CARD king Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) is back in Italy on Sunday for his next dollop of bookings value.
Bologna v Chievo | Sunday 14:00
The unremarkable looking fixture between Bologna and Chievo catches my eye on Sunday afternoon as one of my favourite officials returns.
Rosario Abisso makes his first Serie A appearance since covering Bologna v Cagliari in September. He regularly plies his trade at Serie B level.
The Italian FA like to drip feed their inexperienced referees slowly into top-flight action before they are promoted on a ful- time basis.
Luca Pairetto one would be a prime example and, assuming the same trail of thought, we can perhaps expect to see much more of Abisso from next season. I certainly hope so…
He has quietened down slightly but still averages 6.67 cards per-game this season – this is a reduction from the ludicrous 7.95 cards per-appearance in 2015/16.
Whilst his total cards has dropped, what hasn't changed is his liking for an early caution. In 2015/16 he typically issued his first card in 14.8 minutes – that is way below average.
To provide some context, Marco Guida was next best at 20.1 and Paolo Valeri 21.7. Arguably Italy's top officials Nicola Rizzoli and Luca Banti issue their first cards in 24.9 and 30.1 minutes respectively.
This term, Abisso's average is 20.4 minutes.
He has covered Bologna three times previously in his fledgling career issuing his first card typically in the 16th minute.
The 30 year old from Pompei has covered Chievo twice issuing his first card on average in the 19th minute.
Abisso has been getting his cards out lately too – his last six matches have seen an average of 7.8 cards per-game.
That should bore well here.
Back an early card
My only worry is that this is a relatively meaningless match. An afternoon kick-off will help though rather than the graveyard early morning slot which he got in September.
I tipped the same bet that day and it won as Abisso booked Cagliari's Nicolo Berella in the 21st minute.
I have assessed his time of first cards in all matches in 2016/17 and this would have won in 71% of his matches. Therefore the 5/6 on offer by Bet365 on a Card Before 25.00 Minutes is good value and should be backed.
Bologna v Chievo – Card Before 25.00 Minutes (5/6 Bet365)