To say the double helping of El Derbi madrileno that constituted the two-legged Supercopa de Espana was hard fought is something of an understatement.
A total of 17 cards were brandished over those two tussles, with two equalling a red card for Luka Modric, himself usually the mild-mannered Clark Kent of the Blancos’ midfield.
Tinder-box duels the both, they followed on from last season’s Champions League final in which a mammoth 12 cautions were dished out by the referee.
The bwin odds moguls clearly assume an equally irritable tussle is in the offing in the third renewal of the still-young 2014/15 campaign, with 5.5 the lowest line they’ll offer on cautions for the Santiago Bernabeu clash.
Yet backing under 6.5 bookings at 13/10 could prove a prudent policy for cardsharps who bet with the boys in black gold.
After all, the aforementioned face-offs were each for tangible prizes, whereas this latest instalment is merely three points in the ocean of a long and arduous La Liga campaign.
While their recent meetings have turned up the kind of card smatterings you’d expect of a full-blooded battle for block bragging rights, there’s a noticeable relaxation in the matches which weren’t finals.
Just one of the neighbours’ last four fixtures outside of showpiece events yielded more than six cautions.
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Los Blancos are 18/25 favourites to land all three points against the reigning champions, who will be without Diego Simeone thanks to an eight-match touchline ban the Argentine earned for man-handling an official in the previous derby.
That makes Los Colchoneros, who will be helmed by assistant manager German Burgos in Simeone’s absence, lengthy 7/2 underdogs for victory, with the draw priced up at 14/5.