England keeper Ben Foster has warned that his Three Lions colleagues can expect rough treatment from Scotland despite the non-competitive nature of tonight’s friendly.
It shouldn’t matter much to him from the sanctuary of the substitute’s bench, but he’s anticipated the Scots will be aiming to ‘kick lumps’ out of his teammates at Hampden Park.
Gordon Strachan has responded to the notion that his side will have no choice but to resort to violence in order to bridge the gulf in quality between the two teams, questioning the validity of his side’s tough guy image:
“I don’t hear people in England calling us physical. We are only five feet six, most of us.”
The manager’s attempt to distance Scotland from this liberated ‘Mean Machine’-type outfit Foster has been promoting has been chalked up as mere smoke and mirrors by the odds gurus at bwin.com, who make the hosts clear 21/20 favourites to collect the most bookings in the match.
It’s 7/4 that the referee’s notebook contains more England players’ names come the final whistle, while a sizeable 29/10 says there’ll be an equal number of yellow cards shared amongst the rival factions.
This obvious discrepancy in prices suggests there’s not a lot of room for debate as to who’s the dirtiest of the two, but recent stats would argue that this deficit certainly shouldn’t be as wide, if not flip-reversed altogether.
Across England’s last ten outings they’ve amassed 17 yellow cards and one straight red.
Scotland’s disciplinary record over the same period, although it contains one booking more, is actually an improvement on the Three Lions’ for it includes no instant dismissals.
In this ten-game stretch, England were out-booked by their foes just twice, while Strachan’s charges picked up the most cautions on four instances.
The evidence isn’t the most damning, but there’s definitely a case to argue that the visitors are a great price to pick up the most yellow cards here.
For those unwilling to stray from the beaten track, the match-betting spread also reflects favourably on those who want to back England.
They’re 6/5 to make it six straight wins at Parkhead, with the home side at 23/10 and the draw an 11/5 offering.