Hungary are on the verge of sealing a place at the Nations League finals and their home clash with Italy in Group A3 is the pick of the action on Monday.
Hungary vs Italy (Monday, 7.45pm)
Surprise package Hungary have won three of their five matches in Nations League Group A3 and a draw with Italy would be enough to take them into next year’s finals.
They have done the double over England, beating the Euro 2020 runners-up 1-0 at home and 4-0 at Molineux in Wolverhampton, and they claimed another memorable victory on Friday when Adam Szalai’s smart finish gave them a 1-0 victory in Germany.
Hungary have conceded only three goals in five Nations League games although two of those came against Monday’s opponents Italy, who won 2-1 in their June meeting with the section leaders.
The Azzurri kept alive their hopes of finals qualification with a 1-0 home win over England on Friday, although that was only their third victory in their last 10 matches.
That run includes a shock World Cup play-off defeat to North Macedonia as well as heavy losses to Argentina (3-0) and Germany (5-2), while three of Italy’s last five away matches have ended 0-0.
Hungary showed their character in a tough Euro 2020 group, holding France and Germany to draws, and they are capable of picking up the point they need against an Italy side rebuilding after their World Cup play-off disappointment.
Giacomo Raspadori’s winner against England on Friday was a rare flash of quality in a tight contest and Italy, held to 0-0 draws by Switzerland and Northern Ireland in their last two away World Cup qualifiers, may struggle to take maximum points in Budapest.
Montenegro vs Finland (Monday, 7.45pm)
Bosnia are guaranteed to top Group B3 after taking 11 points from their first five games but second-placed Montenegro will still be keen to avenge their 2-0 defeat in Finland when the teams meet again on matchday six.
Montenegro are two points better off than the Finns, largely thanks to home and away wins over Romania in which striker Stefan Mugosa scored four of their five goals.
Both teams have found the net in only one of Montenegro’s last seven internationals while Finland have kept just one clean sheet in nine games and three of their last seven finished 1-1.
Finland’s June win over Montenegro was their only success in their last eight internationals and the visitors are worth opposing on Monday.
Montenegro gave group winners Bosnia two decent games, drawing 1-1 at home and losing Friday’s reverse fixture 1-0, and they can finish a solid campaign with a home victory.
San Marino vs Estonia (Monday, 7.45pm)
Lionel Messi scored all five goals in Argentina’s 5-0 friendly win over Estonia in June but the Estonians have fared much better against less illustrious opponents in Group D2 of the Nations League.
They have won all three matches, beating Malta 2-1 at home and away and seeing off Monday’s opponents San Marino 2-0 on matchday one.
Ignoring the predictable rout by Argentina, Estonia have kept three clean sheets in their last six matches and have a great chance of another shutout against San Marino, who are winless in 124 international fixtures and have failed to score in 11 of their last 12.
San Marino snapped an 18-game losing streak with a 0-0 draw at home to the Seychelles last week but they are likely to be outclassed by Monday’s visitors Estonia.
Backing Estonia to win to nil could be the best approach as San Marino have failed to score in six home Nations League matches against Luxembourg, Moldova, Belarus, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and Malta, losing five of those fixtures.