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Celtic v Atletico Madrid (Match Preview)

Probabilities for the match are - Celtic 25%, the draw 25% and Atletico Madrid 50%.

Atletico were 3rd in La Liga last season 11 points behind Champions Barcelona. This season they are 4th on 22pts however they have a game in hand on the top 3 and if they win their game in hand they will be on equal points with the top two (Real Madrid and Girona). As Atletico have a better goal difference than Real Madrid and Girona they will go top if they win their game in hand.

They are a Pot 2 team but their ELO ranking of 11 has them 10th out of the 32 teams in the Champions League this season and they are the top ranked team in Celtic's group. In their latest league game on Saturday against Celta Vigo away they lined up with the following;

  • 13 Jan Oblak

  • 3 Cesar Azpilicueta, 20 Axel Witsel and 22 Mario Hermoso

  • 14 Marcos Llorente, 24 Pablo Barrios, 6 Koke, 8 Saul Niguez and 12 Samuel Dias Lino

  • 7 Antoine Griezmann and 19 Alvaro Morata

Subs used were Argentinian international right back Nahuel Molina, left winger Rodrigo Riquelme, Argentinian international defensive midfielder Rodrigo De Paul, Argentinian international centre forward Angel Correa and ex-Leicester Turkish international centre back Calgar Soyuncu. They replaced Barrios, Lino, Niguez, Llorente and Griezmann.

Unused subs were Croatian goalkeeper Ivo Grbic, 20 year old goalkeeper Antonio Gomis, left back Javi Galan and 20 year old Greece U21 left sided defender Ilias Kostis.

There were 2 changes to the line up from the previous La Liga match against Real Sociedad with Barrios and Niguez coming in for Molina and De Paul. ex-Man City Montenegro centre back Stefan Savic who has played 271 times for Atletico came on as a sub against Real Sociedad but was not in the squad for the Celta Vigo game.

19 year old midfielder Aitor Gismera and 19 year old forwards Salim El Jebari and Adrian Nino were unused subs in the Real Sociedad game but were not in the squad against Celta Vigo.

Jose Gimenez, Memphis Depay, Reinildo, Thomas Lemar and Vitolo were all out injured.

  • Slovenian international Oblak is 18th in La Liga for goals prevented conceding 8 goals from an expected 7.6. He's 7th for save percentage at 75.8%.

  • Ex-Chelsea right sided centre back Azpilicueta has 1.14 xA from 8 games this season.

  • Belgian international centre back Witsel has scored 78 goals in his career but none for Atletico Madrid.

  • Left sided centre back Hermoso has scored 8 times in 140 games for Atletico.

  • Right wing back Llorente has played 39 times for Real Madrid.

  • 20 year old Barrios has the 2nd most interceptions per 90 in La Ligo at 2.9

  • Koke is 7th best in La Liga for accurate passes on 77.1 per 90 and his passing accuracy is 90.9%. He has 70 caps for Spain and 594 appearances for Atletico, scoring 46 goals.

  • Niguez has 5 assists in La Liga (joint top) although his xA is only 1.6. He was on loan to Chelsea in the 2021/2022 season.

  • Brazilian Lino is a left wing back who played 41 games for Valencia last season on loan.

  • 32 year old Griezmann is 5th best rated player in the league averaging 7.83. He has 7 goals this season from an xG of 4.8 and a Post Shot xG of 5.2. He has scored 44 goals for France in 125 appearances and he has scored 165 times for Atletico. His 0.85 goals per 90 this season is 8th in the league.

  • 31 year old Morata has scored 5 times in La Liga and is on 0.78 goals per 90 which is 12th. That is from 3.3 xG and 4.2 Post Shot xG.

Forward Correa has the best xA and xG in the team as he has the 2nd best xA in the league at 0.5 per 90 and 6th best xG at 0.69 per 90. He's top for goals per 90 at 1.36 (3 goals) and he has 0.5 actual assists per 90.

Riquelme has the 3rd best successful dribbles per 90 at 4

In their last game against Celta Vigo they won 3-0 with an xG of 1.78 and xGA of 0.93. Although it was 0-0 when Celta Vigo got a man sent off in the 25th minute.

They only had 12 shots to Celta Vigo's 16 but it was the quality of their chances (0.148 xG per shot) and their shooting accuracy (Post Shot xG versus xG of 155%) that helped them the victory. Celta Vigo's xG per shot was restricted to 0.058. Shot map below (Atletico on the right).

For this season in La Liga Atletico are 4th for xG created and top for xG conceded.

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