Partizan are second in the league, struggling to keep up with fierce rivals, Crvena Zvezda, who are 11 points clear. Mladost Lucani sit in 8th. Partizan came out 4-1 winners, scoring two goals in each half in an overall dominant performance. They played a 4-2-3-1 with a false 9, build from the back, largely down the flanks and pressed the opposition centre backs well.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Serbian
- Age: 19
- Date of birth: 24/05/2001
- Current club: Partizan Belgrade
- Career: Partizan Belgrade, AS Monaco, Partizan Belgrade (L)
- Position: Centre Half
- Preferred foot: Left
At 6’4″ despite only just turning 19, Pavlovic is already a very imposing figure. He has a big frame and is bulky. He’s quite heavy footed with poor agility, and change of pace and direction. He’s physically dominate and strong, not afraid to put his body in.
He was good at organising the line and communicated with his teammates really well. However, he was too keen to press out of the line. He lacked the acceleration to do so effectively and his timing could have been better. He often stepped out too late, the ball was already moved or the player could avoid his pressure easily and he was then out of position and could have recovered quicker at times. He needed to time these earlier with better reading of play, or to assess the situation better and make better decisions whether to step out or stay.
He could lose concentration when he was no longer involved in play. Such as after pressing out but the ball goes to a different area, or when his team won the ball in a wide area and the midfielder in front of him had the ball. His body language would turn very casual and he’d be static or slow to regain his position in the defensive organisation. However in the box his concentration was better with good scanning and marking, using his physicality and helping to organise the defence.
He was calm on the ball with a mostly solid first touch and carried into space when he could, and also once drove through gaps in midfield but then couldn’t execute the final pass on the edge of the box. He made a few passes into midfield and the striker, but largely circulated the ball to his left back or centre back partner. His passing technique was a bit off at time, giving a lot of top spin but connecting with the ball in a diagonal motion with lifted the ball needlessly. But other times it was fine although some lacked weight. He did make a nice disguised pass into midfield as well.
Rating – A2
Pavlovic had an inconsistent performance overall. He looked strong and intelligent at times but let himself down other times and needed better concentration. Partizan were fairly dominant but Mladost still threatened at times and put up a fight. Being the first game back could have impacted his concentration a bit and be a result of a lack of match sharpness and I plan on watching him again.
- Nationality: Nigerian
- Age: 23
- Date of birth: 02/02/1997
- Current club: Partizan Belgrade
- Career: Spezia (L), Roma, Bologna (L), Torino (L), Rangers (L), Perugia (L), Partizan Belgrade
- Position: Striker
- Preferred foot: Right
Sadiq is 6’4″ but looks even taller. He’s extremely slim with little bulk and very long legs. This made him come across as a little uncoordinated and awkward on the ball but overall he had a strong game, getting an assist, facilitating a lot of their attacking play and winning a penalty before being substituted in the 67th minute.
The Nigerian striker played as a false 9 in this game, constantly dropping very deep into space to receive the ball. He dragged the defenders with him a lot and created space for teammates to make runs into. He had a good touch on high balls and received the ball well under a lot of pressure. He was fouled constantly from behind by physical aggressive centre halves but was mentally strong and carried on going.
Receiving play he’d play layoffs to teammates, which were a bit inconsistent. For example, the second goal came from him playing a very poor layoff which he didn’t connect well with, the loose ball came back to him and a very good pass then put through the 10 who went on to score. They were mostly short and effective but a few could have been better. He also tried to receive on the turn and drive at the defence a few times which had mixed success. His long legs meant he struggled with tight control but used both feet to control it fairly well overall but couldn’t drive into tight spaces.
He worked extremely hard throughout the game whether that be pressing, dropping deep and getting fouled or with his movement and off the ball support. In the box he was smart, often operating in blindspots of the opponent and good movement to dismark in the box and make runs to the front or back post.
Rating – B1
Very effective player at this level, could maybe step up more but hard to tell how well he’d adapt so I’d need to watch again.