OUR bookings man Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) has lined up three bets for Boxing Day.
Chelsea v Watford | Saturday 15:00
A very Merry Christmas to you all. We started the festive period in fine form and hope to continue that with three Boxing Day selections. I would encourage smaller stakes on these three (perhaps a trixie) as these are all odds against and there are some terrific looking Spanish games coming up which are more deserving of your hard earned cash.
I’d much rather put substantial sums in the hands of Senor Confetti and Senor Moonpig than ANY British referees! Anyway, onto the recommendations:
Guus Hiddink makes his return to Stamford Bridge as The Blues entertain a Watford side still buzzing after they wiped the floor with Liverpool.
Both of these teams average 1.71 cards per game. That would imply 3.42 cards could be expected. Andre Marriner gets the whistle for this one. Anyone who saw him officiate Arsenal v Manchester City will agree that he let a few offences go unpunished perhaps under the influence of the Sky TV cameras.
He averages 4.1 cards per game and in a non-televised game I think he will revert to type in this game. Between 4 and 6 cards with William Hill at 11/10 looks value to me in what should be an intriguing contest.
Manchester City v Sunderland | Saturday 15:00
It seems common knowledge that Pep Guardiola will take over from Manuel Pellegrini and that leaves the Chilean as a sitting duck.
City’s limp performance against Arsenal for the first 70 minutes suggested something is awry and Sunderland will arrive at Eastlands looking to take advantage. You would expect the Black Cats to be dogged and to park the bus. They will surely scrap for anything and this supports a card punt.
The Wearsiders are the league’s second dirtiest team averaging 2.12 cards per game. Somewhat surprisingly, City are also good for cards averaging 1.82. It is reasonable to assume 3.94 cards could be expected.
Anthony Taylor is in charge of this tussle. He averages 3.71 cards per game but I feel that he is one of the more consistent referees and will book players if it is warranted.
I believe that between 4 and 6 cards with William Hill at a chunky 8/5 is worth backing given that the last two encounters at Eastlands between these two teams had four and five cards in them.
Wolves v Reading | Saturday 15:00
Another returning manager, Brian McDermott takes his Royals to Molineux to battle a Wolves outfit under pressure.
This bet is based purely on statistical data. Wolves are the second most disciplined team in the Championship collecting just 1.32 cards per game. Reading are the sixth best averaging 1.55. That implies a total of 2.87 cards might be anticipated.
Simon Hooper is the man in charge and he averages three cards per game but has overseen plenty of games where has given less than that. His last five games have all had three or less cards in them.
With two disciplined teams on show and a reasonably lenient official, I’m getting involved with under 35pts with William Hill at 21/20.
Chelsea v Watford – Between 4-6 Cards (11/10 William Hill)
Manchester City v Sunderland – Between 4-6 Cards (8/5 William Hill)
Wolves v Reading – Under 35 Bookings Points (21/20 William Hill)