Celtic will head to Tannadice Park this weekend to keep the pressure on Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership. Dundee United, on the other hand, can move up to the third place with a win on Sunday, as they want to get back on track following two games without a win. Celtic are in the second position with 32 points, while Dundee United are two places below them with 25 points. A gap of seven points separates both teams, and Celtic still have a game in hand.
Dundee United frustratingly ended November, failing to win either of their last two games after a draw with Ross County and then a midweek loss against Motherwell. Dundee United lost 0-1 to Motherwell, who finished the game with 10-men. It was Dundee United’s fifth loss in the season, and they have only registered one win in their last six games.
Dundee United failed to create any significant chances against Motherwell. The above visual shows that most of the attacking metrics were dominated by Motherwell players. Dundee United did not even get a single shot on target and had only four shots on goal. They are the lowest-scoring team in the top half of the table, as they have only scored 15 goals in 16 matches.
Dundee United have the second-highest number of recoveries, and have been able to win back the ball frequently. They have shown great defensive performances as they have only conceded 15 goals, but there are times when they concede a goal because of their defense’s mistake.
Celtic won their preview game against Hearts as the Bhoys beat them 1-0, thanks to a Kyogo Furuhashi goal in the first half. It was their 10th victory of the season. At the moment, the Hoops are just four points behind the current league leaders, and they shall be aiming for that gap to close at the weekend.
Celtic have conceded the lowest number of goals this season and have the most stable defense in the league. They have the lowest expected goals against them. They have a PPDA value of 6.529, which indicates they do not give the opposition team a lot of time on the ball and play with a high pressing style. They also have the highest average challenge intensity, which indicates they try to win the ball back frequently. Dundee United have had their attacking problems, which is why it should be a pretty easy job for Celtic to keep a clean sheet in this game.
Kyogo Furuhashi has been in top form in his first season for Celtic and has racked up eight goals so far. The Japanese striker also got the all-important goal against Hearts, which gave his team all three points. The above visual shows us his shot map, which includes all of his shots on target. As seen in the visual, all of his shots on target have been from inside the penalty area. He gets into dangerous positions inside the box and is quick enough to take a crack on the goal. He has the poaching ability of a striker and can sense where the ball will fall into the penalty area.
Postecoglou’s team have not lost in their previous nine encounters in the league, with their last defeat taking place in September, and that confidence should stand them in good stead at the weekend. But they were dealt many injury concerns during their recent victory against Hearts as three key players ended up having to be substituted with various problems.
Dundee United predicted starting lineup:
Siegrist, McMann, Mulgrew, Edwards, Freeman, Clark, Niskanen, Hoti, Harkes, Pawlett, Appere.
Celtic predicted starting lineup:
Hart, Juranovic, Starfelt, Bitton, Montgomery, Rogic, McGregor, Turnbull, Forrest, Johnston, Furuhashi.