When Maurizio Sarri was announced as the new Juventus head coach, it was obvious that his arrival would change the roles of a lot of his players. One of those who were expected to slot into Sarri’s style seamlessly was the Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic. Already after two games, we can see that he has adapted his game to Sarri’s tactics. This tactical analysis scout report will look at how we can already see signs of Sarri’s coaching and what Pjanić’s role is in Juventus setup.

This piece will only discuss Pjanić’s role in possession since his defensive role is quite straightforward in a positionally-orientated defensive system where he defends space rather than men.

Movement and positioning

Pjanić plays as the deepest midfielder in a midfield three in which he has been accompanied by Sami Khedira and Blaise Matuidi in the first two games. For Sarri’s football to work, Pjanić’s positioning and movement to become free are critical. His job is not to drop in between the centre-backs to pick up the ball. Instead, Pjanić must position himself behind the opponent’s first pressing line.

This is done to break the first pressing line with a pass to Pjanić. We can see this in the image below.

Miralem Pjanic 2019/20 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Here, Pjanić positions himself behind Parma’s first pressing line in order for Juve to break the first line with the pass into Pjanić.

To read the full scout report on this player – click here 

Artwork by @chapulana

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