AFTER a sensational weekend Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) has spotted some bookings value in Monday’s Empoli v Crotone game.
Empoli v Crotone | Monday 19:45 | BT Sport 1
A true north versus south battle tonight in Italy as newboys Crotone travel north to take on Empoli. These two sides occupy the bottom positions in the formative Serie A table.
The remarkable Paolo Valeri is back in action tonight and anything can happen with him. He averaged 6.75 games per appearance in 2015/16.
In his opening match in Serie A covering AC Milan’s trip to Napoli he gave zero first half cards and then 10 yellows and two reds in the second half. Astonishing!
The past five meetings between these two teams have had cards of 7-6-8-11-6. The line tonight is under or over 6.5 generally and that looks about right given Crotone’s disciplinary record so far this campaign.
I looked at the second half cards in those previous head to head meetings and they read as 4-5-5-7-5. That’s 100% over. There have been four reds in those past five meetings too.
Empoli have collected five yellows and two reds in their opening two games this season and all have come after the half time break. Crotone have only collected three cards in their two matches which isn’t great. One was in the second half.
Of course they haven’t encountered Valeri yet so, to a degree, those stats can be discounted. I note that there have been seven reds in the 11 games that Valeri has officiated Empoli in his career. A red tonight is certainly viable.
Cards can come at anytime with the 38 year old Roman. He averaged 4.56 cards after the interval last season and followed that up with a flurry of cards in the aforementioned Napoli v Milan game.
I’m always wary of tipping after a successful weekend but with Valeri in charge (4.56 second half cards average) and 100% track record in recent head to head meetings I”ve seen enough to recommend getting involved.
Empoli v Crotone – Over 3 Second Half Cards (4/5 William Hill)