Kieran Devlin has dropped a worrying claim about Celtic’s set-piece defense.
What was said?
In recent comments made after Bhoys’ 3-2 win over Dundee on Saturday, The Athletic reporter said he was confident that despite Celtic doing a good job of dominating possession, if the club failed to improve his defense against dead ball scenarios. , it could well cost the club their chance to reclaim their Premiership crown this season.
Speaking about the Hoops defense from set pieces, Devlin said: “So often they will have total control only for them to concede on a set piece. Dundee only created a 0.14 xG from open play, but that doesn’t matter when you’re so sloppy on defensive set pieces. This could cost them crucial points with the title race so close.
Where do Celtic most need to strengthen?
Crack in the Armor
After looking at the stats, Devlin’s assertion that Celtic simply need to improve their defense against deal-point scenarios would seem very profitable.
Indeed, in Bhoys’ 27 Premiership appearances so far this season, Ange Postecoglou’s side have scored just 17 goals, a rate of just 0.6 goals conceded per game.
However, when breaking down those 17 goals against, one came from a penalty, one came from a break-in, six came from open play and a whopping nine came from set play – meaning that 53% of the goals the Hoops have conceded in the league have come from a dead-ball scenario.
As such, despite Celtic often dominating possession of the ball – with the Bhoys averaging a 69.9 per cent share of the ball in their 27 Premiership appearances so far this term – as well as conceding an average of just 0.89 xGA per game, it seems like there really is a chink in the Bhoys armor.
It’s a flaw that Postecoglou simply needs to correct if he is to give his side the best possible chance of lifting the Premiership trophy at the end of the campaign.
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