Probabilities for the match are Celtic 72%, Hearts 10% and 18% for the draw. It was 78% for Wednesday night’s game and 70% for the corresponding fixture at Tynecastle in October for comparison.
Celtic v Hearts (8th March)
For the game on Wednesday Hearts lined up in a 3-5-2 with the following;
28 Zander Clark
72 James Hill, 21 Toby Sibbick and 15 Kye Rowles
12 Nathaniel Atkinson, 14 Cammy Devlin, 8 Orestis Kiomourtzoglou, 7 Jorge Grant and 16 Andy Halliday
30 Josh Ginnelly and 17 Alan Forrest
There were 6 changes to the Hearts line up from their game against St Johnstone at the weekend. Sibbick coming in for Kingsley in defence and Atkinson and Halliday coming in as wing backs for Smith and Cochrane. Devlin and Kiomourtzoglou came into midfield and Forrest came into attack with Snodgrass, Shankland and McKay dropping out.
Oda, Kuol, McKay, Smith and Kingsley came on as subs for Ginnelly, Oda, Forrest, Devlin and Halliday.
Hearts v Celtic (22nd October 2022)
In the corresponding fixture in October Celtic won 4-3 with only 1.24 xPts and 2.81 xG v 2.9 xG for Hearts. This has been the only game this season that Celtic’s opponents have had more xG than Celtic.
Forrest, Giakoumakis, Maeda and Taylor getting the goals for Celtic and like the home game in August Celtic lead from the 14th minute.
However unlike the home game in August Celtic didn’t lead the game for 76 minutes with Hearts leading for 8 minutes during the game and Celtic only leading for 51 minutes in total this time. Taylor got the winner with 14 minutes to go.
There seems to be something in there in regards to 14 minutes.
Sibbick played the most passes for Hearts during the game with 38 and Jenz played the most passes for Celtic with 87.
Top players in the game for xG were Shankland 1.99, James Forrest 0.78 and Abada 0.50 and top for xA were Haksabanovic 0.6, Mooy 0.51 and Ginnelly 0.36.
Given that Hearts again scored against Celtic on Wednesday and pose a threat going forward I can see them scoring on Saturday. However Celtic will have enough to see themselves through this tie but I imagine it will only be by the odd goal. 2-1 or 3-2 to Celtic would be my prediction.
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