Manchester United vs Villarreal | Wednesday 29th September 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
At first glance my urge was to back United to win a low-scoring game, with a home win and under 3.5 goals seriously considered. Four of Villarreal’s six league games this term have ended 0-0 while just two of United’s eight domestic and European matches have seen four goals or more scored (and those figures were aided hugely by a combination of superb finishing and poor goalkeeping.
However, the fact that three of The Red Devils four usual defenders are likely to be out (Aaron Wan-Bissaka is suspended while Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw look set to miss the game through injury) has led to me swerving the outright market and looking at those most likely to be booked.
German whistler Felix Zwayer is about as reliable as you can get when it comes to handing out the cards. To date this season, he has handed out 31 cards in six games in all competitions, in his career he has brandished 2,309 yellow cards and 45 straight reds (an average of 4.3 a game) while in The Champions League he has handed out 100 yellow cards in 19 matches (average of 5.3 a match).
The market is somewhat wise to it, with a few players chalked up as low as 2/1 but there are a couple at a slightly larger price that I am going to back. I did considered Paul Pogba – but 7/2 is hard to take when 7/1 was available for the match with Young Boys – and Alex Telles but it is Diogo Dalot who gets the nod from a United perspective.
Dalot has two yellow cards in 301 minutes of football this season and the fact that he will be eager to impress in a rare start makes me edge towards him in what is likely to be a game with multiple cards.
For the Yellow Submarine, I will go with Manu Trigueros at 10/3. The Spaniard committed the most fouls for Villareal in La Liga last term (58), had six yellows and a red in 35 domestic matches last season.
Trigueros is coming in for the suspended Francis Coquelin, so will again be eager to impress and I think we have a referee that is likely to give him some limelight.
Trigueros is 10/3 with Bet365 and Dalot is 4/1 with the same firm and both are worth a few pennies in my view.
Manchester United vs Villarreal – Diego Dalot to be carded (4/1 Bet365)
Manchester United vs Villarreal – Manu Trigueros to be carded (10/3 Bet365)