The Scottish Premiership action continues this weekend when Celtic hosts Aberdeen for the match week 26 fixture at Celtic Park. While Celtic comfortably sits at the top of the rankings with a 9-point lead, Aberdeen currently occupies the seventh spot, three points short of fourth. The hosts will be keen to secure maximum points and continue their winning streak, whereas the visitors will be motivated to pose a tough challenge for the league leaders.
Celtic have won 23 and drawn and lost only one match each thus far. The home side has the best attack in the league, having scored 78 goals while averaging 2.65 xG per match. They have conceded only 18 goals with an average xGA rate of 0.74, which makes it the best defensive record in Scotland. Currently, Celtic are on an incredible 18-game unbeaten streak and have won their last five matches in a row.
Aberdeen, on the other hand, have won ten, drawn two, and lost 13 out of 25 matches. They have scored 39 goals and conceded 47 in total. The average xG rate of the team is 1.56, while their average xGA rate is 1.88. They returned to winning ways in their last league outing against Motherwell after a run of three consecutive losses. Below are some additional stats looking at the performances of both teams in the current season.
Overall performance comparison
The above viz shows the percentile rank of both teams compared with each other as well as with other teams in the league. Under all indicators, Celtic have a substantially higher percentile rank compared to Aberdeen. A couple of areas where the visitors have a better or equal ranking are recoveries and opposition penalty area touches.
The hosts are going for back-to-back titles as they look to maintain their handsome lead at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Aberdeen have struggled to display consistency in their recent fixtures and will have to turn around their form to improve on their current position in mid-table. However, if they are to earn a positive result against the best team in the league, it will require a special performance.
Attacking efficiency and entries to the penalty area
Celtic are the most efficient side when it comes to the attacking department. The Bhoys launch 43.96 positional attacks and 1.48 counterattacks per match on average. Their efficiency rate for positional attacks and counter-attacks is among the highest. A reason for this is the superior quality of Celtic’s squad, due to which they play much more expansive football compared to their Scottish opponents.
Meanwhile, Aberdeen creates 24.96 positional attacks and 1.92 counterattacks per match. They have done reasonably well going forward but have been exposed defensively in some of the recent matches. In terms of the overall efficiency of attacking moves, they are among the averagely ranked teams in terms of positional plays and counterattacks. We can expect Celtics to be the aggressors in this match, with Aberdeen sitting back and keeping their defence compact.
The above viz compares the upcoming opponents in terms of entries to the opposition penalty area per 90 minutes. Celtic are ranked at the top with 25 such entries per match, whereas Aberdeen are much lower on the list with 14 entries. These dangerous entries result in the hosts taking 17.96 shots per match with an accuracy rate of 39.4%. Alternatively, the visitors take 11 shots per match and have an accuracy rate of 35.3%.
Kyogo Furuhashi has been one of the best players in a Celtic shirt this season. With 19 goals to his name, he is the top scorer for his team as well as in the Scottish Premiership for 2022–23. The shot map above shows the attacking threat Furuhashi has to offer by taking most of his shots from the vicinity of the six-yard box. The 28-year-old has also been a leading figure in Celtic’s front line, scoring important goals and guiding his team towards victory.
Meanwhile, Bojan Miovski has proven to be a key attacking figure for Aberdeen. He has been one of the top contributors to the team, scoring 14 goals. Much like Furuhashi, the North Macedonia international is Aberdeen’s main man in the opposition penalty box but also has the ability to shoot accurately from long range. If Celtic’s defenders can contain Miovski in this matchup, they will nullify most of Aberdeen’s attacking threat.
Both Celtic and Aberdeen are expected to be at full strength, with no known injuries or suspensions in their squads. The teams will be able to name their strongest line-ups featuring their first-choice players in a tightly contested encounter.
Celtic vs. Aberdeen is going to be an intensely interesting fixture in the Scottish Premiership over the weekend. The Bhoys will be eager to collect maximum points at home and maintain their handsome advantage in the title race in their bid to make it two championships in a row. Aberdeen, on the other hand, will hope to stir up an unlikely upset and improve their mid-table position.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine