KING of the cards Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) has found an angle to exploit in the Seville derby on Tuesday night in La Liga.
Sevilla v Real Betis | Sunday 21.00 | Sky Sports 2
For card punters, the greatest fixture in Europe returns on Tuesday evening as the Seville derby takes centre stage.
Sevilla host local rivals Real Betis at the Roman Sanchez Pizjuan and I’m so excited I can barely write this piece!
This derby doesn’t get the profile of say, El Classico or the Madrid derby, but in my opinion, is the fiercest. It showcases the usual hatred between fans and can boil over into ugly scenes at times. Ex-Sevilla boss Juande Ramos being hit on the head by a glass bottle just one example in 2007.
There is a long history between these two. Sevilla were formed in 1905 by English ex-pats and following an internal split in 1914 Real Betis were formed. Sevilla are supported by the social elite and Betis more working class.
Betis were angered in 1978 because of the ‘complot de Alicante’ when Sevilla, comfortable in mid-table, allegedly threw a match to get their rivals relegated.
This time around, Betis boss Gus Poyet gets his first taste of the derby.
“It’s a special, unique game in a crazy football city – you can tell how passionate the fans are, even when I go out to buy bread,” joked the 48-year-old.
“The only important thing is to win the derby, these games are the reasons we become players and coaches”, Poyet said.
Basically these two clubs don’t get on and that is evidenced by the past five meetings, which have seen total card numbers of 9-12-10-8-10 – an average of 9.80 cards-per-game.
Usually when I write these articles I talk about current disciplinary records but it has little relevance in these games.
Strangely, despite 21 cards in the past two matches in the league there wasn’t a sending off. However, the previous three league encounters before that all had a red card in them (two to Real Betis).
Javier Estrada Fernandez gets the whistle for this showdown. He averaged 6.80 cards-per-game in 2015/16.
This will be his first La Liga action of the current season. He took charge of this fixture in November 2013 and gave eight cards that day in a match Sevilla romped 4-0. Paulou took an early bath for Betis and they collected seven of the eight cards given that day.
Fernandez, over his career, has shown Sevilla two reds in 19 games but has given Betis three reds in 19 matches. Therefore, if there is to a sending off it is likely to be for the visitors.
Betis also typically get the majority of the cards averaging 5.80 cards-per-game over the past five meetings compared to Sevilla’s 4.00 cards-per-game.
I did consider the time of first card. The past five league meetings have seen he first caution flashed after 8th-4th-5th-34th-6th minutes at an average of 11.4 minutes. However, this referee was in charge when the first card was given in the 34th minute and that puts me off slightly.
It’s worth noting though that after giving the initial card he then proceeded to dish out a total of six cards between 34th minute and half-time. Crazy! That’s the sort of flurry that can occur in this fixture.
You may have noticed that Betis played a much smaller Andalusian derby against Granada last week. There were zero cards in the first-half but 13 after the interval.
Mainland Europe’s hottest city will be at boiling point on Tuesday evening.
The evidence suggests that cards could come at anytime in this match and with a recent average of nearly 10 cards-per-game, I’m backing 80 or more Bookings Points at 8/11 with SkyBet, where eight yellow cards would see us paid out.
Sevilla v Real Betis – 80 or more Bookings Points (8/11 SkyBet)