St Johnstone v Celtic (Match Preview)
Probabilities for the match are Celtic 79%, St Johnstone 6% and 15% for the draw.
St Johnstone’s xPts trendline is on an upward trajectory and their average xPts per game for the last 10 games is 1.395 versus the first 14 games of the season which was 0.92.
However they have only had 2 wins and 2 draws in those last 10 games.
St Johnstone have 3.7 xG from Set Plays this season which is 2nd bottom only ahead of Dundee Utd on 3.36 which is less than half of Hibernian and Kilmarnock.
They are averaging 125 final 1/3rd passes per game and this is only 38% of their total passes which is the 3rd lowest in the league, behind Hearts and Aberdeen.
Against Motherwell on Wednesday they played their usual formation of 3-5-2 and lined up with the following;
1 Remi Matthews
14 Drey Wright, 5 Alexander Mitchell, 6 Liam Gordon, 4 Andrew Considine and 19 Adam Montgomery
34 Daniell Phillips, 22 Melker Hallberg and 18 Cameron MacPherson
37 Nicky Clark and 7 Stevie May
Away to Celtic in December there were 3 differences to the line up against Motherwell on Wednesday.
13 Ryan McGowan played instead of Mitchell, 2 James Brown played instead of the ineligible Celtic loanee Adam Montgomery and 23 Grahm Carey played instead of MacPherson.
Against Celtic at home in October Brown was in again for Montgomery and this time McGowan played in midfield instead of Carey/MacPherson, 27 Maksym Kucheriavyi played instead of Phillips and 29 Jamie Murphy played instead of Stevie May.
St Johnstone’s best player for xA is Stevie May who has 1.9 expected assists for the season which is 32nd in the league but he actually has 5 assists.
Nicky Clark is their best player for xG with 3.9 (4 goals scored) and this is 19th in the league and May is right behind him in 20th with 3.8 xG and 4 goals scored.
29% of the goals St Johnstone have conceded this year have come in the 15 to 30 minute period so Celtic to be leading after 30 minutes at 19/20 is a sound bet.
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