CARD KING Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) returns with a Serie A match ripe for a bookings play.
Emploi v Palermo | Saturday 17:00
Serie A thankfully returns this weekend and two dreadful teams meet in a relegation dog fight!
Currently occupying the last relegation spot, Palermo travel to the team directly above them, Empoli. The Tuscans hold a four point advantage over Palermo and have lost to them just once in eleven years.
Not selling this to you yet?
Well what if I said that Empoli are the third dirtiest team in Italy’s top flight with 54 yellow and two red cards? Still not enough? How about their Sciliian visitors being the fourth most ill-disciplined outfit with 47 yellow cards and four red cards?
If that hasn’t whetted your appetite then perhaps the appointment of referee Paolo Valeri will? The 38 year-old from Rome is a bag of Revels (you don’t know what you’re going to get).
Valeri has dished out total cards of 14-5-6-6-8-9-7-3 at an average of 7.25 per-game. He is a crazy referee who can literally give a card at anytime. He averages a healthy 2.83 cards to Empoli in his career and 3.17 to Palermo.
The past four meetings between these two clubs have seen cards of 3-11-6-4 at an average of six per-match. The game with three cards was a drab 0-0 affair.
As mentioned earlier in this piece both are good for cards this season. Empoli average 3.22 per-game and Palermo 3.06.
Given that this should be a dogged battle between two relegation threatened teams with mad Valeri operating the controls, I’m backing Over 6.5 Cards at 1.90 on Bet365‘s Asian line.
Empoli v Palermo – Over 6.5 Asian Cards (10/11 Bet365)
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