After not getting any of our selections in two weeks ago, we improved our ratio by one when Aston Villa got us a nice 17/10 winner by getting themselves booked more often than Norwich City during the 1-1 draw at Villa Park.
So with confidence renewed, the Card Shark likes the look of all three of this week’s choices – two of which are odds against – and we fancy our chances of picking up a bit more profit this weekend.
Under 4.5 yellow cards in Manchester United v Arsenal @ 7/5
With everybody expecting a feisty encounter at Old Trafford as Robin van Persie faces his old club for the first time, I think there is great value in the 7/5 that Manchester United v Arsenal is not quite the card-fest that people seem to be expecting.
The atmosphere, especially towards the Dutchman, is going to be lively to say the least but I don’t think that will necessarily result in yellow cards, and here is why. There have only been seven bookings in four league games at Old Trafford this season and two of those didn’t even see a single yellow card.
United have been booked only three times at home this year, while the Gunners have been in the official’s notebook just four times in five away league games.
Referee Mike Dean hasn’t been brandishing the cards on such a regular basis – his 28 in nine games is an average of 3.1 a match – and I think 7/5 is a great price that he doesn’t show more than four.
West Ham to get more yellow cards than Man City @ 19/20
To be honest, a Counting Cards tip doesn’t get much more simple than this – it is 19/20 for West Ham United to receive more bookings than Manchester City when the two sides meet at Upton Park on Saturday evening and that is a price we just have to take.
It plays to every stereotype in the book, but Big Sam’s physical approach, especially when playing the bigger boys, should result in more yellow cards than the visitors accrue. No side in the Premier League has been booked more often than the Hammers, with their tally of 22 yellow cards significantly more than the rest of the division.
It is certainly considerably more than City, who have been booked ten times in nine matches. The champions have only received five yellow cards in four away games and even at 19/20 this looks a solid call.
Under 3.5 yellow cards in Liverpool v Newcastle @ 11/10
Finally, I think the odds-against quote on there being under 3.5 yellow cards when Newcastle United travel to Anfield to face Liverpool is another decent value shout.
Liverpool have hardly troubled the referees at home this season – they have been booked just five times in five matches – and I don’t see why that will change when the Magpies visit.
Alan Pardew’s side have been a bit more naughty on the road, seeing yellow ten times in their four matches, so this statistically is a borderline case, but a combination of referee Andrew Taylor – who has booked just 17 players in nine games so far this season – and the price of 11/10 means I’m going to take a chance on three or less yellow cards.