GAVIN Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) reckons we’ll see cards in Saturday’s Iceland v Hungary game.
Iceland v Hungary | Saturday 17:00 | BBC One
Hungary are on a five-game winning streak against Iceland, whose coach Lars Lagerbäck has a positive record against his side’s UEFA EURO 2016 Group F opponents.
Iceland’s record in ten matches against Hungary is W3 D0 L7. The nations have met six times in qualifying tournaments, Iceland winning the first three games and Hungary the last three.
The only meeting during the past decade, a Budapest friendly in August 2011, resulted in a resounding 4-0 victory for Hungary. Current skipper Balázs Dzsudzsák was among the scorers.
Hungary were remarkably disciplined in their opening match against Austria collecting just one card. Having averaged 3.18 cards per game in the qualification phase, I don’t expect that low card count to continue as they know securing a positive result here will virtually guarantee a place in the next round. In the second half you might see cards for time wasting and to protect a lead.
Iceland averaged 1.8 cards in the qualifiers and collected two cards in their opening draw against Portugal. Again, you would anticipate Iceland targeting maximum points from this fixture.
Russian Sergey Karasev gets the whistle for this showdown and he averaged five cards in the qualifiers. He showed six cards in his previous Euro 2016 match between Switzerland and Romania only a few days ago.
Karasev is the official in this competition who is most likely to give a red card. This is the type of game where it could come. Both sides have some hatchet-men who like a full blooded challenge.
I fully expect cards in this game. The average historical card count at this stage of the tournament is 4.1. Matches involving Hungary had the highest number of cards shown (60.8 on average). Iceland ‘s averaged 39.6. An average of the two means that 50.2 could be expected in this encounter. I’m backing over 3.5 cards at 4/6 with Bet365.
Iceland v Hungary – Over 3.5 Cards (4/6 Bet365)