October 23, 2020
Partick Thistle vs Airdrieonians
Griffin Sabatini is looking forward to facing bookies favourites Partick Thistle this weekend, and the Swiss midfielder believes Airdrie have the perfect blend to grab a positive result.
The 22-year-old has impressed with his tidy performances in the centre of the park since joining on loan from Ukranian Premier League side Dnipro-1, and is relishing the challenge of playing in a new country.
“I’m enjoying being in Scotland a lot - I like going to the city centre and I like coming to training, my team-mates are all great.
“It’s good playing in such a competitive league, I feel I need to be a lot sharper here so I’m actually really enjoying the football.”
Sabatini is certainly well-travelled - born in Zimbabwe, he grew up in Switzerland where he played college football, later joining Northeastern Huskies in the United States before returning to Switzerland and finally making the move to Dnipro.
Having featured in three competitive matches for the Diamonds as well as a number of pre-season friendlies, the midfielder is enthusiastic about the Scottish game.
“It’s way more physical. Players are much more fit in terms of them being on you constantly for 90 minutes, so there’s less time on the ball than other leagues I’ve played in.
“I’ve enjoyed it so far, I think I’m adapting quite well to a difficult league.”
Although Sabatini’s displays to date have showcased his technical abilities and composure on the ball, he believes there’s more to come.
“I don’t really like talking about my own performances, but I think I’ve been okay. I know there are always areas I can improve.
“After every game I sit down with my agent to watch the game and we analyse where I could do better - maybe be smarter off the ball, maybe tidy up my passing - but I’m always looking to improve.”
With the attention turning to Firhill on Saturday, Airdrie aim to continue their winning start to the League One season.
Dale Carrick and Callum Fordyce got the goals as the Diamonds hit the ground running with a 2-0 home win over Peterhead last weekend.
Ian McCall’s Partick Thistle found themselves relegated to League One following the early end to season 2019/20, and bookmakers odds suggest they are hotly fancied to make an immediate return to the Championship.
Their campaign got off to a disappointing start, however, losing 1-0 at Clyde on the opening day.
Griffin knows that the Maryhill men will be a tough proposition nonetheless.
“It’ll be a difficult game, a battle. Partick Thistle are obviously a good side, but we’re a very good side as well.
“It’s a nice grass pitch and I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be tight, maybe only two or three chances for each side and probably only one goal in it.
“It will be a challenge, but hopefully we’ll come out with the win. I trust my team-mates and the staff, we’ve been training well and we have a good mix of talent and experience, so I’m confident that we can get the win.”
Diamonds boss Ian Murray is encouraged by his side’s winning start - and a solid performance against the Jags last season.
“It’s nice to go into the game on the back of two wins, and we’re looking forward to it - it’s Thistle’s first home game so they’ll be excited as well and looking to get back on track after last week.
“It was a very close game against them last season in the Betfred Cup and we’re expecting the same, but we’re going there full of confidence and knowing that a win would be great for us.”
Former Thistle player Ally Roy (wrist) remains Airdrie’s only injury concern.
You can watch the game live on Partick Thistle's PPV streaming service - click the link below for full details.
Saturday October 24, 2020
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow
Scott Anderson, Lee Robertson