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Celtic v St Johnstone (Match Preview)

Probabilities for the match are the same as they were for the Livingston game with Celtic at 84%, St Johnstone 4% and 12% for the draw.

St Johnstone play with 3 at the back in a 3-5-2 formation and they lined up in their last game against Ross County on Saturday with the following;

  • 12 Elliott Parish

  • 2 James Brown, 6 Liam Gordon and 4 Andrew Considine

  • 14 Drey Wright, 23 Graham Carey, 34 Daniel Phillips,10 David Wotherspoon and 19 Adam Montgomery

  • 7 Stevie May and 37 Nicky Clark

Against Celtic in October St Johnstone the played with 5 at the back Alexander Mitchell playing at centre back and Brown playing at left wing back as Montgomery was ineligible due to being on loan from Celtic.

The midfield 3 that day were 13 Ryan McGowan, 22 Melker Hallberg and 27 Maksym Kucheriavyi and 29 Jamie Murphy was up front with Clark.

St Johnstone are 5th in the league and are 6th in the xPts league table. They have 9th most xG and have conceded the 9th most xG.

St Johnstone are unbeaten in their last 6 matches winning 4 of them and this included a win against Rangers.

Below is their xPts trend for the season so far with the chart coloured coded to reflect the result of the game. IE Red was a defeat, amber a draw and green a win.

You can see their form has dramatically improved recently with 4 wins out of 6 and for the two draws they had 2.12 and 1.74 xPts.

Nicky Clark has the most xG for St Johnstone this season at 3.3 for the season (17th in the Premiership) and he has 0.3 per 90 (19th). He has 2.6 Post Shot xG.

Ally Crawford has 0.22 xA per 90 so far for the season and that is the best of any St Johnstone player and is 14th in the Premiership.

Alex Mitchell is 4th in the Premiership for blocks per 90 at 1.2 and 4th for clearances per 90 at 6 per 90.

Andy Considine is 5th for interceptions per 90 at 2.1

Ryan McGowan is 5th for successful tackles with 1.9 per 90.

Hallberg and McGowan are joint top for yellow cards on 6 each.

Remi Matthews is bottom of the Premiership goalkeepers for goals prevented as he has conceded 7.1 more goals than expected from chances faced and he is 7th for save percentage at 63.6%.

Their top rated player this year is ex-Celt Graham Carey but you can see by his radar below he is a bit of a luxury player with below average successful defensive actions, defensive duels and interceptions.

Their PPDA for the season is 11.57 which is the 3rd highest just below St Mirren (11.8) and Dundee Utd (11.91).

I anticipate some changes from Ange for this game and we might see Turnbull, Forrest and Haksabanovic getting a start. My instinct tells me Giakoumakis won’t start but Celtic could benefit from his presence in this game.

My prediction is 2-0 to Celtic as it is worth noting historically Celtic don’t have many big wins in December.

Celtic Trends 🍀📈⚽️

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