Manchester City take on Wigan Athletic in Saturday’s FA Cup final and former Chelsea and Manchester United star Ray Wilkins and ex-Leicester City striker Steve Claridge are expecting a good-natured affair.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with bwin, the duo both agreed that the chances of a red card being shown in the Wembley showpiece are minimal and that is reflected by odds of 9/50 on all 22 players still being on the pitch at the end of normal time.
The assertion is certainly backed up by recent history, too, as since Kevin Moran was given his marching orders in the 1985 final, there has been just one dismissal – Arsenal forward Jose Antonio Reyes in the dying moments of extra-time in 2005.
Claridge backed up his view by claiming that if there is one game where a referee will be hesistant to produce a red card and potentially ruin the spectacle, it is the FA Cup final.
“I don’t see this as being a particularly dirty game,” he added.
“Both sides like to play their football. I’m not sure there is the intense rivalry between the sides or that spitefulness on the terraces that we might have in another game.”
Claridge then revealed that he is not expecting more than four yellow cards to be shown by referee Andre Marriner – and punters who want to follow his lead can back under 4.5 yellow cards at 21/50.
Wilkins, who was famously the first England player ever to be sent off at a World Cup when he was dismissed in the Three Lions’ clash with Morocco in 1986, reckons City and Wigan will contest the game in an even fairer spirit.
He decided to plump for a maximum of two yellow cards – we price up under 3.5 at 19/20 – and also revealed that he reckons the contest could go to penalties, which is a 7/1 chance.
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