Performance benchmarking in advance of tomorrow's big game: first some ranking models. 538's SPI currently has Celtic at 52 and Rangers at 99, which places them just behind Sporting and Braga for some context. The Elo system I monitor has Celtic at 37 and Rangers up to 51.
The derby games the past two seasons have been very tight both with regards to goals and underlying performance metrics. Back to Wyscout data today to go back to 16/17 season, and we can see the shift in relative derby performances pre and post Gerrard/Beale arrival. Image
The relative wage budget went from about 15% in 16/17 of Celtic to over 70%, which has assuredly been a huge factor. Notable development in last 3 derbies was the extreme lopsidedness of Celtic's attack in 4-2-3-1 in the three games. That had not been an issue under Rodgers. Image
A shift to 3-5-2 with Frimpong & potentially Ntcham on the right side will hopefully restore some balance. Obviously, the most important outcome, just like in the Sarajevo game, will be winning the game. Underlying metrics will just add to the season-long analytical mosaic. End.

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More from @jucojames

18 Oct
Time for the good, the bad, & the ugly from yesterday's Celtic vs Rangers game. Non-penalty xG was 0.14 vs 1.26. To address one of the hot topics coming out of the game, next tweet shows other games with low number of shots on target since Deila's last season-only gladbach @ home
A reminder that event-based xG models are just one of many analytical tools. For example, Wyscout's assigned very low probability to Moi's chance. As has been the case this season generally, we lacked attacking output from midfield and the two "strikers." Image
Understanding why xG was low on Moi's shot is important- he struck the ball with his right foot- from that position and relative to McGregor and the last defender is probably not a shot that goes in...almost ever. Had he used his left foot the xG would likely have been higher.
Read 15 tweets
1 Sep
Warning- this is a nerdy thread on long range shots and why I worry about Celtic's shooting. I hear repeatedly that Christie is a good shooter so I thought I would examine his record from shots outside the box and the penalty arc. I reviewed 17-18 at Aberdeen & 18-19/19-20.
Christie had 274 non-penalty shots over that time with 147 outside the area. He had about 56% of his shots outside the area under McInnes and last season under Lennon, while 48% in the hybrid season under Rodgers/Lennon in 18-19. He scored 8 goals on aggregate of 4.62 xG...
on those 147 shots for avg xG per shot of about 0.03. One way to interpret that is that Christie is a "good shooter" because he has outperformed his xG. Of the 147 shots, 20% were on target, 43% were wide, 32% blocked, and 5% scored.
Read 8 tweets
27 Aug
Time for the good, the bad, and the ugly from yesterday's Celtic vs Ferencvaros game. Wyscout had the game at 1.72-0.31 xG with 25 vs 7 shots, 8 vs 3 on target, and pretty much 70-30% possession. I would say that the main good is that despite Lennon's post-game comments, players
appear to have played hard overall. I think players generally seemed to try to make the best of flawed selection and tactics. I am not going to slaughter players who are not good enough at no fault of their own, or playing out of position for the umpteenth time.
Lots of bad, so I will just highlight a couple and they will be familiar. Been harping on midfield structure, lack of creativity, and transitions being problems, with stepping up to better quality opponents likely to exacerbate. Here is typical picture of midfield issue.
Read 8 tweets
27 Aug
I will summarize the stats later today but want to address the Celtic "macro" first, as it is far more important than yesterday's game, CL, or even 10iar. The long term state of the club is now very fragile, as the risks I have been describing are now being unleashed.
This is a huge problem. As I stated on @celticrumours risks grow over time and then are typically realized fast. The last decade resulted in massive risks building due to the march to 10iar in a league that had no viable competition for most of that time.
The club has been hallowed out and doubling/tripling down on bad ideas has created a spiraling effect. Rodgers was given dictatorial powers, and while a tremendous coach, he was/is a terrible recruiter and of questionable character- not ideal type to give absolute power.
Read 20 tweets
23 Aug
Time for the good, the bad, and the ugly from yesterday's Celtic vs Dundee Utd game. I'll start with the fact the game was no where near the Kilmarnock performance and within the context of a 38 game season, would characterize it as "fine".
Initial report was xG 2.74-0.28. Two performances standout as good with caveats. The most impactful player in the game was Christie, and the overwhelming nature of his impact was good. He won 17 of 31 duels & 0.47 xG. The caveat, which I am sure most are already aware- shooting.
He took 9 shots, which was triple his 19-20 league avg, and 6 were from beyond the 18, including the terrible free kick attempt. The aggregate xG on those 6 shots was 0.14. His 3 shots inside the box were total of 0.33. Several of his long range shots he took despite advanced...
Read 18 tweets
14 Aug
This morning's "fun" is looking at whether Celtic's opponents respect our "authoritah" enough. Passes Per Defensive Action (PPDA) is supposed to be a statistical proxy for a team's pressing intensity. Conversely, PPDA Against is to measure how intense opponents press.
The first graphic shows Celtic vs various clubs in domestic league games only for 2019-2020. I've selected the clubs based upon those with large financial advantages over their leagues and those that are dominant statistically. We can see where Celtic stackup as a "dominant" club Image
Given the extreme slide in quality in SPFL after Celtic and Rangers, the 14.38 PPDA against suggests that many of our SPFL opponents don't respect our authoritah enough. We have not been punishing the press enough to cause opponents to back off. The average of 3 derbies?
Read 7 tweets

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