Celtic v Falkirk (Preview)
Will Celtic play with the same starting 11 for the 3rd time this season which would be the only time we have played the same 11 on 3 occasions this year? In fact we have only played the same 11 twice on 6 occasions leaving 40 different starting 11s in our 46 games.
There is a slight chance we will due to the main position up for debate (Edouard's partner up front) having Elyounoussi playing well the last couple of games and also the fact that John Kennedy will want a bit of momentum to bring a little bit of credibility to the team's performance this year. Including an aim to win the Scottish Cup.
My guess thought that there may be some of changes and I'm guess on the following;
- Kenny, Welsh, Ajer and Laxalt
- Soro and McGregor
- Forrest, Turnbull and Elyounoussi
In a 4231 formation.
In regards to Falkirk they are a League 1 side desperate to get back to the Championship and unluckily missing out last year with the leagues finishing early. They are top of League 1 just now on 28pts after 14 games and 4pts ahead of 2nd place.
Their xG for their last 10 games is averaging 1.28 and their xGA is averaging 0.76. (Celtic's is 1.95 and 0.98). Courtesy of footystats.org.
Falkirk are averaging 10.8 shots per game this season in the league (which is down on last season) with 46% of them on target and they are conceding 8.6 shots per game with 40% of them on target. Courtesy of football-data.co.uk.
Celtic are averaging 17.8 shots per game in the league this season with 37% on target which is the highest % in the SPFL however we have 0.11 goals per shot which is 3rd behind Rangers and Livingston. (Rangers at 0.14 goals per shot). Falkirk are at 0.15 goals per shot.
Courtesy of @CunningColin Falkirk's Francis and Leitch are overperforming their xG with Dowds, Morrison and Salmon underperforming their xG.
For anyone wanting a listen to Falkirk Management Team's philosophy on football you can listen here to a Purefitbaw's Podcast with them .... https://open.spotify.com/episode/72MqMvci3hAgJTabkLJiPV?si=1IOoE6hVQdGd-5MENKYaTA&nd=1
Below is a profile of Falkirk ahead of our game against us from @CunningColin;
Falkirk generally are a 442 side but they've used 433 the last couple of weeks and will probably be more like a 451 against Celtic.
The back 4 is fairly set in stone. Dixon, Durnan, Hall and Miller. CBs are weak on the ball and can be susceptible aerially. Fullbacks are OK defensively but offer very little going forward.
Midfield I'd expect Alston, Gomis and Telfer. They're all decent passers but quite slow aside from Telfer. Morrison will definitely play RW. LW is a toss-up between Leitch and Fotheringham, probably the former. Not sure about ST. Keena looks like the preferred choice but I think he needs people to create for him as he's mainly a poacher. Opens up the door for Sammon or Dowds who will bring more work rate.
Many thanks to @CunningColin for his info on Falkirk.
It will be an interesting game to watch with the pressure not the same as it was for Celtic earlier in the year but also John Kennedy's first real game with something at stake. (Although I would still argue beating Rangers should have been something at stake).
Will Eddie Howe's influence on the team be seen immediately ? 😊😊 Or will Falkirk (home of The Star Inn and The Auld Vic) cause more hurt on what has been a horrendous season ?