AFTER hitting gold on Saturday with his Santiago Vergini booking bet, Danny Mercer (@OneDannyMercer) is back with a yellow card view on the Arsenal v Stoke game on Sunday.
Arsenal v Stoke | Sunday 13:30 | Sky Sports 1
These sides only met last month and that was a feisty affair! Six yellow cards and a red were shown at the Britannia that day and we know from previous fixtures its often heated when these sides meet.
Jonathan Moss is in charge of this fixture and he’s given out five red cards in just 15 Premier League games this season, including three in live TV games.
Moss has been the arbiter in seven live fixtures and dished out 28 yellows and three reds. That’s an average of 4.42 cards per live game, yet he’s on just 3.25 cards per game in non live matches.
Arsenal average 2.38 cards per live game while Stoke sit on 2.50. Mix that in with the Moss figures and I’m inclined to believe four or more should come in this match.
One player I’m eyeing up is big slow Per Mertesacker. The German hasn’t been booked in nine league matches, but both times he did go in the notebook he was playing in a live match. Those were against Everton and Swansea.
Mertesacker lacks pace, so if Mame Diouf starts I expect him to play on the shoulder. If Peter Crouch plays, expect a big aerial duel in the box and a few elbows to go flying. If that’s the case, the cards should come out. And even if Jonathan Walters starts, I expect his constant closing down to panic the nervous Mertesacker.
One stat that makes the 6/1 look big to me is Moss’s propensity to book the German whenever he takes charge of Arsenal games. He was the ref in three Arsenal games last season and Mertesacker went in the book in all of them!
The bet may not land, but you have to wonder if Moss have something against the giant centre back? Can it be four cards in four games for Mertesacker at the hands of Moss? I’m willing to chance that at 6/1.
Arsenal v Stoke – Per Mertesacker to be booked (6/1 Skybet)