SPARTA PRAHA – MATCH REPORT VS JABLONEC 05/07/2020

Sparta Praha quickly took the lead after a good move instigated by their young and talented player Adam Karabec, with Adam Hlozek finishing off the move to give his team the advantage after just 3 minutes. Sparta dominated the game, managing defensive situations well and with the vigilant Florin Niță in goal making a couple of good saves. Like in the first half, Sparta Praha scored shortly after the restart of the second period, as Kozak, who had only just come on, doubled his team’s advantage. He then went on to score another goal after a great work from David Hancko. Their wide play permitted Sparta Praha to dominate their opponent on the day. After the third goal, Sparta Praha saw out this lead until the end of the game.

Ratings

  • 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

Adam Karabec

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Czech
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 02/07/2003
  • Current Club: Sparta Praha
  • Career: FC Bohemians (Y), Sparta Praha (Y)
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Adam Karabec played as an attacking midfielder, and was given freedom to drop deep and involve himself in build up play but also to be creative in the final third.

From the opening minute, his clever positioning provided a progressive out ball for his team. David Hancko found Adam Karabec between the lines with a good pass, who then turned sharply with a smart first touch and then timed his pass wide effectively to release Matěj Hanousek who in turn teed up Adam Hlozek to open the scoring. The midfielder varied his positioning throighout the match, either drifting between opposition lines or dropping deep to receive the ball and scan for an option.

His game intelligence and vision allowed him to be effective at progressing his team up the field and finding creative solutions in the final third. Karabec is not a particularly fast player, but his clever movement and positioning more than compensate for his lack of pace. Whilst his good level of technical ability allows him to bring the ball under control with ease and provide an essential link between midfield and attack. He is the type of player who can make a difference on his own by beating his man and driving his team forward before using his vision and passing ability to find teammates in dangerous areas.

Karabec does not contribute much defensively, but this allows him to have more freedom going forward in transition. He supported the striker Hlozek when pressing, but he was quite passive in general and was easily beaten on a few occasions. He has quite a strong build which makes him diffcilt to disposses, but he did not use his height well in aerial duels.

Towards the end of the season Karabec gradually cemented his place in the team and can have a significant impact on matches with his technical ability and game intelligence. His influence on the team will only increase over the coming seasons and he is one of Sparta Praha’s brightest prospects.

Rating: A2

Adam Hlozek

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Czech
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 25/07/2002
  • Current Club: Sparta Praha
  • Career: Sparta Praha (Y)
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Having played the full game during the cup final earlier in the week, Adam Hlozek only played the first half of this match, but in his limited time on teh pitch he had a significant impact from striker.

Hlozek’s athelticism and stature give him a big physical advantage over his opponents in different situations, as he is able to utilise a combination of speed, power and stamina to be an attacking threat. He varies his positioning, showing a willingness to drop team and involve himself in build up play, whilst also offering an out ball for his team with his ability to hold up the ball and his movement in the final third put him in dangerous areas to attack the ball.

In the opening minutes of the match, he was able to finish off a move, started by Karabec, with a clever improvised back heel that caught the goalkeeper off guard. This combination of clever movement and athelticsm make him a real threat and a problem for opposition defences, as during his relatively short time on the field he was able to create openings and be clinical in front of goal. He also had an impressive aerial presence that allowed him to dominate defenders at times.

His balance and low centre of gravity help him to retain possession and drive with the ball effectively, allowing him to beat defenders and get a shot off or run into wider channels. His versatility and several effective attributes allow him to pose a threat in many different ways, with or without the ball at his feet. Hlozek’s presence can also free up space for his teammates.

Adam Hlozek is almost the complete striker, he can play in several different roles and positions and can be a threat with or without the ball. Despite still only being 17, he has a certain maturity to his pay that makes it easy to forget how young he is. This is already his second season in professional football and he has kicked on even more this campaign. In the Fortuna Liga he has scored 7 times and made 8 assists, very impressive numbers for such a young player who seems to be ready to make the step up to a higher level.

Rating: A1

Ladislav Krejčí

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Czech
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 20/04/1999
  • Current Club: Sparta Praha
  • Career: FC Zbrojovka Brünn (Y)
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Having also played in the cup final earlier in the week, Ladislav Krejčí was in the starting lineup once again in this match and played 55 minutes as a holding midfielder, occupying the space just in front of the defence.

His positioning in front of the defence allowed him to take part in build up play out from the back, but also to offer defensive cover and security. He was a simple and available option for the defenders when they had possession and he dropped deep to offer support. When his team were higher up the pitch, Krejčí would support the attack by offering himself as an option on the fringes of the final third – giving his team an extra man in attacking situations.

Due to his role in the side, he provided a good amount of cover for the defence and gave Sparta numerical superiority over Jablonec in transitional phases. He is a tall player (187cm), and took advantage of this well to make interceptions and cut out long balls from the opposition and he won a few aerial battles during the match. When defending, he made sure to shield spaces that could be exploited and limit the options for the opposition forwards. In hsi role as holding midfielder, whist his teammates marked oppsoition players, he was able to clean up loose balls and make interceptions to recover possession for his team.

The 21 year old was able to cover for his teammates should they make an error and limit the number of attacking options of the opposition, and one e he had recovered possession, he was able to retain the ball effectively to dictate the tempo of his team or find accurate long passes to start counter attacks. He displayed good agility on the ball to beat his man with a body feint on occasion and create space for himself to find a pass.

Despite coming off after 55 minutes, he was effective whilst he was on the pitch and executed his job well. It is his first season in the Fortuna Liga with Sparta Praha and he has already been able to cement his place in the starting eleven.

Rating: B1/A2

Dávid Hancko

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Slovak
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 13/12/1997
  • Current Club: Sparta Praha (L)
  • Career: MSK Zilina (Y), Fiorentina
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Secondary Position: Left Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

David Hancko occupied the left centre back role in a fairly fluid 4-2-3-1 system that at times changed to a back three, when Hancko would once again occupy the left hand side of the central defence.

When playing out from the back he primarily played safe passes in order to retain possession, but he would occasionally play a more progressive pass if the opportunity presented itself. His ability to play accurate long diagonal passes meant that he could be effective when playing out and launching attacks by finding teammates in dangerous areas. He woudl also occaisonally venture further forward and seemed more than capable, delivering a good cross towards the striker. When the holding midfielder had possession, he would step out of the defensive line to offer another option in the opposition half to push his team even further up the pitch, and in this regard he was able to have an effect even if he didn’t actually receive the ball. For the opening goal, he found an accurate long pass into Karabec between the lines who went on to set up the move that lead to the goal. For the third goal he was again heavily involved, as his good anticipation and acceleration lallowed him to cut out a pass and launch the counter attack by driving with the ball before finding a great pass to set up Kozak who finished to secure all three points for Sparta.

Hancko was defensively effective both when his team had pressed high and when they had dropped deep. When in 1v1 situations, he delayed the attacker well before picking the right moment to challenge for the ball and win possession. He was also good at reading the game which allowed him to be efficient during build up play but also when defending as he was able to anticipate and react to the movement of his teammates in order to provide cover. When his team pressed high, his good burst of acceleration helped him to sweep up balls over the top of the defence and this was particularly prevelant in this match. He was also able to be aggressive if necessary and use his strong stature to compete physically in duels.

He’s a defender with many tools at his disposal, and can be an important player in the team with in and out of possession. Hancko spent this season on loan from Fiorentina at Sparta Praha in order to get playing time to develop and it would not be surprising to see him loaned to a higher standard league next season.

Rating: B1 / A2

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