Rubin Kazan – Match Report vs CSKA Moscow 22/08/20

After a poor start to the return of the Russian Premier League, Rubin Kazan came out as 2-1 winners against CSKA. Kazan set up in a 4-2-3-1 which dropped into a 4-4-1-1 or occasionally a 4-1-4-1 out of possession. They played with a very balanced midfield pivot who supported the front four when needed but not that much. They had two inverted wingers who wanted to cut in and drive at the defence. It was a fairly evenly contested game but Kazan did well to limit CSKA from range a lot of the time.


  • 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

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Georgian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of Birth: 12/02/2001
  • Current Club: Rubin Kazan
  • Career: Dinamo Tbilisi, Rustavi, Lokomotiv Moscow (L), Rubin Kazan
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Starting on the left wing, the right footed winger had a decent game. He was good out of possession, with good positioning within the block, able to cover and press well, able to limit CSKA and defend his wing. He worked hard and tracked his runner, but not that effectively near his own goal.

He liked to occupy the half spaces, dropping deeper into midfield to receive the ball. He was very right footed and direct with the ball, he wanted to drive inside or spread the ball right. He attempted a lot of switches, especially for a winger, these were too floated though and weren’t accurate enough, slowing the attack and allowing defenders to cover across. He was the opposite of tunnel visioned, focused on going to the right rather than forwards down his wing but did lack vision and could be quite predictable. He wanted to cut in and used lots of touches with the laces of his right foot when dribbling. He evaded pressure well with good agility and turns but could have picked his head up and released the ball sooner.

He was always on the move and in the final third wanted to play pass-and-move combinations. He tried flicks and good skills in the box but they didn’t come off. When the ball came down the right he made a few good runs either to the back post or found space to be a cut back option. He rarely got into positions to cross or cut the ball back himself. He drove to the byline once with good pace but his touches were too heavy and went out of play.

The Georgian is 6’0″ with a slim build and good acceleration but lacked physicality. He was confident and not scared to argue with the officials. Overall, he was quite predictable and raw but is a talented player who could improve a lot.

Rating – A2

Soltmurad Bakaev

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Russian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of Birth: 05/08/1999
  • Current Club: Rubin Kazan
  • Career: Spartak Moscow (Y), Rubin Kazan
  • Position: Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Bakaev played on the right wing until being subbed off in the 62nd minute. He drifted inside, finding space in the half spaces. He was direct with his play, he was elegant on the ball and able to glide with it while driving at the defence with tight control at speed. He took several heavy touches with his back to goal but was able to recover with quick reactions and quick footwork to retain the ball and evade pressure.

He has a slim build with good acceleration and made a good darted run through the middle to go 1v1 with the keeper on a counter and converted to make it 1-0 with a good finish. Some of his final third movement was inaccessible and could have been better. He also put some decent passes into wide areas of the box for runners.

Out of possession he was less effective, choosing the wrong times to press and his positioning was a little off. CSKA’s goal was a volley scored by his man on the 2nd phase of a corner which he failed to compete for.

Rating – B1

Overall Bakaev had an okay game but was poor out of possession and possibly lacked game intelligence but would be worth watching again this season to reevaluate.

Oliver Abildgaard

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Danish
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 10/06/1996
  • Current Club: Rubin Kazan
  • Career: Aalborg BK, Rubin Kazan
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Abildgaard played as the defensive minded player in the double pivot. He screened the back four and organised the midfield and wasn’t used in possession much. He mainly got the ball from winning possession or collecting loose balls rather than being used in buildup and didn’t fight for positioning in the buildup. He grew into the game and became more involved in possession, looking to carry the ball into space rather than quickly passing to the nearest teammate. He was very left footed and spread play well from deep but didn’t progress the ball much nor look to play forwards.

The Dane has a big build and stands at 6’3, he isn’t that mobile and is quite heavy footed but is a reminded me of Sander Berge in that he’s a strong runner who get up to good speeds even if he isn’t very explosive or agile.

Defensively he scanned well and organised the block when he was defending space but when his man had the ball he lost this level of awareness and could get stuck in no man’s land between pressing the ball and cutting passing lanes. He covered wide well and blocked some crosses. He was strong in the air and made some good tackles and interceptions, he had good positioning and showed some good anticipation in midfield. He stayed on his feet and used his long legs to win the ball back with strong tackles.

Rating – B1

I liked Abildgaard, he was physical and did he role out of possession well. He grew into the game but I’d still like to see more of him on the ball before being able to give an A rating.

Ivan Ignatjev

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Russian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of Birth: 06/01/1999
  • Current Club: Rubin Kazan
  • Career: Krasnodar, Rubin Kazan
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing up front until being substituted in the 62nd, Ignatjev only had the one shot, which was from the byline into the side netting with a powerful strike. In the final third he too often made runs into wide areas of the box, it gave them an option but didn’t stay central enough to be able to get his own chances and could have done better in the box. He also drifted into the right half space a lot, which is where he got his assist from by playing through Bakaev.

He didn’t get many touches on the ball and made some promising short passes in and around the box which didn’t come off on the day but if given more time he was hesitant to play the ball. I’d watch him again but the 21 year old had a fairly quiet game overall and didn’t show much.

Rating – D


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: