Bookings: Time for Maresca to show his cards on Saturday night


GAVIN Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) returns with a bookings view on a Saturday night Serie A fixture.

Chievo v Fiorentina | Saturday 17:00

The Flying Donkeys of Chievo and Fiorentina lock horns again in Verona on Saturday evening as Serie A action continues. These two teams met only a week or so ago in an ill disciplined Coppa Italia match which saw 12 cards including a red card for Chievo's Ivan Radovanic and a straight red for Viola schemer Mauro Zarate.

Chievo were furious at the officiating as they were eliminated by a soft injury time penalty and will be out for revenge on their own turf.

The last meeting between these two clubs in Verona back in April saw eight yellow cards in a drab 0-0 affair. This term the hosts average 2.5 cards per game with Fiorentina typically collecting 2.63 cards per game.


Fabio Maresca is back for this showdown. The 35 year old from Naples is one of the most prolific card issuers in Italy. He has slowed down recently but still averages six cards per game in Italy's top flight this season.

Maresca has covered Chievo once already this term and he sent off Lucas Castro as they drew 0-0 at Empoli in October. Indeed that was the last sending off under his watch so history suggests that he is due to reach for his top pocket soon.

In 2016/17, he has shown six reds in 12 games (50%). Compare this with 17 reds in 26 games (65%) last season and 22 early baths in 26 games (85%) in 2014/15.

Lost The Plot

I noticed that he lost the plot around this time last year. He dished out 11 cards when covering Crotone v Cagliari and then 13 the following week when officiating Brescia and Livorno. Both games had two red cards in them.

Having not sent someone off since October, Fabio must be getting twitchy. With bad blood remaining between these two teams could this be the fixture to resume normal behaviour?

A red card is 2/1 with William Hill. However, with a supportive recent head to head history of cards, I will be a tad more cautious and recommend over 5.5 cards at 1.875 with Bet365's Asian line.

Best Bets

Chievo v Fiorentina – Over 5.5 Asian Cards (1.875 Bet365)

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