Ross County v Celtic (Preview)


Probabilities for are Celtic 73%, Ross County 9% and 18% for the draw.


Ross County started last season with 3 points from their first 10 games despite performances being better and their expected points being 12.1 from these games. Then on gave 11 they beat Dundee 5-0 and start to reduce the gap between expected points and actual points. They eventually caught up on the last day before the split (game 33) where they now had 39.5 expected points and 40 actual points.


The ended the season on 41.5 expected points and 41 actual points.


Although they ended up in the top six and most viewed them as having a relatively good season they were 3rd bottom for xG, xGA and xGD and joint 8th for expected points.


Below is a 6 game rolling average graph for Ross County’s xG and xGA for the 33 pre split games last season.



Ross County’s most played 11 players last season, for minutes played, were;

· Ross Laidlaw

· Connor Randall, Alex Iacovitti, Jack Baldwin and Jake Vokins

· Blair Spittal and Jordan Tillson

· Joseph Hungbo, Harry Paton, Ross Callachan and Regan Charles-Cook


Vokins, Spittal, Hungbo and Charles-Cook are no longer at Ross County.


Against Hearts on day one of the 2022/2023 Ross County played with their usual 4-2-3-1 formation with new signings Ben Purrington, Owura Edwards and Jordy Hiwula-Mayifuila coming in from Charlton, Bristol City (on loan) and Doncaster.


Against Hearts they lined up with the same keeper and defence as their most played 11 from last year with the exception of Purrington coming in for Vokins at left back. Callachan played in one of the double pivot roles as he did many times last year alongside Tillson. Right midfield was Josh Sims (who signed in February from Doncaster), centre attacking midfield was Dominic Samuel and left midfield was new signing Owura Edwards. Up front was new signing Hiwula-Mayifuila.


Subs used against Hearts were striker Jordan White, Callum Johnson (a right midfielder on loan from Fleetwood Town), Yan Dhanda (an attacking midfielder signed from Swansea) and Belgian left winger Kazeem OIaigbe who is on loan from Southampton.


Stats from the four Celtic v Ross County encounters from last season below;

· Home (Sep) – Celtic won 3-0 (NPxG 2.71/0.50). Possession 77% Celtic

· Away (Dec) – Celtic won 2-1 (NPxG 2.56/0.99). Possession 75% Celtic

· Home (Mar) – Celtic won 4-0 (NPxG 3.13/0.23). Possession 81% Celtic

· Away (Apr) – Celtic won 2-0 (NPxG 2.63/0.38). Possession 74% Celtic


Celtic having xPts of 2.6, 2.3, 3 and 2.9 for the four games and for all three games Celtic’s attacks were down the left on two occasions (40% and 46% in the first and fourth games) and unusually (for Celtic) down the right on two occasions (39% and 35% in December and March games).


48% of Ross County’s xG coming from set plays while 23% of Celtic’s xG came from set plays in these 4 games.


Jordan White contested the most aerials per game out of all the players in the league last year with 12.9 per game however he did only win 44% of them.


Below is the average positions versus Hearts on day one.



Quite a high line and they had 40% possession in the game with that increasing to 45% in the last 30 minutes. xG in the game was 1.78 to 1.49 in Hearts favour with Josh Sims having the most xG for any player on the field with 0.79 but he failed to hit the target with both of his shots. One of them being in the six yard box but he couldn’t get his body position right. Jordan White scored Ross County’s goal from a 26% chance which he turned into a 94% chance with his right foot shot. The chance created by centre back Jack Baldwin.


Out of the new signings against Hearts Owura Edwards got the best reviews for his dribbling, crossing and shot from outside the box that hit the crossbar. He is on loan from Bristol City and plays on the left wing and last season he had 17 games for Exeter and 13 games for Colchester scoring 3 goals.


Spittal, Hungo and Charles-Cook scored 25 goals and 8 assists last season so Ross County will need to replace that this term.


Despite Celtic being only 2/7 to win the game they are Evs to be the only team to score in the game and given how good defensively Celtic have been I think this is a overpriced.


I’m also going to double down on my goal in 15th to 30th minute at 2/1 and Celtic to score more in the first half (than second half) at 9/5.



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