In the current climes it’s rare to pick up a newspaper or access a sports betting news blog and not read about Chelsea players and disciplinary misdemeanours.
Nemanja Matic’s scandalous two-match ban for an offence bordering on grievous bodily harm is the latest trending topic, overshadowing the underhanded escapades of his countryman Branislav Ivanovic.
After miraculously escaping FA sanction for committing an offence against Everton that carries a jail sentence if committed on the street, the Serbian stopper was at the heart of the manifold shenanigans to take place during the Burnley game, grabbing the card from referee Martin Atkinson as he attempted to send Matic off.
These acts, along with a string of others, have prompted the bookies in black and gold, bwin, to price up a market on when Ivanovic will next have the claret brandished in his boat race this season.
The 31-year-old has already received one red card this season after collecting two yellows in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United and the odds gurus don’t expect him to add before the season’s out, going 1/5 about him seeing the season out without being dismissed.
Next shortest price is 25/1 about him taking an early bath at West Ham, while it’s an even fatter 33/1 about a red being received against any individual Premier League opponent Chelsea faces between now and the end of the season.
It’s the biggest price that boasts the greatest appeal here, with the four bookings in six matches amassed by Ivanovic suggesting the men in the middle are keeping a wry eye on the mischievous full-back.
However, with just two cautions in eight meetings with next foes West Ham and none in his last four, it would seem the Serb knows how to keep his temper against the Irons, so side with a red coming a little further down the line.