Wolves vs Sheffield United | Saturday 17th April 2021, 20:15 | Sky Sports
It’s been a dismal season for Sheffield United, rooted to the foot of the EPL table with just 14 points from their 31 games and a massive 18 points detached from Newcastle in 17th the first “safe” place, club legend Chris Wilder paid for that with his job and it is left to Paul Heckingbottom to effectively see the season out, which is sad given the admirers gained from last season’s incredible showing.
One table in which they have dominated however is the one illustrating booking points collected – especially away from home – and it is once again this market which has my full focus.
The Blades visit Wolves in the late Saturday night kick off, for whom Adama Traore could be finally finding some form, the Spanish international secured his first goal of the season in the form of a 92nd-minute winner last Friday night at Fulham.
In the game before that, at home to West Ham, the 25-year-old earned his first assist and, despite his lacklustre numbers overall, he appears to be getting back on track and so should be fired up to perform in what looks a favourable matchup here.
This could be a key factor in our bet as despite his output struggles this season, Traore still ranks as the fifth most fouled player in the league, with 66 discretions against him in 2139 minutes of action – an average of being fouled every 32 minutes.
George Baldock has committed the 10th highest number of fouls in the division, so would be a clash to look out for if both players start and end up on the same side of the pitch!
Sheffield United have picked up 20+ booking points in 21 of their 31 league games so far this campaign at 63% no side has more, it is 12 from 15 (80%) away from home and when on the road have the incredible stat of collecting more booking points than their hosts in all bar one of those 15 trips (93%).
Our referee is Robert Jones, who has only made six appearances in the EPL this season, his 15 yellow and solitary red card gives him a booking points average of 29.17, at twelfth not one of the most prolific referees, but as shown in those United stats virtually all referees this season have seen enough to issue at least 20 points.
As for that one sending off? That was in Jones’ last EPL outing which happened to be at Bramall Lane where he gave Phil Jagielka his marching orders shortly after issuing the only other card of the game to David McGoldrick – another game crossing the 20+ mark as well as picking up most booking points.
A lot has happened since these two sides met on the opening day of the season, but not as far as cards issued are concerned with two first half cautions for John Egan and Oliver McBurnie took care of the 20+ easy enough and a late card for Marçal wasn’t enough to deprive the Blades of their first booking points win of the season – that was also the fifth successive head-to-head which saw the side from Yorkshire cross the 20+ line.
I was tempted to play the most booking points at 10/11 but there is a possibility Wolves could make that bet a close call having picked up more BP’s than their opponents in four of their last 10 home games – although given Sheffield United’s record in that market I would put nobody off taking that,
The stats that convinced me to side with 20+ Sheffield United booking points was their run of form in their last nine away games which reads: 75, 20, 30, 10, 30, 20, 20, 20, 20 and at the same odds of 10/11 I’m hoping that this one gets done and dusted fairly quickly and we don’t need to worry what the Old Gold produces.
Wolves vs Sheffield United – 20+ Sheffield United booking points (10/11 SkyBet)