CARD king Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) is back in Spain focuses on his favourite fixture for card value. This should be good!
Atletico Madrid v Barcelona | Sunday 15:15 | Sky Sports 2
Another mouth watering encounter awaits us in La Liga this weekend with the heavyweight clash between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. There have been many memorable recent matches between these two clubs and with Real Madrid's shock loss at Valencia, there is an opportunity for Barcelona especially to apply more pressure on Los Blancos with victory here.
Eye watering numbers
The past six meetings between these two teams in all competitions have seen an eye watering 44 yellow cards and six red cards. The meeting on 7th February in the Copa Del Rey saw 14 cards issued including three sendings off (Sergi Roberto and Luis Suarez for Barca and Yannick Carrasco for the Mattress Makers).
Predictably, the Spanish authorities have plumped for their most experienced referee to take charge in Antonio Mateu Lahoz. He is ranked fifth in referees for yellow cards with an average of 5.33 per game but as I've mentioned in previous articles I feel his stats are misleading because he tends to officiate the ‘big 3' clubs against lesser teams where games can be won early on and less cards shown.
Ignore Lahoz figures
Lahoz is one of only two Spanish officials not to produce a red card in La Liga in 2016/17 (Mallenco is the other). However, anyone who saw the Manchester City v Monaco match in midweek will have seen that Lahoz wasn't scared to get his cards out issuing 11 yellow cards. You could argue that he therefore comes into this match with hot hands?
This season Atleti have collected 44 yellow cards and two reds. Luis Enrique's Barcelona have collected 47 yellow cards. They and Real Madrid are the only top flight teams yet to have a player sent off.
With the past meetings between these two sides in all competitions showing cards of 14-8-6-8-12-8 at an average of 9.33 per game more can be expected this Sunday afternoon. Bet365 are offering 1.90 on over 6.5 cards (so 7+ to win) on their Asian line and that looks great value given the recent stats.
Atletico Madrid v Barcelona – Over 6.5 Cards Asian Line (1.90 Bet365)