THE ever-popular Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) has found an angle on the bookings markets for Wednesday’s Champions League match in Austria.
Salzburg v Dinamo Zagreb | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport
Dinamo Zagreb will attempt to record their first win in six matches against Salzburg when the teams face-off in the second leg of their Champions League play-off.
Marko Rog’s 76th-minute penalty earned Dinamo a 1-1 draw in the first leg on 16th August, Valentino Lazaro having headed Salzburg into the lead just before the hour.
Dinamo’s record in four Champions League play-off ties is W3D0-L1; they eliminated Malmo (2011/12), Maribor (2012/13) and Skenderbeu (2015/16) but fell foul of Salzburg’s domestic rivals Austria Vienna (2013/14).
Salzburg have yet to win a Champions League play-off tie, bowing out to Malmo (2014/15), Hapoel Tel-Aviv (2010/11) and Maccabi Haifa (2009/10) in their three previous attempts.
There’s plenty at stake this evening then and Scotland’s Craig Thomson is the man with the whistle. The man from Paisley averages 5.00 cards-per-game domestically so far in 2016/17 and 5.78 cards-per-game in Champions League qualification games over a long career.
In the competition so far the Austrian hosts’ average just 2.00 cards-per-game whilst the Croats average 2.60 cards-per-game.
However, when you dig a little deeper, you see that Dinamo collected card counts of 1-1-3 in their home ties. This is a stark contrast to their away matches where they have picked up four cautions in each of their visits to Tbilisi and Macedonian outfit Vardar.
There is no doubt in my mind that Zagreb are the most likely to collect cards from Thomson.
Throw in that the average number of cards shown to the away team in the equivalent play-off second leg games in 2015/16 was 3.60, then it starts to point towards getting with Dinamo here.
Last season 6/9 corresponding second leg ties had 4+ cards for the away team.
At a nice price of 5/4, I’m backing Over 3 Cards for Dinamo Zagreb with William Hill.
Salzburg v Dinamo Zagreb – Over 3 Dinamo Zagreb Cards (5/4 William Hill)