Celtic will host Hearts at the Celtic Park in a mid-week fixture of the Scottish Premiership on Thursday night. Celtic are currently two points above Hearts in the second position in the table with a game in hand. Hearts are on 27 points from 15 games, while Celtic have a tally of 29 points from 14 games.
Celtic come off a 2-1 win against Aberdeen over the weekend and are unbeaten in their last eight games in the Scottish Premiership. Jota opened the scoring for them, and Callum McGregor added a second in the second half to help maintain their unbeaten run.
Celtic have been the best team going forward, as they have scored the most number of goals in the league. Celtic have been one of the tightest defensive units in the Premiership so far, and have only conceded ten goals in 14 games. They have the lowest xG against them in the league and have a very low xG of 0.552 per 90 minutes against them. Celtic have kept six clean sheets and are also the best defense in the league so far.
Most of the Celtic players have a high overall xT in the games they have played, as Celtic have scored the most number of goals and attempted more attacking actions in every game. David Turnbull has created the highest xT for Celtic, and has been the star performer for Celtic with four goals and three assists in the Premiership.
Hearts jumped back from their loss against Motherwell last weekend and completed a comfortable 2-0 win against St. Mirren. Two second-half goals from Gary Mackay-Steven and Stephen Kingsley sealed the victory for Hearts and maintained their place on the points table.
Hearts have been the third-best performers while going forward in the league. Their expected goal rate for the season is 21.95, scoring 25 goals so far. Hearts average 11.11 shots per 90, and they have attempted a total of 180 shots so far in 15 games. Most of their on-target shots have been attempted from inside the opposition’s penalty box.
The above visual shows us the shot map for Hearts from their most recent win against St. Mirren. They had a total of 15 attempts on goal and managed to keep almost 50% of them on target. The shot map indicates that Hearts have a high shot-on-target percentage, and most of their shots have been from inside the penalty area. This makes Hearts a very dangerous team when they move forward, as they are very effective with their attacks on goal.
Hearts carry the momentum going into this match and will look to close the gap on the opposition with a victory. Celtic, on the other hand, will try to make most of their game in hand to extend their lead over third-position to five points and stay close to leaders Rangers.
Celtic predicted starting line-up:
Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Welsh, Juranovic, Bitton, Forrest, Turnbull, McGregor, Jota, Furuhashi.
Hearts predicted starting line-up:
Gordon, Kingsley, Souttar, Dunne, Smith, Devlin, Baningime, Cochrane, Woodburn, McKay, Boyce.