THE ever-popular Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) has found an angle on the bookings markets for Tuesday’s Celtic match.
Hapoel Beer Sheva v Celtic | Tuesday 19:45 | BT Sport 2
Brendan Rodgers takes his Celtic side to Israel this evening hoping and probably expecting to qualify for the Group Stage of the Champions League at the expense of Hapoel Beer Sheva.
It was a bizarre game at Parkhead which Celtic won 5-2. I don’t know what’s more surprising to me, the quantity of goals or that the notoriously lenient Damir Skomina issued seven cards (four to the Hoops and three to Hapoel Beer Sheva).
Celtic have only won 2/14 last away games on the continent but should surely have done enough to progress. We know that it will be hot in Israel tonight and one or two players could still lose their heads. The partisan home crowd will certainly demand a strong showing from the hosts.
I have assessed the second leg matches from last season in the Champions League qualifiers and the average number of cards shown was 6.5 per game. In those ten matches four had a red card in them. All four came in the second half as frustration took over.
Dutch whistleblower Bas Nijhuis is in charge tonight. He has given 97 reds in 387 career games so around one in four. Indeed he sent off Roda player Fred Ananou against Ajax in the 94th minute on his last appearance ten days ago so is not shy in getting his cards out.
Hapoel have already had a man sent off in this season’s competition when Hoban was given his marching orders against FC Sheriff in Moldova. Again this was in the second half of the match.
History tells us to expect a few sending offs across Europe tonight and that they are most likely to come after the half time interval. I’m prepared to back a second half red card in this game at a juicy 4/1 with Sky Bet.
I feel that the hosts could easily lose the plot in this game. Having got three cards in the first encounter in Glasgow it could happen again in the heated atmosphere.
Going back to the corresponding second legs last year 7/9 games which were vaguely competitive going into the second leg had 3+ cards shown to the home team. So for bet number two on this match I’m backing over 20pts for Hapoel at 13/10 with Paddy Power.
Hapoel Beer Sheva v Celtic – Second Half Red Card (4/1 Skybet)
Hapoel Beer Sheva v Celtic – Over 20 Bookings Points (13/10 Paddy Power)