Preview (Ross County v Celtic)
Ross County are 2nd bottom on 14pts and just ahead of St Johnstone by goal difference.
Their NP xG graph for last season and this season is below.
You can see the both trend lines are improving long term.
NP xGA (and NP xG to a lesser extent) suffered dramatically at the start of this season however level of opponent had an impact on that with a run of games against Hibs, Rangers, Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts and Motherwell.
With more favourable fixtures recently NP xG is making steady progress and NP xGA has reduced dramatically.
Resulting in rolling NP xGD figure being a positive number for the last 6 games.
Their NP xG average for this season is 1.01 and their NP xGA is 1.37.
Some stats from the first round of fixtures (first 11 games) for Ross County;
- Ross County were 4th bottom for NP xGD
- They actually outscored their NP xG by 0.47 so maybe a bit lucky on goals scored? (0.47 was the 2nd highest positive variance).
- NP xG from set plays was 0.14 per game which was the lowest.
- They conceded 2 goals per game on average which was 0.56 more than their NP xGD so maybe a bit unlucky on goals conceded.
- They were 3rd best for aerials won on 53%
- They had the most clearances at 23.6 per game
- They were 5th bottom for accurate passes at 222 per game and 68% accuracy
- 19% of their passes were long balls which was joint 6th.
So despite being bottom of the table their passing stats and long balls don't reflect that and despite their lowly position they do like to pass a bit. They had 55% possession in their last game against Dundee at home. They also had 51% possession in the reverse fixture at Dens Park earlier in the season where they won 5-0.
Best rated players for the season are right back Harry Clarke on 6.93/7.05 and Blair Spittal on 6.9/7.15
- Goalkeeper is 31 Maynard-Brewer
- Right back will be 20 Clarke or 2 Randall
- Left back will 2 Randall or Vokins
- Centre back pairing will be 15 Watson and 5 Baldwin as 16 Iacovitti is out injured.
- Defensive midfielders will be from 6 Harry Parton, 4 Cancola and 22 Tillson
- The attacking midfielders will be from 23 Hungbo, 8 Callachan, 17 Charles-Cook and 7 Spittal
- Up front will be either 10 Samuel or 26 White
Ross County have a positive variance of 3.13 goal difference per game when 26 Jordan White has been playing and a negative variance of 1.61 goal difference per game when 7 Blair Spittal has been playing.
Jordan White also had a positive variance last year of 1.29 goal difference per game.
Connor Randall has the most points per game at 1.3.
Celtic are likely to line up with the same team as Sunday (with Turnbull in the false 9 again) and Juranovic in for Forrest and Abada switching to the left wing. Unless Johnston is fit.
Match probabilities are;
- Ross County 10%
- Celtic 70%
- a draw 20%
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