BEN RAGG (@punters_corner_) begins a brand new column, picking out his three favourite cards-based angles on Saturday.
With domestic football back, it's time of us punters to get back to work. Every week I will be making three selections in the cards market from across England and Europe, all of which will played as singles, as well as a treble. I hope you enjoy the new column.
Leicester vs Manchester City | Saturday 7th August 2021, 17:15 | ITV
This week starts with the Community Shield. This fixture tends to be a low-intensity game with many labelling it as a pre-season friendly. Off the back of the Euros, it looks like there will be a fair few big-name players missing from Wembley, especially for Man City.
Pep Guardiola hinted in an interview last week that he will use his ‘second team', with key personnel like Kevin de Bruyne. Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Kyle Walker yet to rack up any pre-season minutes thus far. These comments saw Leicester's price contract from 5/1 to 3/1. However, City will still have many top-class players like Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias and Fernandinho on show.
The Community Shield has tended to have low card tallies in the last few years with just two being handed out in the last three matches. I am expecting another low card encounter here, so I am more than happy to take the 6/1 price for No Cards available with Bet365.
Stoke vs Reading | Saturday 7th August 2021, 15:00
The next two angles are over in the Championship, firstly the Stoke v Reading match.
Last season Reading proved a very profitable team in the cards market to bet against in the Cards Match Bet. The Royals ranked rock-bottom for yellow cards, averaging just 1.02 per-game. They also ranked top for opposition yellows received with 2.09 cards per-game, and more often than not had fewer cautions than their opponents.
In the two fixtures between these two last term, Stoke won the card count 3-0 and 2-0, which is why the 15/8 for Stoke to have the Most Booking Points looks a cracker with SkyBet. I would have certainly had Stoke favourites for this market so I am surprised to see them priced so high.
Blackburn vs Swansea | Saturday 7th August 2021, 15:00
The second selection over in the Championship is from Blackburn versus match. The referee for this one is David Webb, who averaged just 2.53 cards per-game in the second-tier last season and tends to keep his cards in his pocket.
Away from home in 2020/21, Swansea drew just 1.09 cards per-game whilst receiving just 1.35 cards – near the bottom of the table in both departments. The reverse fixture saw just two cards, and so I am happy to back Under 30 Booking Points at 6/5 with SkyBet.
Whilst I have backed all as singles, these three selections can all be combined on SkyBet to make a tasty 37/1 treble.