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Celtic v St Mirren (Match Stats)

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

Celtic 4

xG 2.14

(Abada 15, Kyogo 35 & 53 and Turnbull 86)

Kilmarnock 0

xG 0.47

I've been looking more closely at pass maps in the last few games and in particular to passes received and trying to see what the differences are and more importantly why.

The 3 players receiving the most passes in this game against St Mirren were Kobayashi, Jonhston and McGregor with 81, 79 and 78 each.

I then look at who they received the most passes from and who they made the most passes to.

Kobayashi making his debut received the most passes at 81 and he received 35 of them from Starfelt. Kobayashi made 96 passes and 92 of them were successful. 96% passing accuracy was the highest of any starting Celtic player. (Turnbull had 100%).

23 of Kobayashi's 96 passes were to Juranovic and that was the player he passed most to.

Johnston had the second most passes received at 79 (16 from Starfelt) and he made 17 passes to Abada.

Passes received map below for both Kilmarnock league game (left) and cup game (right).

So in the 3 games we had a left back (Bernabei with 133) and central midfielder (Mooy with 69) and a left centre back (Kobayashi with 81) receiving the most passes so why is it different from game to game? Granted there isn't much between 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the last 2 games.

But what does this tell us, if anything? I don't know but it is something I'm quite enjoying looking into.

In the first two games Bernabei and Mooy pass mostly to Starfelt and Bernabei and are therefore mostly backward passes. Kobayashi's passes are mostly to Juranovic and therefore mostly forward ones.

Why did Kobayashi receive the most passes v St Mirren at home but Starfelt didn't against Kilmarnock at home?

Even though Starfelt received more passes in that game (98) versus Kobayshi's 81?

Or does that just tell us more about Bernabei v Juranovic as a left back at showing for the ball?

Kobayashi's touch map opposite.

Celtic's most xG came in the final 1/4 of the match as per the last 2 games although this time it was a steady increase unlike the previous games having some non chance creating quarters of the match. The below graph is not game cumulative and is for each quarter individually.

42% of Celtic's attacks came down the right and that's the most for any game this season but despite that the right hand side was still outdone by the left which had 44%

This meant that only 16% of the attacks came through the middle which is the lowest of the season. Celtic using the width better or St Mirren forcing Celtic wide?

Reo Hatate's touch map opposite showing he was giving the team plenty of width.

The main contributors for Celtic's xG were Kyogo (0.67), Jota (0.41), Starfelt (0.27) and Kobayashi (0.27) with only Kyogo and Starfelt having any Post Shot xG (1.12 and 0.06). Abada had the 2nd highest Post Shot xG with 0.73 (from 0.21 xG).

The best chance creation came from Jota 0.79 xA, O'Riley 0.24 and Hatate 0.22. Again the stats not really rewarding Hatate for his excellent assist.

Ange is predictable in that most fans know his favourites and his starting 11 but yet every week no-one can predict the starting line up.

Celtic lined up with;

  • Hart

  • Johnston, Starfelt, Kobayashi and Juranovic

  • O'Riley, McGregor and Hatate

  • Abada, Kyogo and Jota

4 changes from the Kilmarnock cup game with Johnston, Kobayashi, O'Riley and Abada coming in for Bernabei, Carter-Vickers, Mooy and Maeda with Juranovic switching full back positions. Iwata, Ralston, Haksabanovic and Welsh also joined the squad on the bench replacing the above mentioned Bernabei and Carter-Vickers and also Gaikouamakis and Jenz who all dropped out the squad.

Forrest, Mooy, Turnbull, Maeda and Haksabanovic came on as subs for Abada, Hatate, O'Riley, Kyogo and Jota.

McGregor was more involved in this game after being man marked the last few games and his passes went from an average of 65 in his last 6 games to 94 in this one.

Overall a good night with some players contributing well and it was nice to see the debut of Kobayashi.

Kobayashi had the most passes (96), most passes received (81), best accuracy (96%) and he had an xG of 0.27 but he did only win 3 of 13 aerial duels.

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