BOOKINGS boff Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) is off to Belfast for a cards-based angle in Friday’s friendly international.
Northern Ireland v Belarus | Friday 19.45 | BBC2
If you are at a loose end on Friday night it might be worth considering the friendly match in Belfast between Northern Ireland and Belarus.
The hosts are preparing for the European Championships whereas the visitors didn’t qualify.
I usually loathe to get involved with friendlies but there has been an increase in cards in certain cases lately and with such low lines, there can be opportunities.
Martin Atkinson gets the whistle tonight and he is usually good for cards. Indeed, he has given cards in 39/41 matches this season.
Belarus interest me here. I’ve looked at their past two friendlies in March and they collected five cards against Montenegro and two versus Armenia. Both games were drab 0-0 affairs so this card count is surprisingly high.
Their final two European qualifiers saw them collect two cautions against Macedonia and six in a bruising encounter with Slovakia. There may well be a bit of ‘home team’ bias shown by Atkinson and, if so, I’m keen to take advantage.
Don’t go mad, as it is a friendly after all, but with a favourable referee appointed and solid recent stats, I’m backing Belarus to collect Over 10 Booking Points with Paddy Power at 2/1.
If you’re new to Booking Points – a yellow card earns 10 points and a red card earns 25 points. If a player receives 2 yellow cards and is consequently shown a red card, he receives a total of 35 Booking Points.
Northern Ireland v Belarus – Over 10 Belarus Booking Points (2/1 Paddy Power)