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Celtic v Hearts (Preview)

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

It's not often you get the opportunity to right some wrongs so quickly but this cup tie gives Celtic the opportunity to get some revenge for the opening day league defeat at Tynecastle.

Hearts lined up in a 3-4-3 versus Celtic and kept that formation for their trip to Paisley where they beat St Mirren 2-1 to keep their 100% league record going. Although they played 3-4-3 versus Celtic they changed that to 3-5-2 after 68 minutes and you can see the impact it had on the game in the below graph. Our lowest possession was in the 60-75mins period with only 58% possession and 90 touches with pass accuracy also dropping to 84%.

In their game against St Mirren Kingsley was out and Cochrane played left centre back with Andy Halliday playing left wing back. Haring (a sub versus Celtic) came in from the start in centre midfield. Both Hearts average player positions are below with the Celtic game on the left and St Mirren on the right.

Hearts v Celtic (home) Hearts v St Mirren (away)

Kingsley is likely to come back into the team for Sunday's game and Gary MacKay-Steven (11) may have to make way for a midfield 5 again.

They are likely to line up;

- 1 Gordon

- 4 Souttar, 19 Halkett and 3 Kingsley

- 2 Smith, 6 Baningime, 5 Haring, 16 Halliday and 17 Cochrane

- 30 Ginnelly and 10 Boyce

Against Celtic Cochrane was the most advanced player however 43% of Hearts attacks came down the right hand side (versus 27% from the left) which was probably down to the fact Ginnelly and Smith had 89 touches between them (versus 66 for Cochrane and MacKay-Steven). This was very similar to their game against St Mirren in which their attacks were 42% down the right versus 27% down the left.

Against St Mirren their xG was only 0.48 and the xGA was 0.85. They have a total xG over the both games of 1.68 and that total is 7th best in the Premiership.

It was interesting to note Starfelt's big hug to Hart after his first big save and then Hart did the same to Starfelt for his great tackle in the box. This shows great leadership from those players but also great teamwork and a team playing for each other.

Match probabilities are;

- Celtic winning in 90mins 66%

- Hearts winning in 90mins 12%

- A draw after 90mins 22%

- 8.4% probability of Celtic winning in extra time

- 5.2% probability of Celtic winning after penalties

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