCLUSIVE By Alessandro Schiavone

Hungary manager Marco Rossi does not believe that his beleaguered side stand a chance of upsetting England tonight.

England are looking to take a major step towards Qatar 2022 with another win over the 1954 World Cup runner-up.

The Three Lions steamrolled tonight’s opponents 4-0 in the reverse fixture in Budapest last month thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice.

But Hungary’s slim hopes of making their first World Cup since 1986 are hanging in the balance after losing the all-important six-pointer against Albania on Saturday.

And for Rossi, 57, tonight’s game is a damage limitation exercise as he has all but raised the white flag, believing that the loss against Albania was the final nail in the Magyars’ coffin.

Despite having an outside chance of going to next summer’s World Cup, if all three games are won, including tonight’s stern test against the Three Lions, Rossi said: “I don’t think that anyone of us harbours hopes [to go to the World Cup]

“We would have to beat England on their own patch tonight and go on and win in Poland. And then win against San Marino. It would be science fiction and we don’t think about it. All we want to do is play a good game and leave the pitch with our heads held up high tonight.

“In all likelihood we will lose. Regardless of the tactics, the organization and all the things we can come up with, it’s the quality of the players on the pitch that makes the difference. And England are one of the best teams in the world and they showed that in Europe.”

With legendary striker Ferenc Puskas leading the line, Hungary famously trashed England 6-3 in November 1953 before they followed that up with another emphatic 7-1 win six months later. But for Rossi this Hungarian side is a pale imitation of that star-studded team which won Olympic Gold in 1952 and finished second at the World Cup in 1954.

He said: “That game still lives in the memory of Hungarian people. But those were different times, a different football, different teams, players and values. Today, the gap between England and Hungary is enormous. It’s unthinkable to even think that we can come away with a prestigious result tonight.

“Since the Euros we have had a dip which is down to several factors. Game after game, we’ve lost important players who were part of the starting 11 at the European Champions, during the qualification games for the tournament and in the Nations League.

“We are in an emergency situation from every point of view. Tonight’s game will be very, very complicated for us. “


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