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Match Stats (Hearts v Celtic)

Hearts 1 xG 1.35 (Boyce 62) Celtic 2 xG 1.22

(Hatate 27 and Giakoumakis 35)

This was the first time in the league this season that our opponents had a higher xG than us.

54% of Celtic's xG comes in the first half and only 37% of Heart's xG comes in the first half and the game panned out that way with Celtic having 160 touches and 137 touches in the first two fifteen minute spells.

Overall possession was 59% v 41% in Celtic's favour.

Our team line up was; - 15 Hart - 88 Juranovic, 20 Carter-Vickers, 4 Starfelt and 3 Taylor

- 33 O'Riley, 6 Bitton and 41 Hatate

- 49 Forrest, 7 Giakoumakis and 17 Jota

There were 8 changes from the game against Alloa at the weekend with Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Taylor, Bitton, O'Riley, Hatate, Forrest and Maeda coming in for Ralston, Welsh, Scales, Rogic, Ideguchi, McGregor, Abada and Jota.

There were also 4 changes from the Hibs game.

Abada, McCarthy and Soro came on as subs for Jota, O'Riley and Hatate.

Hearts surprisingly went with a 3-4-3 and although they have used this formation for the majority of their games I assumed they would have went to a 3-5-2 for this game.

Interestingly it was Greg Taylor who had the most touches at 89. For NP xG it was;

- Giakoumakis 0.31

- Forrest 0.30

- Jota 0.29

- O'Riley 0.11

- Juranovic 0.10

- Hatate 0.10

- Bitton 0.02

For xA it was;

- O'Riley 0.71 from an incredible 8 key passes.

O'Riley had a great debut and was FotMob's highly rated player at 8.42 with Hatate next on 8.20.

O'Riley's heat map opposite.

I mentioned in the Hibs game review that Starfelt had bounced back a bit with 100% aerial win duel rate but versus Hearts it was not a good night for him as he only won 3 out of 10 aerial duels. NP xG split by half was; - 1st half 0.03 v 0.84 - 2nd half 1.32 v 0.40 0.07 (5.6%) of Celtic's NP xG was from set plays and 0.11 (8%) of Heart's xG was from set plays. It was also mentioned in my preview that Hearts were the lowest in the SPFL for creating xG from set plays so that should have kept everyone calm for those last 15 minutes when we were conceding corner after corner. It was back to the norm with Celtic's attacks coming predominately down the left (48%) and not surprisingly (given our weaknesses at left centre back and left back) our opponents continue to attack us down that side with Hearts having 40% of their attacks down their right. Only 1 game in our 22 league games has the opponents not attack mostly down the right and that was Livingston away which was 38% left, 32% centre and 30% right.

In my preview I did predict a first goal of the match going to Celtic around 20 mins (I was 7 minutes out) and that Giakoumakis would score. I did predict McKay would get an open play assist and I did predict a penalty would be awarded. However unfortunately I trusted Beaton and predicted it would be a Celtic penalty.

However my main prediction was a 2-1 win for Celtic so I'm happy that came in.

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