IT’S the big one and Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) picks out a bookings angle for Saturday’s Manchester United clash with Arsenal.
Manchester United v Arsenal | Saturday 12:30 | Sky Sports 1
Probably the most important fixture in Premier League history writes its newest chapter on Saturday lunchtime as Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal to Old Trafford to battle Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
The Red Devils have underwhelmed so far and occupy sixth position in the fledgling table. The Gooners are a couple of places higher in 4th and will be keen to push on.
The past six meetings between these two clubs have been a mixed bag with two victories for each club and two draws. Equally, the number of cards shown in those games have been a lottery too. They read as 7-4-1-3-3 at an average of 3.6 per match.
This season, United are the more ill disciplined outfit collecting 24 yellows and a red card. Contrast to Wenger’s Gunners who have amassed 15 yellows and a red in their opening 11 matches.
There is a case for the hosts collecting the most cards (7/4 with Bet365). United average more cards than their London rivals this season and have averaged 2.2 cards per game over the past five meetings compared to Arsenal’s 1.4.
Marriner and Herrera
Andre Marriner gets the whistle for this match. He has given total cards this season of 1-4-7-5-4-2-3-5 at an average of 3.88 per game. He also typically gives Manchester United (1.76) more cards in his career than Arsenal (1.31).
Whenever Marriner officiated either of these two clubs don’t bet the draw. In 51 previous matches combined covering these clubs there have only been three draws!
Another quirky footnote in this game concerns Ander Herrera. The Spanish midfielder has been booked in 3/3 matches he has started against Arsenal.
Furthermore, this referee booked him in the opening weekend of the season at Bournemouth. Herrera has also been booked these season in home games against Stoke City and Burnley (against whom he also saw red).
He had a disagreement with Eric Dier whilst on international duty in midweek and appears to enjoy confrontation. I’m backing Herrera to collect a booking again at 11/5 with 888sport.
I also can’t overlook the fact that Manchester United have collected most cards of the two clubs in 4/5 recent meetings. They also typically collect more cards per game this year than Arsenal. The 7/4 offered by Bet365 on United getting the most cards looks mispriced and I’m getting stuck into it.