If it has taken you a while to wake up from your slumber after watching England during the international break (you don’t need sleeping pills when Uncle Roy and his-balls-to-the-wall total football is in town) then we can hardly blame you.
The good news is that with Hodgeball out the way for a few weeks, it gives the Card Shark the chance to continue his fine work – fine work which we are about to shout from the roof tops about.
It was a another case of two wins from three selections a fortnight ago, with West Ham receiving more yellow cards than Arsenal and Aston Villa getting more bookings than Tottenham – only Southampton’s Jose Fonte taking his shirt off when celebrating his equalising goal against Fulham denied us a clean sweep.
If we carry on like this we might even be able to afford a ticket to watch the Rolling Stones, so without further ado here is this week’s three choices.
Chelsea to be booked more than Tottenham @ 33/50
With all the hullaballoo surrounding Andre Villas-Boas facing his old club, not to mention the John Terry saga that seemingly came to a long, drawn out close this week, it is easy to forget there is a football match between Tottenham and Chelsea on Saturday – one that should see the visitors receive more yellow cards than their hosts.
No team were booked more often than the Blues in the Premier League last year and with ten bookings already this term, they have been booked four more times than Tottenham over the seven games.
Seven of those yellow cards have come away from home, in just three games, and the 33/50 they are in the Mike Dean’s notebook more often looks fair. Spurs have been booked just twice at White Hart Lane all season, and Dean has booked the away side more often in five of his eight games this campaign.
Aston Villa to be booked more than Fulham @ 4/5
Aston Villa have not been a friend of the officals this season, but that means they have been a friend of the Card Shark and the 4/5 that the Villans receive more yellow cards than Fulham when they travel to Craven Cottage looks a very good price.
Only West Ham have been booked with more frequency than Villa, who have picked up 16 yellow cards in seven games. It’s also worth noting that Villa received only two yellow cards in their first two games, meaning Paul Lambert’s team are gaining a reputation as repeat offenders with a record of 14 bookings in five games.
Eleven of those bookings have been away from home, so when you consider that Fulham are yet to be booked in three games at home, that 4/5 has to be backed.
Arsenal to be booked more than Norwich @ 19/10
This is a slightly more speculative one, although certainly not as speculative as the odds suggest and at a price of 19/10, you should be taking a punt on Arsenal to receive more bookings than Norwich when the two sides meet at Carrow Road on Saturday evening.
The Gunners have only been booked six times this season, which is one of the cleanest disciplinary records in the division, but five of those bookings have come away from home and in Norwich they are facing the Premier League’s good guys.
The Canaries have been booked just twice all year and it makes the price on Arsenal far, far too big. It is probably priced up like that on the basis that Arsene Wenger’s side will dominate the ball, but Fulham, Liverpool, Chelsea and others have done just that to Norwich and they haven’t got anywhere near them, and at that huge price it is worth a go that Arsenal pick up more bookings.