I carried out this analysis a few months ago for one of the modules of the Master’s Degree at Sports Data Campus and it is based on the match that Dinamo Zagreb played against Varaždin on the 26th April 2023.
All videos and information obtained are from my own elaboration based on videos from Wyscout and using NacSport.
CURRENT TEAM NEWS
- Dinamo Zagreb dominates the Croatian HNL with an iron hand with 22 titles.
- They currently lead the standings by 12 points ahead of Hadjuk Split.
- Knocked out in the Cup semi-finals by Šibenik.
- This season they have reached the group stage of the Champions League (after getting through 3 previous rounds), where they ended up in the last position of group E.
MOST COMMON STARTING LINE-UP
- This is the most repeated starting line-up so far this season (up to the 26th of April 2023) at Dinamo Zagreb.
- Currently, due to injuries and player sales, some players and positions vary.
- As we will see below, young Mauro Perković is occupying the left back position because Ljubičić is playing in the midfield taking the position of Arijan Ademi, who has been recently moved to Beijing Guoan.
- Up front, Drmić is taking advantage of the injury absence of Petković, the team’s second top scorer.
Source: Own elaboration.
- They play with a fairly clear 4-2-3-1 formation and they only changed this system once in the last five matches.
- As will be explained later, in the defensive phase they change and are more compact.
- Dinamo Zagreb dominates all teams in the league in almost all positive metrics such as shots, shots on target, percentage of those shots on target, goals or goals per shots.
- It is also the team that concedes the fewest shots to opponents, commits the fewest fouls and concedes the fewest goals.
- Looking at these charts in more detail we see that Dinamo has a scoring average of more than 2 goals per game while conceding less than 1 goal, as well as being the team with the best goals per shots on goal percentage.
- It makes sense that they are the team with the best goals against percentage, as they are the team with the best goal scoring, as we can see in the second chart.
DEFENSIVE PHASE ANALYSIS
- Defensively, the team is more compact, moving from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-1-1, with Baturina dropping almost to the height of the four midfielders and leaving Drmić alone in attack.
- They don’t tend to press intensely but they are effective at pressing high when the opponent team brings the ball out of play from the goalkeeper and can make a quick recovery.
- It is worth mentioning the generosity of the midfielders in defence, where even Baturina, the most creative player in the team, helps his teammates, but especially the support of Ljubicic and, above all, Mišić, give the team a structure that is difficult to overcome.
- Due to previous comments, Mišić and Ljubicic lead the statistics for fouls committed and yellow cards.
OFFENSIVE PHASE ANALYSIS
- They play with very offensive wing backs, with the inside players cutting into the midfield to leave the corridor for them, allowing them to take advantage of the space they need to get to the end line and cross.
- Baturina goes down to receive the ball in midfield to help in the construction of the game.
- Baturina goes down to receive the ball in the midfield to help in the construction of the game, but he is also the team’s top assist man, being a threat when he gets to the edge of the box to filter passes that generate goals or clear chances.
- Mišić is embedded between the centre-backs to help them with the ball out.
- When this happens, Ivanušec takes his place in the midfield and he avoids leaving the midfield at a disadvantage.
- Perić is usually the one who brings the ball up to the midfield or is the last defender to pass the ball to the midfielders, and he is also prone to joining the attack.
- He is also in responsible for launching the ball when they play direct, searching especially for Drmić to bring the ball down and continue the play.
- Dino Perić is Dinamo’s most potent set piece weapon, both in attack and defence.
- He has the best percentage of aerial duels won in the league.
POINTS TO EMPHASISE
- Depth of the pitch due to the constant attack of their wing backs.
- Good defensive support from midfielders in the defensive phase.
- Offensive power from set pieces, especially with Perić.
- Baturina generates clear chances thanks to his passing and vision.
- It is possible to search for the backs of the wing backs because of their tendency to go up in attack.
- Drmić is a limited striker, he is valid as an offensive point of reference in long balls, but he suffers with the ball at his feet.
- As Perić tends to join in playmaking when the attack is positional, it is possible to win the ball back by pressing two against one.
Information on standings and matches played: Sofascore.
Data: fbref and Wyscout.
Charts: Own elaboration with Tableau.
Frames and videos: Downloaded videos from Wyscout and produced in Nacsport, also using KlipDraw and KlipDraw Motion.