Motherwell will welcome Celtic in the weekend action in Scottish Premiership. The home side shall be attempting to get back on track after the defeat in their previous outing, while the away side will have the chance to secure back-to-back victories in the league. Can Motherwell bounce back?
In their previous match before the international break, Motherwell suffered a 2-0 defeat away at the hands of Hearts. Liam Boyce scored a penalty in the fifth minute and Steven Kingsley added another goal in the twenty-second minute. The Steelmen were left frustrated as they tried to find their way back into the match, although they had 20 shots throughout the game. Motherwell are placed fourth in the league table, with four wins, two draws and two losses from their opening eight games. Motherwell will be looking to bounce back against Celtic. A win at home will push Motherwell to the third spot in the Premiership. Their recent defeat was the first time that they were unable to score a goal in a fixture this season. The Steelman’s record against Celtic has not been great in recent games. Last season they lost against them three times. Stephen Lawless has moved on from the club, terminating his contract. Sondre Johansen is set to miss out on the match due to a minor injury.
In their previous fixture, Motherwell were dominated away by Hearts. Although they had more shots and shots on target. Hearts won more offensive duels than their opponents and also dominated possession. Motherwell were left frustrated for most of the match as they were behind in the sixth minute. Liam Boyce was exceptional for his side.
Motherwell are placed fifth in terms of successful aerial duels and successful aerial duels per 90. Tony Watt has scored the highest goals for them. So far, he has been able to find the back of the net four times in six appearances.
Celtic season so far has been a mixed one. They are placed sixth in the Premiership with four wins, one draw and three losses from their eight opening games, grabbing fourteen points. The Hoops lost only five games in the entire last season and they have already lost three this season. Although they defeated Aberdeen in their previous match away, their form is unstable in their recent games. They have registered just two wins in their previous five matches in all competitions. In their game against Aberdeen, they managed to secure the important three points against a club who were close to them in the league, with Furuhashi getting himself on the scoresheet, as Jota capped off the game 2-1 late in the second half. In terms of offence and stats, the Hoops are one of the strongest outfits as indicated by their tally of nineteen goals, the highest in the league, from eight games, but they haven’t been able to show consistency since their consecutive wins in August. Furuhashi is expected to lead the line-up for Celtic this weekend after scoring in their previous fixture, with the striker returning to his best form. Karamoko Dembele, Greg Taylor, James Forrest, Josip Juranovic, Michael Johnston and long-term absentee Christopher Jullien will all remain sidelined for the game against Motherwell.
In their previous encounter in the Premiership, Celtic dominated the xT timeline in the first half and they managed to get on the scoresheet early in the first half. But Aberdeen came back stronger in the second half and were the more threatening team for almost the entirety of the half. Although in terms of the xG timeline, the Hoops dominated the match from the start till finish.
Celtic are offensively the most threatening team in the league as they lead the majority of the attacking metrics. Their xG of 20.59 places them at the top with their title rivals Rangers behind at 13.20. Their xG per 90 similarly puts them on the top.
Motherwell (4-3-3) – Kelly; O’Donnell, Ojala, Lamie, McGinley; Grimshaw, O’Hara, Slattery; Van Veen, Woolery, Watt
Celtic (4-3-3) – Hart; Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Montgomery; Turnbull, Bitton, McGregor; Jota, Abada, Furuhashi
This fixture will be a bit tricky for Celtic as Motherwell will be looking to bounce back from their recent defeat. A defeat can push them to sixth spot. Celtic are stronger going into the match and they just might edge out narrowly.