CARD king Gavin Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) was in irresistible form in midweek. Can he continue his assault on winning bookings bets this weekend?
Eibar v Getafe | Saturday 19.30 | Sky Sports 3
Leopards don't change their spots, right? Senor Moonpig (Ignacio Villanueva) had a quiet game by his standards last time out when refereeing Athletic Bilbao and Sporting Gijon.
I fully expect him to resume normal service this weekend as he has to officiate a battle in the Basque Country between Eibar and Getafe on Saturday night.
Eibar let us down last week in a weird game against Rayo Vallecano (Senor Confetti was the referee, you may recall). However, the hosts remain Spain's dirtiest team and guess what, this weekend’s opponents Getafe are the next worst offenders.
Collectively these two teams average 7 cards-per-game whilst whistleblower Villanueva is average 8 cards-per-game this season.
If you’re new to bookings points – a yellow card earns 10 points and a red card earns 25 points. If a player receives two yellow cards and is consequently shown a red card, he receives a total of 35 booking points.
Roma v Lazio | Sunday 14.00 | BT Sport Europe
The Italian capital takes centre stage on Sunday as heavyweights Roma and Lazio do battle for local bragging rights. Passions really do run high in this fixture and this is supported by the fact four of the last showdowns have featured at least eight cards.
Indeed, the past five bruising encounters have produced 8-8-5-9-10 cards. There’s no major pattern to when the cards are issued with the past two contests seeing an even split between the two halves. However, the three previous duels were heavily in favour of second-half cards.
In short, this is a game to not get too cute with as cards could literally arrive at anytime. You could easily see three or four yellows handed out in a five-minute spell as the referee struggles to maintain control.
Roma did us a huge favour in midweek with an injury time yellow against Bayer Leverkusen and I fully expect them to oblige again here. Lazio have also collected plenty of cards lately too and this bodes well for my chosen wager.
The man with the whistle is Paolo Tagliavento. He hasn't done us any favours in two losing previous tips. However, he still averages 6 cards-per-game and will have his work cut out.
It's an interesting move from the Italian FA to give him the gig ahead of more experienced officials like Gianluca Rocchi or Nicola Rizzoli. When I dug a bit deeper into the recent meetings, I was amazed to see that Roma have collected at least four cards in 9/10 games. The exception was a drab 0-0 affair.
With very solid stats and passions possibly boiling over, I’m confidently backing Over 3 Roma Cards with William Hill at 17/20.
Sevilla v Real Madrid | Sunday 19.30 | Sky Sports 3
The Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville will be rocking come Sunday night and I cannot wait. Real Madrid come to town trying to maintain their solid progress and they will be guaranteed a hostile reception from the fanatical home supporters.
I have found a market in this fixture that has won in each of the past five head-to-heads. The last five occasions these two clubs have locked horns, the second-half cards haul has read 5-5-4-6-9. Compelling stats.
Sunday night’s referee is Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez. I watched him officiate Athletic Bilbao's winning trip to Real Betis last week and I felt he really struggled to keep a lid on things in that game.
Interestingly, he has taken charge of Sevilla and Real on two previous outings and dished out five and four second-half bookings respectively. Overall, he’s averaging 6.4 cards-per-game this campaign.
With a 100% recent track record, I'm getting stuck into Over 3 second-half cards at 4/6 with William Hill.
Eibar v Getafe – Over 55 bookings points (4/5 William Hill)
Roma v Lazio – Over 3 Roma Cards (17/20 William Hill)
Sevilla v Real Madrid – Over 3 second-half cards (4/6 William Hill)
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