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Celtic v Inverness CT (Match Preview)

Updated: Jun 1


Match Preview produced for 20MinuteTims https://www.patreon.com/20MinuteTims/posts


Probabilities for the match are Celtic 84%, Inverness 5% and 11% for the draw.


Inverness finished 6th in the Championship this season with 55 points but were 8th (3rd bottom) for expected points (xPts) on 38.3.


They scored 52 goals and conceded 47. Expected goals were 44.35 (7th) and expected goals against was 55.99 (7th) so they seemed to have had a bit of good fortune this season to end up 6th in the league.


Many of their fans are asking for Billy Dodds to be replaced as manager however it is a rather settled squad with the majority of the team having gained a lot of appearances for Inverness. The average age of their team is 26.6 and that’s the 4th oldest in the league.


Dundee were the top of the Championship and Inverness played them 4 times, drawing 2, winning 1 and losing 1. In those 4 games it was 3.33 for Dundee for xG and 8.2 for xGA.


Against Ayr Utd and Falkirk in their last games Inverness lined up with the following;


Inverness first 11;

  • Goalkeeper (1) Mark Ridgers has conceded 1.05 goals per 90 in the Championship this season versus expected goals conceded of 1.3 which is 2nd best in the league. He has the 3rd most long passes average in the league as 12.14 and he’s rated the best keeper in the league.

  • Right back (2) Wallace Duffy has won 72% of his defensive duels this season and is averaging 1.2 crosses per 90 at 28.1% accuracy.

  • 6’1” right centre back (5) Robbie Deas has won 71% of his defensive duels this season and 64% of his aerial duels. He is a former Celtic youth player and he has the most points per match played at an average of 1.91.

  • 6’0” feft centre back (6) Daniel Devine has won 66% of his defensive duels and 52% of his aerial duels and he has the most yellow cards at 8.

  • 21 year old left back (3) Cameron Harper has 2.1 crosses per 90 at 31% accuracy. He can play further forward in left midfield and he is their 3rd top goalscorer on 5 goals. He’s rated the 4th best full back in the league.

  • 21 year old wide right midfielder (20) Jay Henderson is on loan from St Mirren and he is averaging 0.28 xA this season and 0.14 assists. He is averaging 5.9 crosses per 90 (which is 2nd in the league) at 28.7% accuracy.

  • Midfielder (18) Scott Allardice played 19 games for Dundee Utd. He has the best passing accuracy at 81% and he is also averaging 0.11 xG per 90.

  • Midfielder (4) Sean Welsh was on the books of Hibernian. He is averaging 54 passes per 90 (which is the highest in the league) and he is also averaging 0.11 xG per 90. He is averaging 0.1 xA and 0.27 assists per 90 and he’s joint top (with Billy McKay) for assists with 6. He’s rated the 4th best central midfielder in the league. He receives 31 passes per 90.

  • Ex Blackpool wide left midfielder (22) Nathan Shaw has 0.17 xA per 90 this season and 0.23 xG per 90. He is their 2nd top scorer on 9 goals.

  • Attacking midfielder (17) Daniel MacKay is on loan from Hibernian and he is averaging 0.14 xA, 0.11 assists, 0.19 xG and 0.05 goals per 90. He plays in just behind striker Billy McKay and is winning 27% of his aerial duels.

  • Ex Dundee Utd and Ross County striker (9) Billy McKay has 0.47 xG, 0.42 goals, 0.15 xA and 0.17 assists per 90. McKay is their top scorer with 13 goals and he is also joint top for assists with 6. At 17.59 xA that was the 3rd best in the league and he’s rated the 2nd best striker in the league. He scores a lot of goals with his left foot but he takes penalties with his right. He is winning only 26% of his aerial duels.


Inverness five subs;

  • Right back (8) David Carson was with Blackburn U21’s. He is 6th best in the league for crossing accuracy on 42% and he is 3rd in the league for dribbling success at 72% He’s also 2nd in the league for progressive passes per 90 at 12.5.

  • Striker (24) Austin Samuels played 7 games for Aberdeen and he has the 5th most offsides per 90 at 0.85

  • 21 year old left back (23) Zak Delaney is 5th most used player this season.

  • 20 year old midfielder (16) Lewis Hyde is averaging 35 passes at 80.3%.

  • 20 year old (28) Ben Woods is a midfielder signed from Burnley youths and he has only a 70% passing accuracy. But he has 0.17 assists and 0.08 xA per 90.

Inverness unused subs;

  • Keeper (21) Cameron MacKay is conceding 0.12 goals more than expected per 90. He has the 2nd best long pass accuracy in the league at 70%.

  • Ex Blackburn attacking midfielder (10) Aaron Doran has Republic of Ireland U21 caps. Per 90 average has 0.13 goals, 0.23 xG, 0.1 xA and 0.13 assists.

  • 21 year old (12) Roddy MacGregor averages 40 passes at 84.1%

  • Ex Livingston right sided midfielder (30) Steven Boyd also played for Celtic youths. He has the most sub appearances this season with 19. Per 90 average he has 0.07 goas, 0.19 xG, 0.14 xA and 0.28 assists.


Other Inverness squad players;

  • Centre back (15) Max Ram has the 2nd best defensive duels at 79%

  • Ex Rangers left midfielder (14) Tom Walsh hasn’t played since 27th August.

  • 19 year old left back (33) Lewis Nicolson is averaging 6 crosses and 0.21 xG per 90

  • 18 year old striker (32) Ethan Cairns scored 1 goal in the 29 minutes he has played

  • 18 year old (37) Aaron Nicolson has played 10 minutes as an attacking midfielder

  • 19 year old (29) Robbie Thompson has played 13 minutes as a midfielder

  • 17 year old midfielder Keith Bray has been an unused sub 10 times

  • 18 year old midfielder Calum MacKay has been an unused sub 4 times


Inverness were 8th for xG per shot at 0.119 and 19 of their goals have been left footed and at 37% of their total that’s the 2nd highest in the league. Only 3 of their goals were from corners (lowest in the league) and they had no goals direct from free kicks. Only 6 of their goals were from headers which is the 2nd lowest in the league therefore they do not pose that threat in the air that many thought they would.


Playing with a traditional 4 man midfield that means they do have a lot of crosses at 14.87 per game which was 4th most in the league. Their 34% accuracy from crosses was the 3rd best in the league. They were 4th for crosses from the right flank and 2nd bottom for crosses from the left flank.


Inverness were 5th for possession at 50.3% and 6th for substitutions at 3.47 per game. They were 6th for PPDA at 9.25 and for fouls per 90 they were 10.44 which was 6th.


Inverness do not pose any set piece threat and neither do they have any individual players that could cause Celtic problems either through physique or pace.


It was 1972 the last time a team scored 6 in a Scottish Cup Final (Celtic) and no team has ever scored 7 in a Scottish Cup Final. I predict that Celtic will make a bit of history by scoring 7 goals on Saturday.


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