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Celtic v Aberdeen (Match Stats)

Celtic 2

xG 1.73

(Welsh 3, Jota 75)

Aberdeen 0

xG 0.19

Celtic lined up with the predicted line up and the same starting 11 from the Norwich friendly game. However two interesting notes from the starting line up;

  • Despite a relatively successful and busy summer transfer window there was no Celtic player in the starting 11 that was making their competitive debut for the club.

  • Only Greg Taylor and Callum McGregor were in the starting 11 for this opening day fixture and last season's opening day fixture.

You can see from the average player positions that Stephen Welsh was well advanced and he had 108 accurate passes with Cameron Carter-Vickers next on 77.

Celtic's most dominant spell was just after half time when they had 78% possession.

Welsh opened the scoring for Celtic in the 3rd minute as he converted a corner with his head from a chance that had an expected goal probability of 18%. His header was good and he then turned this into a 50% goal scoring chance.

The only other big chance in the first half was for Kyogo after 25 minutes after O'Riley created a 30% scoring chance for him but Kyogo failed to hit the target.

However Jota did give himself a 59% scoring chance from a shot in 33 minutes where it was only a 2% chance position he was shooting from.

Jota then scored Celtic's 2nd after 75 minutes when he turned a 6% chance into a 35% chance with an excellent shot. This was Jota's 5th goal against Aberdeen in 4 games against them.

Outwith this Giakoumakis had 3 chances when he came on and had a 21%, an 10% and another 13% chance but failed to hit the target with all 3.

Kyogo and Giakoumakis having 1 shot on target from 7 shots between them however with 0.92 xG between they are getting in the positions to score.

Matt O'Riley created the best opportunities for Celtic with a game total xA of 0.80 from 6 key passes however Jota wasn't far behind on 0.71 xA and Jota also had a Post Shot xG of 0.93 from xG chances of 0.21.

David Turnbull was quite involved in the game when he came on with 25 accurate passes in the 24 minutes he was on the pitch compared to O'Riley's 39 accurate passes in the 83 minutes he was on. Turnbull also had 89% accuracy compared to O'Riley's 81% (and Hatate's 81%).

Aberdeen's best chance of the game was an 11% probability chance for Johnny Hayes on 38 minutes but he failed to hit the target.

Looking at the stats and comparing them against games against Aberdeen last season there are many that have improved.

Expected goals difference in this game was 1.54 in Celtic's favour and that was better than any of the 3 games against Aberdeen last season and mainly due to Celtic only conceded 0.19 xG in this game.

Possession was 69% and easily better than the 64%, 62% and 61% from last season against what is probably going to be a more organised Aberdeen team this season.

Accurate passes were also up from 535 in the home game last season to 604 in this game (a 13% increase) but more interesting is the final third passes which went up 28% to 309 in this game.

Looking at last season's performance Celtic seemed to get better results when the midfield three had a higher % share of the team's passes so this is something to look out for this year and in this game the midfield three positions had 32% of the team's passes.

Celtic also had more central attacks in this game with 27% coming through the centre which again is well up on last year.

Overall a very good start for Celtic against an opponent who (despite their lowly league position) conceded the 3rd least amount of chances last season (behind Celtic and Rangers) with 0.92 xGA per game and a team who will definitely improve this year.

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