Celtic v Kilmarnock (Match Preview)
Probabilities for the match are Celtic 87%, Kilmarnock 3% and 10% for the draw and that is the highest probabilities Celtic have been for a game this season.
In my preview for the game in August I predicted the Kilmarnock line up and was wrong with one player. With Rangers on loan defender Lewis Mayo playing instead of Joe Wright whom I had predicted would play.
Their xPts per game shows an upward trajectory and they are 7th in the xPts table and 9th in the actual league table. Their goals scored is 1.26 more than expected but their main problem is that their goals conceded is a massive 10.18 more than expected.
Although their Post Shot xG is 32% less than their goals scored indicating that is a problem also.
Kilmarnock’s average player positions for their last two games is below;
versus St Mirren in January
versus Aberdeen in December
They lined up with a 3-5-2 in both games.
20 Sam Walker
19 Joe Wright, 5 Ash Taylor and 2 Lewis Mayo
11 Danny Armstrong, 31 Liam Polworth, 7 Rory McKenzie, 8 Blair Alston and 33 Benjamin Chrisene
26 Christian Doidge and 16 Scott Robinson
The above was their line up in the St Mirren game and they had only one change from the Aberdeen game where 8 Alston replaced 22 Liam Donnelly.
Other players used in both games as subs were defender Chris Stoke, midfielders Jordan Jones and Fraser Murray and forward Oli Shaw. Unused subs were keeper Zachary Hemming, defender Calum Waters, midfielders Brad Lyons and ex-Celt Kerr McInroy and forward Bobby Wales.
The only other player in their most played 11 players not mentioned above is wing back Ryan Alebiousu. They also have Kyle Lafferty out suspended.
Kilmarnock average 30.7 long balls per game which is the 3rd most in the league. They have the second most interceptions per match at 11.1 and they have 3rd most possession won (behind Rangers and Celtic) in the final third at 4.6 per match.
Midfielder Liam Polworth has the 6th most accurate long balls per 90 at 5.1 and he’s also their player with the most accurate passes per match at 38.5 which is 29th in the SPFL.
Oli Shaw has their most xG per 90 at 0.24 and Danny Armstrong has their most xA per 90 at 0.2. Armstrong also has the 11th most successful dribbles in the SPFL at 1.6 per 90.
Kyle Lafferty has the most fouls committed in the league at 3.8 per 90. Ash Taylor has the 2nd most interceptions in the league at 2.4 per 90 and Liam Donnelly has the 4th most successful tackles at 1.8 per 90.
My prediction in August was that Celtic would score 5 goals away from home for the first time since 31st October 2018 and that they would also keep a clean sheet. I was correct with both and I also predicted 3 bets that day 5-0, 6-0 and 7-0.
My prediction for this game is for a similar story and for Celtic to win 7-0 at 33/1.
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