KING of the cards Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) has found an angle to exploit in the early Saturday kick off.
Stoke v Manchester City | Saturday 12:45 | Sky Sports 1
Pep Guardiola gets his first taste of an away fixture in the Premier League as he takes his Citizens to the Britannia Stadium to battle Mark Hughes and his Stoke City side.
Guardiola will also get his first experience of Mike Dean. The man from the Wirral is approaching the end of his career and that can’t come quickly enough for some (paranoid Arsenal fans as an example). Personally I think he’s great and I expect a vintage performance in front of the TV cameras in this clash.
In career games covering the Potters he typically gives them 2.3 cards per game and 2.1 to the visitors. That suggests that 4.4 cards might be expected in this fixture.
The 2015/16 average number of cards per top flight game was just 3.32. In week one last weekend we saw an average of 4.2 cards per game. Is this increase here to stay or a one off? It’s probably too early to say categorically but there are plenty of 3.5 cards lines around in week two, including this match.
In the last five seasons, Dean has only covered a league game at the Britannia on three occasions. In those games he gave cards of 4-4-1. Over the same period he has covered City in nine away games. He has shown cards in those matches of 5-7-4-6-1-5-10-2-8. Basically, in 10/13 combined matches covering these two sides he has given at least four cards. That is a 77% chance of success.
Last week Stoke collected five yellows at Middlesbrough. City collected one in a home victory over Sunderland. Dean gave four cards last week when covering Hull v Leicester. I think issuing four or more cards again is well within his range and so I’m backing over 3.5 cards at 8/11 with Bet365.
Stoke v Manchester City – Over 3.5 Cards (8/11 Bet365)