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Celtic v Kilmarnock (Match Preview)

Probabilities for the match are Celtic 81%, Kilmarnock 6% and 13% for the draw and that is down from 87% for Celtic on Saturday due to the fact it is being played at a neutral venue.

Against Celtic at the weekend Kilmarnock made some changes to their usual line ups with Chris Stokes coming in and centre half and on loan Rangers player Lewis Mayo moving to the right wing back position with Danny Armstrong dropping out.

Polworth and McKenzie kept their places in midfield but instead of either Alston or Donnelly in midfield Alan Power came back in. Kyle Vassell replaced Christian Doidge up front.

Kilmarnock lined up;

  • 20 Sam Walker

  • 19 Joe Wright, 5 Ash Taylor and 6 Chris Stokes

  • 2 Lewis Mayo, 31 Liam Polworth, 4 Alan Power, 7 Rory McKenzie and 33 Benjamin Chrisene

  • 23 Kyle Vassell and 16 Scott Robinson

With Polworth and McKenzie dropping back between the centre backs to be almost like a back 7 with Power in front and the two forwards as out balls.

Right back Mayo had their most passes at 28 although only 10 were accurate passes. Mayo also received the second most passes for Kilmarnock with 12 received. Vassell received the most at 15.

53% of Celtic's attacks came down the left and 20% came down the right and the left hand side being more dominant is no surprise but those numbers are. Those were the highest for the left and lowest for the right this season with the average being 39% left and 35% right.

It was maybe something to do with the fact Bernabei does like to stay left like a conventional full back whereas Johnston seemed very comfortable coming inside the pitch and even going over to the left hand side.

Bernabei’s touch map below.

Johnston’s touch map below

Starfelt had the most passes in the match at 148 with 60% of them coming in the first half and 53 of his 135 accurate passes were to Bernabei. Bernabei received the most passes in the game receiving 133.

The back 5 (back 4 plus Hart) had 62% of the team's passes in the first half and that dropped to 58% in the second half and that seemed to make the difference. Mooy only had 6.7% of the team's passes in the first half and that position usually has about 10.7%. McGregor only had 7% of the team's passes in the game and that position has 12% for the season.

Hatate was positioned in the more further forward No.8 role which he's not done too many times this season. He had 11% of the team's passes in the first half and that position usually has 9%.

In the game at the weekend 64% of Celtic’s xG came in the final quarter of the match and the overall xG was 3.25 to 0.08 in Celtic’s favour. The second biggest xGD Celtic have had this season (after the game at Tannadice).

Normally if going for predictions you would say that a Hampden semi final one week after a league game would be a closer match.

However I think given the fact that Celtic may be disappointed with the first half and can use the league game as a practice game then this cup game could be even more convincing.

I’m predicting a 4-0 win for Celtic with goals from Kyogo, Jota, Abada and the first of the season for Matt O’Riley.

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