The Scottish champions play at home today in the first derby of the season in what will be a surreal experience for players and fans watching at home. One of the biggest derbies in world football to be played in front of 60,000 empty seats. It is slightly depressing but three points to the champions will be the perfect antidote.
Celtic head into today’s Glasgow derby with their squad battered during the International break. Bitton, Elhamed & Christie were all ruled out while players like Edouard & Jullien had big question marks hanging over them.
The two rivals go into this afternoons game separated by just a point but Celtic still have a game in hand. Celtic fans have speculated all week on the team selection and formation that will win today and this is what the Celtic manager has gone with:
🚨 Glasgow derby team news 📋
Here's how the Bhoys line up for #CELRAN! ✅
𝐂𝐎𝐘𝐁𝐈𝐆 🍀💚 pic.twitter.com/l2J0jBck3h
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) October 17, 2020
As rumoured earlier this morning Stephen Welsh starts in a back three while new Bhoy Lexalt makes his debut in one of the biggest games of the season.
Neil Lennon’s hand has been forced a bit today and he will be cursing what the international break did to an almost full health squad. That been said there is a serious amount of firepower on the Celtic bench.
Nervous Celts? Here are some pick me up facts from OptaStats to settle you in.
Celtic have won 20 of their last 21 home league games; the only exception in this time was in their last such match against Rangers, a 1-2 reverse in December 2019.
Celtic have scored more goals (25) and have a better shot conversion rate (14.5%) than any other side in this season’s Scottish Premiership. Meanwhile, Rangers have the league’s best defence so far in 2020-21, conceding just three goals in their 10 games while facing a league-low 46 shots overall, at a combined Expected Goals (xG) value of just 3.7.
Only against Motherwell (nine) does Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard have more Scottish Premiership goals to his name than versus Rangers (six). Indeed, the Frenchman has been directly involved in six goals in four league appearances against Rangers at Celtic Park (four goals, two assists).
The only side that Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos has faced more than once without yet scoring in the Scottish Premiership is Celtic, appearing against them 10 times in the competition while attempting 22 shots (eight on target) without finding the net.