Greetings fellow Card Sharks, all the best for 2013 and all that jazz, and let’s hope it is a year which sees us use the cards market to our advantage and make a bit of money, because God knows we deserve it. Well I do, anyway.
If you haven’t seen this column before, I look through the Premier League fixtures every weekend and come up with three selections concerning bookings and red cards, write about them and – hey presto – they magically appear here for you to look at, bet on and all things being well win some money.
The first picks of 2013 all look good to me, with each tip featuring games that see teams with poor disciplinary records play against sides with good ones.
So without further ado….
Aston Villa to receive more yellow cards than Southampton @ 6/4
This is one of those occasions that I can scarcely believe an odds-against price on the card market, and we have to be getting involved with the 6/4 that Aston Villa receive more yellow cards than Southampton when the two sides meet in a relegation battle at Villa Park.
I can’t quite work out where the bookies at bwin are coming from with this one: these two teams might be struggling at the bottom of the Premier League together but they are at opposite ends of the Fair Play League, and it is Villa who are the villains of the piece in more ways than one.
Paul Lambert’s team have seen yellow 38 times in the league this year (only three sides have been booked more often) compared to Southampton’s Saints-like (see what I’ve done there?) 19 times.
Only Arsenal have been booked fewer times than Nigel Adkins’ side, and to be getting 6/4 on Villa being in trouble with the official more often is surprising, especially when only three Southampton players have been in the referee’s notebook in the last seven league matches.
Newcastle United to receive more yellow cards than Norwich City @ 87/100
On a similar theme, Newcastle United’s trip to Carrow Road to face Norwich City also pits two sides from opposite ends of the Fair Play League together and much like at Villa Park, I expect things to go true to form.
The odds might not be quite as tempting as the ones for Aston Villa, but I still want to go in on the 87/100 that Newcastle get booked more often than Norwich.
The Toon are the joint worst offenders in the division (along with Stoke City) and have been booked on 44 occasions (as well as seeing red twice), which is more than double the 21 times that Canaries players have been shown yellow.
Norwich average just over one yellow card per home fixture, while the Magpies have been booked at least twice in seven of their ten away trips in the league this season. I see no reason why these trends won’t continue, and even at odds-on I think the Toon to be booked more times looks nailed on.
Wigan Athletic to receive more yellow cards than Fulham @ 87/100
Completing a treble of sides to be booked more often than their opponents, even at odds-on Wigan Athletic have to be backed at 87/100 to receive more yellow cards than Fulham when they travel to Craven Cottage.
Much like the two previous selections, here are two sides with contrasting disciplinary records and it is the Latics who are the main offenders. Roberto Martinez has seen his players in trouble with officials on 38 occasions, with only three other sides being booked more frequently.
Fulham, on the other hand, have been booked just 22 times, the fourth cleanest record in the division, and at home they remain squeaky clean. Martin Jol’s team have been booked ten times in ten league games at the Cottage, but in five of those they haven’t even been booked, with two games seeing just a solitary yellow card. Again, I see this form being upheld so let’s get on the 87/100.