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Celtic v Hibernian (Match Preview)

Probabilities for the match are Celtic 80%, Hibernian 6% and 14% for the draw. Celtic were 76% for the corresponding fixture in October

Hibernian v Rangers

In their last league game against Rangers Hibernian lost 4-1 and the xG was 3.56 to 0.40 in Rangers favour.

Hibernian lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation;

  • 1 David Marshall

  • 12 Chris Cadden, 25 William Fish, 4 Paul Hanlon and 16 Lewis Stevenson

  • 26 Conrad Egan-Riley and 14 James Jeggo

  • 18 Ewan Henderson, 32 Josh Campbell and 23 Thody Elie Youan

  • 13 Matthew Hoppe

6 of that team lined up against Celtic in the game at Easter Road in December. Egan-Riley, Jeggo and Hoppe all signing in January, Henderson was only a sub in that December game and Fish was an unused sub.

Only 4 of them started in the game at Celtic Park back in October and they were Marshall, Cadden, Hanlon and Stevenson while Youan came on as a sub.

Nisbet, Kukharevych, Cabraja and McKirdy all came on as subs against Rangers and Johnson, Miller, Devlin, MacIntyre were unused subs.

Celtic v Hibernian

In the corresponding fixture in October Celtic won 6-1 with 2.71 xPts and 2.74 xG v 0.17 xG for Hibernian. Celtic leading from the 9th minute.

Forrest grabbed a hat-trick that day (from an xG of 0.92), Giakoumakis got a double (from an xG of 0.67) and Maeda scored one (from an xG of 0.22). Youan scored Hibernian’s goal from an xG of 0.18.

Hibernian v Celtic

In the reverse fixture in December Celtic won 4-0 with 2.64 xPts and 2.47 xG v 0.55 xG for Hibernian. Celtic leading from 28 minutes.

Maeda scored one (from an xG of 0.63), Kyogo scored one (from an xG of 0.22) and Mooy scored two (from an xG of 1.02) but one was a penalty.

Hibernian 2022/2023

Hibernian are the 3rd most direct team in the league at 1.75 metres per second and they are 4th in the league for the amount of passes per sequence at 2.87. If you look at the top 7 teams for passes per sequence Hibernian are a big outlier.

They are 4th in the league for passes per match at 367 (behind Hearts in 3rd) and they are 3rd for possession on 56%. They are 3rd for corners and 3rd for crosses. Being 3rd for possession given they are very direct is intriguing.

Looking at pressing and they are 6th for possession won in the final 3rd, 4th for possession won in midfield, 3rd for fouls per match and 3rd for PPDA.

Hibernian are 4th in the league but 3rd in the xPts league table. For actual goals scored and goals conceded they are 4th and for expected goals scored and conceded they are 5th and 3rd.

They are 3rd for quite a lot of metrics and that is impressive even though they look liked they have imploded at times.

However they have had a bit of luck this season in regards to sending offs. They have had an opponent sent off in 9 of their games this season and that is even more than Rangers who have had 6.

On average teams have had 119 minutes of players sent off against them and Hibernian are at 369 minutes which is the most (with St Mirren on 285). Also Hibernian have only lost a player for a total of 20 minutes which is the 2nd lowest (after Celtic on 2 minutes – sshhh!).

Below is the xPts for Hibernian by game this season and you can see a 7 game unbeaten run in there before they played in their last game against Rangers.

Hibernian Players

Youan is their best player for xG per 90 on 0.25 which is 25th in the SPFL and he has 0.28 actual goals per 90. Next is Ewan Henderson on 0.21 xG per 90. Youan is also their best player for xA per 90 on 0.18 which is 24th in the SPFL and he has 0.3 assists per 90. Next is Joe Newell on 0.17 xA per 90. Youan is also 11th in the SPFL for successful dribbles per 90 at 1.7.

Hanlon in 23rd is their best for accurate passes per 90 on 42.7 and Harry McKirdy has the most fouls committed per 90 in the SPFL at 3.3

David Marshall has conceded 6.1 goals more than expected which is 9th of the keepers in the league and his save percentage is 56.1% which is the lowest of all the keepers. It doesn’t look like Hibernian’s 4th lowest goals conceded in the league is down to him.

Expected line up;

- Ex-Celt keeper David Marshall joined them in the summer from QPR

- Right back Chris Cadden signed in Jan 2021 and has 78 appearances

- Right centre back William Fish is on loan from Manchester United

- Left centre back Paul Hanlon has 512 appearances

- Left back Lewis Stevenson has 516 appearances

- Defensive midfielder Conrad Egain-Riley is on loan from Burnley

- Australian defensive midfielder James Jeggo signed in January

- Ex-Celt Ewan Henderson plays wide right in the 4-2-3-1 formation

- Josh Campbell plays in the hole behind the striker

- French winder Youan is on loan from Swiss team St Gallen

- American striker Matthew Hoppe is on loan from Middlesbrough


Hibernian could be a useful test for Celtic defending transitions but in the end their openness will allow Celtic to win 5-1 with a hat-trick from Kyogo.

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