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Match Stats (Celtic v Bayer Leverkusen)

Celtic 0 xG 1.93

Leverkusen 4 xG 3.69 (Hincapie 25, Wirtz 35, Alario 58 and Adli 90+3) Before kick off our probabilities of winning the game were 25%, a defeat 50% and draw 25%.

Our highest xGA conceded last year was 2.2 versus Sparta Prague away so as much as the narrative in this game was about Celtic's missed chances the xGA of 3.69 is massive. Even calculating it as NP xG it is still 2.9.

2.84 of the 2.9 NP xG was from Open Play. Post Shot xG for them was 3.73 showing the quality of finishing we were up against.

It was asked by some how many backward passes Starfelt did. For info the details are;

- Celtic backward passes 232 (37.2% of all passes were backwards)

- Bayer Leverkusen had 190 (37.0% of all passes)

- Carter-Vickers had 13 backward passes (17%)

- Tah had 13 (28.9%)

- Hincapie had 18 (29.0%)

- Starfelt had 36 (40.9%)

17% v 40.9% for Carter-Vickers versus Starfelt is a big variance.

Our team line up was; - 15 Hart - 56 Ralston, 20 Carter-Vickers, 4 Starfelt and 54 Montgomery - 18 Rogic, 42 McGregor and 14 Turnbull - 11 Abada, 8 Kyogo and 17 Jota

Montgomery, McGregor and Kyogo coming in for Juranovic, McCarthy and Ajeti.

Bitton, McCarthy, Ajeti and Giakoumakis came on as subs for Rogic, McGregor, Turnbull and Kyogo.

Bayer Leverkusen lined up with 2 changes to the predicted line up in the Preview with Paulinho getting a rare start in midfield left role with Bellarbi on the bench (and Diaby moved to the right) and Alario starting up front instead of Schick.

Starfelt had the most touches with 99 with Ralston next on 88. Starfelt also had the most accurate passes with 84 and Carter-Vickers was next on 63. For accuracy Starfelt had 95%, Furuhashi had 100% (from only 4 passes), Hart had 90% and Jota was next on 88%. Jota got the highest rating from FotMob and WhoScored with 7.28 and 6.9 ratings. Hart was next on 6.8 with WhoScored but 12th with Fotmob on 6.08. Next with WhoScored Abada and Ralston on 6.5 each and FotMob also had them next on 7.23 and 6.7.

Lowest rated with both FotMob and WhoScored were Turnbull on 5.46 and 5.3 and Carter-Vickers on 5.42 and 5.2.

For only the 3rd time this season (but also following on from Sunday) our right side had the most attacks with 36%. With 35% on the left hand side.

Leverkusen had 43% on the left and 28% on the right which was not expected given their last league game, the Ferencvaros game and what we know of Frimpong's attacking ability.

We started the game with 56% which can be viewed positively but the positive possession in the spells in the 2nd half were only down to the fact Bayer Leverkusen took their foot of the pedal.

Total possession was 54.5% for Celtic and we had 775 touches versus 662. Passing accuracy was 85% for Celtic and 83% for Bayer Leverkusen.

Kyogo had an xG of 1.06 and Turnbull had an xA of 0.55 (from 1 key pass) and Abada had an xA of 0.55 (from 4 key passes).

36% of the game was played in Bayer Leverkusen's defensive third with 25% in Celtic's defensive third.

Tackle success was 67% v 56% for Celtic and aerial success was 52% v 48% for Celtic.

Both teams had 18 shots at goal with Celtic having 6 on target and Bayer Leverkusen having 11 on target. 10 of Celtic's were in the box and 16 of Bayer Leverkusen's were in the box.

Ignoring the penalty Bayer Leverkusen had a very impressive 0.17 xG per shot while Celtic's was 0.09.

For a year and a half now our midfield's inability to support our defence (in particular during transition) has been our biggest weakness.

My personal view is that Bitton should be the No.6 role until January with McGregor further forward in the No.8 role and the remaining No.8 role can go to anyone else in my opinion. Bitton can progress the ball as Ange's system requires from that position and he definitely adds a bit of defensive support playing in there. Playing in midfield he also increases the average height of the team which is badly needed.

For the 3rd midfield role it could be either Soro or McCarthy to be more defensive (which I would take) or Turnbull or Rogic for that bit of creativity. Or even a more mobile player like Mikey Johnston. If pushed I'd go for Turnbull for that 3rd midfield role but let him know there is competition for that position.

Here's hoping that Forrest is back soon.

My main positives from tonight is that Joe Hart makes a positive difference to the team and there is definitely a player there in Jota.

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