CARD KING Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) picks out his favourite bookings bet from Wednesday night’s Europa League final from Basel.
Liverpool v Sevilla | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Europe
Sevilla aim for their third straight Europa League success in Basel on Wednesday night as they tackle Liverpool.
This promises to be a fantastic match and UEFA have gone with a low risk option by appointing Sweden’s Jonas Eriksson.
You probably don’t know this but the Swede is a multi-millionaire having sold TV sports rights.
Scandinavian officials are notoriously lenient but I’ve noticed an interesting pattern in previous Europa League finals.
In the past five finals, the number of first-half card totals read as 3-3-2-2-2 – that is a 100% success rate for the selection I’m about to recommend.
Eriksson in meaningful European action this season showed three first-half cards between Bayern Munich and Juventus (Champions League last-16) and three in the Champions League qualification battle between Lazio and Bayer Leverkusen.
His only blot was issuing zero cards before the interval in the Europa League quarter-final between Braga and Shakhtar Donetsk.
The history of this final definitely supports this recommendation, especially with a Spanish team involved.
Therefore, I’ll be backing 2-3 first-half cards at 8/5 with William Hill.
Liverpool v Sevilla – 2-3 first-half cards (8/5 William Hill)