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Rodgers must unleash Celtic’s “rapid” 5 ft 9 Maeda upgrade over Abada



Celtic faces a crucial match against Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership, aiming to extend their lead at the top of the table. After their rivals secured a win on Tuesday, Celtic sits atop the standings based on goal difference, making tonight’s game an opportunity to widen the gap.

Manager Brendan Rodgers will be expecting a strong reaction from his players following their recent 1-1 draw against Aberdeen. A victory in this match would not only provide some breathing room in the title race but also restore confidence and momentum to the team after dropping points in their previous outing.


Despite a valiant effort from Bojan Miovski, whose impressive goal put Aberdeen ahead, the team was unable to secure a victory as Nicolas Kuhn’s strike ensured the points were shared in their last match.

For tonight’s game against Hibernian, Aberdeen’s head coach may consider making changes to the starting lineup in search of an improved performance and result.

However, left-back Greg Taylor will not be available for selection due to a groin injury that has sidelined him for the past two league matches. While Taylor has returned to training this week, he will not feature against Hibernian but could potentially be in contention for the upcoming SFA Cup match against St. Mirren.

Furthermore, manager’s confirmation states that injured players Reo Hatate and Cameron Carter-Vickers will not be returning to action against Hibernian.

23/24 Premiership Cameron Carter-Vickers Reo Hatate
Appearances 14 Eight
Starts 14 Four
Pass accuracy 92% 79%
Duel success rate 67% 51%
Sofascore rating 7.26 7.25

Rodgers has announced that Daizen Maeda has returned from international duty with Japan and will be included in the squad for today’s match.

However, the Celtic manager is expected to start German forward Nicolas Kuhn on the right flank, ahead of both Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda.

Abada’s performance against Aberdeen was underwhelming, as he failed to make a significant impact during his 59 minutes on the pitch. Despite being given the opportunity with his fifth Premiership start of the season, Abada struggled both on and off the ball, displaying a lack of effectiveness in attack and weakness in defensive play. Therefore, it is unlikely that he will be selected for tonight’s match against Hibernian.


The performance metrics for Abada in the match against Aberdeen indicate a lack of creativity and effectiveness. He failed to create any chances for his teammates and missed a significant scoring opportunity. Additionally, he struggled in ground duels, losing four out of five battles, and had a low success rate in dribbling attempts.

Given these statistics, it’s clear that Abada’s performance against Aberdeen was subpar and doesn’t warrant another starting opportunity against Hibernian. On the other hand, Kuhn, who impressed with a goal as a substitute in the previous match, presents a compelling case for inclusion in the starting lineup.

Since joining Celtic in the January transfer window, Kuhn has already made an impact despite not yet starting a Premiership match. His ability to adapt quickly and contribute positively, as demonstrated by his goal against Aberdeen, suggests that he is ready for a starting role against Hibernian. Therefore, Rodgers should consider unleashing Kuhn to provide a spark and enhance Celtic’s attacking threat in the upcoming match.

Nicolas Kuhn Vs Aberdeen (via Sofascore)
Minutes played 31
Shots One
Goals One
Key passes One
Dribbles completed Two

The statistics clearly illustrate Kuhn’s impact compared to Abada, despite playing fewer minutes. Kuhn’s goal, assisted by Adam Idah, played a crucial role in Celtic’s performance, leveling the score. Additionally, Kuhn created one chance for his teammates, demonstrating his ability to contribute to the team’s attacking play, while Abada failed to create any chances.

Furthermore, Kuhn’s performances for Rapid Wien earlier in the season indicate his potential as a creative force in the team. Therefore, considering his recent contributions and his track record as a creator, selecting Kuhn from the start could provide Celtic with additional offensive firepower against Hibernian.

The comparison between Kuhn and Maeda suggests that Kuhn could indeed offer an upgrade in terms of offensive contribution for Celtic. While Maeda has made a respectable contribution with three goals, two assists, and four ‘big chances’ created in 17 Premiership matches, Kuhn has been more prolific with three goals, five assists, and 11 ‘big chances’ created in 18 appearances across Bundesliga and Premiership combined.

Kuhn’s ability to create quality chances, as evidenced by his 11 ‘big chances’ created and 1.8 key passes per game in the Bundesliga, indicates that he can provide valuable service to Celtic’s attacking players such as Idah, Palma, and O’Riley. Therefore, considering Kuhn’s superior offensive output compared to Maeda, starting Kuhn over Maeda could potentially enhance Celtic’s attacking potency against Hibernian.

The statistics clearly highlight Kuhn’s potential as a significant upgrade over Maeda in terms of offensive productivity. Despite playing one more game than Maeda, Kuhn has produced seven more goals and big chances combined during the 2023/24 campaign. Additionally, Kuhn’s higher averages for key passes (1.8 compared to Maeda’s 0.5) and dribbles (3.1 compared to Maeda’s 1.2) per match in the Bundesliga suggest a greater ability to unlock opposition defenses and create scoring opportunities.

Given Kuhn’s impressive performance against Aberdeen and his superior statistical output compared to Maeda, starting Kuhn on the right flank seems like a logical choice for Celtic. With his knack for creating chances at a high rate, Kuhn could significantly enhance Celtic’s attacking threat against Hibernian. Therefore, it’s reasonable to expect Kuhn to be included in the predicted Celtic XI for tonight’s match.



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