FC Midtjylland – Match Report vs Odense BK 17/10/20

FC Midtjylland ran out eventual and deserved 3-1 winners versus OB in gameweek five of the Superliga season. OB went ahead in the game through Emmanuel Sabbi and managed to hold their lead through to half-time after Evander missed a penalty in the 43rd minute. The second-half was a different story, though, with OB failing to capitalise on some early pressure and Midtjylland taking control of the game from there, drawing level through a brilliant piece of skill and finish from Sory Kaba.

Despite concerted pressure it was not until the 81st minute that Anders Dreyer’s deflected shot put them ahead in the game, a lead that was consolidated by a late Pione Sisto free-kick. FC Midtjylland lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation and dominated possession as they looked to build from the back, whilst OB were too wasteful with the ball in their flat 4-3-3 system.

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

Anders Dreyer

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Danish
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 02/05/1998
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: Esbjerg fB, Brighton & Hove Albion, St Mirren FC (L), SC Heerenveen (L), FC Midtjylland
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Dreyer played on the right side of the attacking midfield trio, operating as more of an narrow forward than an out-and-out winger and often receiving the ball in the right half space which allowed him to cut inside onto his stronger left foot. In my opinion, he was the best player on the pitch in this match, linking play well throughout and scoring the goal to put FC Midtjylland ahead after some good work off the ball.

He is an intelligent and creative player who has good vision and uses short passing interchanges well to create space and bring others into play. He has decent acceleration but lacks dynamism and is not the quickest overall so uses these interchanges to good effect to progress the ball into advanced areas rather than looking to take players on in wide positions. He showed quick-thinking and good awareness on a number of occasions with one-touch flicks and lay-offs in tight areas that created shooting opportunities for a teammates.

His movement off the ball was very good throughout, he was never stationary when out of possession and was always looking to give options either by making diagonal runs in behind from out wide or by changing the angle to make himself available to receive a pass. His aggression and determination give him the ability to create something out of nothing as he was persistently pressing and chasing down seemingly lost causes. This intensity in his play also made him very difficult to dispossess as he would use his body effectively to protect the ball and showed good upper body strength to hold off opponents despite his small stature.

Rating: A2

Dreyer looks to have a technical skillset that is better suited to a central role but his work-rate and energy give FC Midtjylland good options in wide positions whilst still allowing him to influence the game from more central areas when drifting inside to receive the ball. There are, however, a few question marks about his physicality and athleticism that may be more evident weaknesses at a higher level.

Evander

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 09/06/1998
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: Vasco de Gama, FC Midtjylland
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary position: Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Evander formed part of the midfield pivot alongside Cajuste and, whilst we didn’t see as much of his creativity and attacking talent in this game, he impressed me with his defensive discipline and covering play. He did miss a golden opportunity with a penalty that was not placed far enough in the corner and was at a good height for the goalkeeper to get to.

He was not able to get on the ball as much as we have been accustomed to seeing in this game as OB looked to congest the midfield areas and stop FC Midtjylland from playing through the middle. As a result, we saw Evander pulling into wide positions as the game progressed in order to find space to receive the ball and looking to play passes over the top. However, despite having the vision to spot the runs in behind from deep, these passes too often lacked accuracy in their execution and OB were able to deal with them comfortably.

He caused OB a few problems when venturing further forward and was typically dangerous from the edge of the box, finding pockets of space to receive the ball and showing good footwork to create an angle for a shot on goal. These situations were few in this game, though, and OB did a good job of limiting his influence and stifling his dribbling and ball-carrying abilities. However, he did have a positive impact on the game defensively, covering out wide after the full-back had pushed on and holding his position well to make some important interceptions after possession turnovers.

Rating: A2

Evander was not at his best in this game but still showed flashes of his talent and technical ability. It was good to see a different side to his game with more defensive involvement but that is not where his strengths lie and I feel that he needs to see more of the ball in advanced areas to be able to get the best out of him.

Jens Cajuste

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Swedish/American
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 10/08/1999
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: Västra Frölunda IF, Örgryte IS, FC Midtjylland
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Cajuste partnered Evander in central midfield and did not have his best game in truth, missing a great chance in the first-half and giving the ball away in the lead-up to the opening goal. He showed his quality on the ball at times but struggled defensively, making some rash challenges that saw him pick up a first-half booking which saw him change his approach slightly.

He is a tall, strong player, standing at just under 6’2, who covers ground quickly with his long strides and moves with a confidence and elegance on the ball. He is a very effective ball-carrier who likes to drive into space and draw players towards him which opens up the game and creates space for teammates to receive the ball with a short pass to feet.

He is still quite a raw talent and that was evident with a few careless passes and lapses in concentration that gave possession away. He showed good athleticism in his defensive work when winning headers and outmuscling opponents but he needs to be careful not to dive in too easily and instead use his physicality more effectively to win possession.

Rating: B1

Cajuste is a very talented player who is developing well having begun to cement his place in the starting XI for FC Midtjylland. He is not the finished product yet and still needs some fine tuning but all the attributes are there for a player who I think we will see performing at the very highest level.

Joel Andersson

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Swedish
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 11/11/1996
  • Current Club: FC Midtjylland
  • Career: BK Häcken, FC Midtjylland
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Andersson had a solid game at right-back, performing his defensive tasks well and getting into good crossing positions but failing to capitalise with some wasteful deliveries from the wide right. He had a largely quiet game and did not see a lot of the ball but he did have a big part part to play in both the second and third goals, first winning the ball back high up the pitch and then winning the free-kick in a great position late on.

He dealt with the threat of Mads Frokjær well and kept him quiet for the most part, struggling with his movement early on but making sure to stick close to him and stop him from utilising his ball-carrying abilities. He timed his tackles well throughout, keeping his eye on the ball and staying on his feet to force the opponent to move towards him where he could step in and win possession. He liked to push high and wide in possession, hugging the touchline and utilising the space vacated by Dreyer’s runs into central positions to provide valuable width in what was otherwise quite a narrow formation.

Rating: B1

Andersson had a solid if unremarkable game but performed the majority of his tasks efficiently and effectively and made telling contributions to the outcome of the game.

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