CARD KING Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) heads to Serie A on Sunday for his next slice of bookings goodness.
Inter Milan v Cagliari | Sunday 14:00 | BT Sport
Italy’s top-flight returns after the international break as Cagliari travel to the San Siro to take on Inter Milan.
Frank De Boer’s hosts occupy ninth position in Serie A whereas Sardinia’s finest are just two places lower in 11th.
In league matches this season these two teams have combined for 30 yellow cards and two reds. Inter average 2.29 cards per-game and Cagliari 2.57 cards per-game.
The unique Paolo Valeri is back in action and he is like a box of Revels… .you don’t know what you’re going to get!
As an example, in his last outing the 38 year-old from Rome gave six first-half cautions in the Palermo v Juventus match but none after the interval. Conversely, he gave zero cards in the first-half of Napoli v Milan but then waived a ridiculous 14 after half-time.
Valeri averages 8.33 cards per-game in Serie A so far.
The past six meetings between these two clubs have seen total card figures of 4-4-7-5-6-6 – at an average of 5.60 cards per-game.
However, what caught my eye was the time of first card. In those games, the first card was issued in the 15th-13th-25th-6th-14th and ninth minutes – the average is 13 minutes. What was more surprising was that some of Italy’s most lenient officials were in charge of those games (Russo, Mazzoleni, Celi and Banti).
Interestingly, Cagliari have received an early card in all three Serie A away games (11th minute v Genoa, 21st minute at Bologna and 13th minute at Juventus).
Valeri’s first card have been issued in the 53rd 22nd and 3rd minute so far in his three top-flight games. That’s an average of 26th minutes. Last season his average was 22 minutes.
Can Valeri keep his cards in his pocket for more than half of the first-half? I don’t think so.
With compelling stats between these two clubs and a card-happy referee, I’m backing ‘a card before 24.00’ with Bet365 at 5/6.
Inter Milan v Cagliari – A Card Before 24:00 (5/6 Bet365)