Motherwell v Celtic (Match Preview)


Probabilities for the match are Celtic 70%, Motherwell 10% and 20% for the draw. This is down 14% for Celtic and up 6% for Motherwell from the previous game earlier in the month indicating how home advantage came make a difference.


Motherwell have played 4 at the back in every game this season and they have flirted between 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1 and 4-3-3.


In their last game (at home to Rangers) they played a 4-2-3-1 and lined up with the following;

  • 1 Liam Kelly

  • 16 Paul McGinn, 15 Sondre Johansen, 4 Ricki Lamie and 24 Matthew Penney

  • 8 Callum Slattery and 27 Sean Goss

  • 23 Josh Morris, 26 Ross Tierney and 17 Stuart McKinstry

  • 9 Kevin van Veen


That was 4 changes to the team that played at Celtic Park with Maguire, Shields, Cornelius and Spittal all making way for Slattery, Morris, Tierney and McKinstry.


Against Celtic earlier in the month Motherwell only had 0.28 xG and against Rangers on Sunday they only had 0.15.


Their worst spell for conceding goals is between 60 and 75 minutes so if it is still 0-0 after half time there is no need to panic.


Motherwell are 2nd in the league for high turnovers at 78 for the season so far and they are 4th (behind Rangers, Hibernian and Celtic) for PPDA (Passes Per Defensive Action) which is an indicator for pressing. Their PPDA is 10.7.


For possession won in the final third Morris is 2nd, McKinstry is 3rd, and van Veen is 6th with 1.5, 1.4 and 1.2 possessions won per 90. 20 year old McKinstry is 2nd in the league for fouls committed per 90 at 3.2. McKinstry is also 3rd in the league for successful tackles per 90 at 2.3. McKinstry was a Motherwell youth academy player who signed for Leeds last summer and he is back to Motherwell on a year long loan.


Sean Goss has 12.47 passes per 90 minutes into the final 3rd and that is the second most of any player in the league showing that they are very direct from their midfield.


Left back Penney is the top of the league for average carry progress at 11.2 metres.


In goals Kelly is 3rd best in the league for goals prevented (versus Post Shot xG) at 0.2 more than he should have.


In the league table they are 8th in the league but they are 4th in the xPts table.


After their defeat at Celtic Park they won 5-0 away to Ross County but then lost to Hibernian and Rangers.


They gave Rangers a very good challenge at the weekend although they never did look like scoring.


Earlier in the season I predicted Celtic to eclipse The Invincible’s four away games scoring five goals this season and I’m predicting Celtic’s third 5 goal scoring away performance of the season to come in this game with Celtic winning 5-0.



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Tony@CelticTrends.com

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