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Celtic v Rangers (Preview)

Probabilities for the match are Celtic 43%, Rangers 29% and 28% for the draw.

Possession isn’t everything in these games and you can see from the chart below how the teams with the most possession in the game have faired in terms of the overall result.

Out of the last 7 games against Rangers Celtic have had the most possession in 3 of the games and they haven’t won in those 3 games.

However Celtic have had the better xG in 5 of those games and they didn’t win on the 2 games where Rangers had a better xG.

The last 2 games and Celtic possession by 5 minute spell are below.

While possession isn’t therefore a key indicator of performance xG is. Another stat that is interesting to me is PPDA (Passes Per Defensive Action).

It is an interesting stat but I still don’t really get that it tells you something specifically but maybe through time of measuring it I will make some conclusion about the game trends.

In the last game at Ibrox Celtic’s PPDA was 9.52 which means Rangers made 9.52 passes for every Celtic defensive action. Ranger’s PPDA was 10.02.

Looking a bit more into it I looked at the first 15 minutes and Celtic’s PPDA for the first 15 minutes was 6.4. Showing Celtic started the game with high intensity pressing.

The average positions of the players over the last 2 games is below;

Both Rangers away in September and Celtic away in January having a more compact centre of midfield and along the half way line.

Below is the xG per 90 and xA per 90 for each player for the season to date (league games only). Based on the expected starting line ups.

Kyogo with the most xG per 90 at 0.71 however Rangers have Morelos, Sakala and Tillman all above Celtic’s next best (Maeda). Tavernier’s 0.31 heavily affected by his penalties. Without penalties Tavernier’s xG is 0.1 which is less than Starfelt’s.

For xA Jota is standout at 0.39 with Rangers best xA coming from their full backs with Barisic on 0.25 and Tavernier joint 2nd (with Tillman) on 0.2.

Ange seems to have Celtic in control of these games however he only has won once against Rangers away from Celtic Park (1 out of 4 played) so this game could go a long way to prove Ange’s Celtic have the measure of Rangers irrespective of whether it’s a home game.

I’m looking forward to the game as it’s my daughter’s first cup final and it is also the first time she’ll be at a game that has more than 800 Rangers supporters at it.

Speaking of which Rangers have only won once in their history beaten Celtic (in 90 minutes) when Celtic have had more than 800 supporters at the match. That was on December 2019.

I think Ange will go for O’Riley and for me it has to be O’Riley that gets the nod ahead of Mooy.

My predictions are Kyogo will score the first goal (4/1) and Celtic to be winning 2-0 at half time (10/1). O’Riley getting Celtic’s 2nd goal.

The bet builder bet for the above is 100/1.

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Celtic Trends 🍀📈⚽️

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