Pre-match with A Celtic State of Mind – Hearts under the lights

And we’re back!

Top vs bottom at home sounds straightforward enough but it is rivals Heart of Midlothian and, under new manager Stendel, there is some m unpredictability.

Victory over The Rangers and a draw vs Aberdeen are in the middle of otherwise relegation form.

The German has shuffled it around since Levein “left”. 33 players have been used in the SPFL alone. Most impactful has been Boyce with 2 goals and 2 assists in 3 appearances in the league. Clare has been converted into a right-sided defender, young Hickey has made way for White, and Irving now holds the midfield. Youngster Henderson is a regular, offset by the returning experience of Naismith and Washington in attack. Ikepazu is mainly a sub. With the manager openly prioritising the relegation death match
against Hamilton Academical at the weekend, who knows what the maroon team will be on Wednesday?

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Home defeat to out of form Kilmarnock and 6 goals conceded in 2 matches dented what had been 4 unbeaten (including that win versus the Gerrard
Allstars). But it is one league win wince the 9th November. 27 goals conceded on 14 matches and one clean sheet at supine Ross County.

Doubts about Pereira despite his Manchester United pedigree are manifest in 18% conversion rates against – the joint highest in the league. Overall the Hearts opposition convert 46% of shots on target – the leagues highest.

Celtic convert 46% of their shots on target – also a league high. It could be a fruitful night in front of goal for the Champions.

The Jambos are the most rambunctious in the league averaging 21.64 disciplinary points per match – Celtic average 12.32, easily the most angelic.

Hearts do like a late goal scoring 8 in the last 10 minutes of games, joint highest. Celtic tend to be winding down by then having scored 28 between the 50th and 80th minutes.

Celtic are now the only team in the league not to drop points from a winning position. If the Hoops score first expect a comfortable home win.

3-0 the Champions with Griffiths to score.

Alan Morrison

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