Bookings: Sit tight and exploit Lopez’s second half habits

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LOW profile fixture it may be Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) reckons there’s an angle to exploit as Alaves host Espanyol.

Alaves v Espanyol | Sunday 11:00 | Sky Sports 5

Sunday morning action from Spain as Alaves host Espanyol in a low profile fixture. Basque country outfit Alaves sit in 12th place with their visitors from Barcelona a position lower.

These two sides haven’t met in the league since 2006 so I have no head to head card data to share. However, the usually predictable Mario Melero Lopez is the referee and I always keep an eye out for him.

Creature of habit

Why? Well because referees are often creatures of habit and he exemplifies this notion. The 37 year old from Malaga averaged 5.1 cards in the second half of matches in 2015/16 season. 7/9 matches had four or more cards shown by him.

This term he has shown just five first half cards compared to 19 after the interval. Therefore, a whopping 79% of his cards come after half-time.

Alaves have collected the second most yellow cards in La Liga (35) behind only Malaga. If we add in red cards they average 3.36 total cards per game.

Espanyol have collected 24 yellows and 2 red cards so far at an average of 2.55 cards per appearance. Low numbers by their historical standards but still about average.

Second period

It is noticeable that both clubs typically collect their cards in the second period. Alaves receive 74% after the interval and Espanyol 71%. If we calculate 74% of 3.36 for Alaves and 71% of 2.55 cards for Espanyol we can reasonably expect 4.29 second half cards in this match.

Early kick offs in Spain tend to take a while to warm up so that might also play into our hands here. My sources in Spain inform me that both clubs are “in a bad moment” and that with fiery frontman Deyverson back, Alaves will be “very intense”.

Ultimately, referee Lopez is the star we want to shine here and I fully expect him to oblige. I’m backing over 3 second half cards at 5/6 with William Hill.

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Alaves v Espanyol – Over 3 Second Half Cards (5/6 William Hill)

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I first got interested in gambling through my cousin. He's a professional gambler and got me hooked as a teenager when you had to pay the 9% tax. Who remembers that?! These days I prefer to specialise on one market rather than spread myself too thinly. Hence my love of cards! Hopefully I can make others a few bob in the process of sharing my bets on WeLoveBetting. On a personal note I love most sports especially cricket, rugby and NFL. I support Tottenham and all things Welsh and outside of sport I enjoy reading autobiographies particularly with a glass of good wine!

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