KING of the cards Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) has found an angle to exploit in Friday night’s enticing fixture between Chelsea and Liverpool.
Chelsea v Liverpool | Friday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
Friday night football returns and it is a mouthwatering showdown between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Arguably Antonio Conte gets his first real test after initial matches against West Ham, Watford, Burnley and Swansea.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are back on the road after an impressive home demolition of champions Leicester last weekend.
There’s not a lot of love between these two clubs going back to the days of Jose Mourinho versus Rafa Benitez a decade or so ago and these two teams have met 41 times since 2005.
You may recall that they played a pre-season friendly in Los Angeles in July, which Chelsea won 1-0 and it was extremely feisty. Cesc Fabregas was sent off and six other players received a caution.
In the Premier League, the past five meetings have seen total card numbers of 4-5-7-7-4 – at an average of 5.40 cards-per-game.
This season Chelsea average 3.05 cards-per-game and Liverpool 2.50 cards-per-game – that implies six total cards might be expected in this battle.
Martin Atkinson gets the whistle on Friday night and he has issued cards of 0-2-4 domestically so far this season. He did however show eight in the August Europa League qualifier between Rosenberg and Austria Vienna.
Interestingly, Chelsea have only ever lost 4/36 matches when the West Yorkshire official has covered them. He has also given the Blues nine penalties in those games (just two against).
Atkinson has given a penalty against Liverpool in 8/47 matches (five for) so don’t be surprised to see a spot kick for the home side – it’s a 13/5 chance with Paddy Power if you fancy a penalty to be awarded to either team.
Back to the cards and my gut instinct when assessing this fixture was that I wanted to get with Overs. Atkinson isn’t as prolific as he once was but can still get rattled.
Liverpool have already played in London twice this season in the top-flight. There were six cards when they won 4-3 at Arsenal and eight shown when they drew at Tottenham. I expect something similar here.
I believe that the clash in L.A. will still be fresh in the memory and with two combustible teams involved and passionate managers there is a recipe for plenty of cards. I’m keeping it simple by backing 60 or more Bookings Points at even-money with SkyBet.
If you’re new to Bookings Points – a yellow card earns 10 Bookings Points and a red card earns 25 Bookings Points. If a player receives two yellow cards and is consequently shown a red card, he receives a total of 35 Bookings Points.
Chelsea v Liverpool – 60 or more Bookings Points (1/1 SkyBet)