Friday night football is back, and arguably the marquee fixture of the weekend sees Jose Mourinho host his former club, Manchester United.
At 2/1 I’d rather be on Spurs than United, but I’m not involved in the 1x2 as there’s too many unknowns about players' fitness for me to be comfortable taking a price where I see maybe 5% of value. If they were say 9/4 then maybe I’d get involved.
What interests me more is the cards market here.
Jonathan Moss officiates in what will be his first game between the traditional big 6 this season. He refereed each of these sides once this season, giving United 2 cards and Spurs 4, in games involving 4 and 9 cards respectively. However these numbers are pretty meaningless as a sample size of 1 is just irrelevant.
What is relevant is that he averages a shade under 4 yellows per game this season, from a sample of 20 games refereed. He has given 42 home yellows and 37 away yellows, so not a big disparity. And if the Bunderliga return is anything to go by, games behind closed doors tend to mean slightly more fouls and yellow cards given against home sides than if a partizan crowd was present. The reason I’m saying all this is to highlight that I’m not scared of backing the home side to pick up most yellow cards, despite the average success rate being 32.29% in the PL this season.For those that care, and if you do, you might need to go and get a beer and live a little, the away side wins the card count 43.06% of the time this season in the PL. Again, I suspect these two numbers to level out slightly whilst we’re seeing attendances of 30-50 staff and cameramen!
Looking at games involving The Lilywhites, and by the way the younger audience may not know that was a Tottenham nickname due to the colour of their shirts. Tottenham have won the card count 45% of the time this season, drawing 21% and losing 34% of the time.
United, have won the yellow card count just 21% of the time, drawing 24% and losing 55%
If we combine those average we’re looking at Spurs winning the card count tomorrow 5 times out of every 10 times this match was played, a draw a couple of times, and United winning the card coin the other 3 times.
Given that, I’m happy to make a play based purely on the price of 7/5 for Spurs to collect most yellow cards. The odds are implying it happens 41.7% of the time, so 4 times in 10, but I’ve got this closer to 5 out of 10.
If we get more specific and look at card counts against other traditional top 6 teams, United have won the card count twice, losing 5 times. And since Mouinho came in, in November, Spurs have won 3 out of 5. So again, both just extra pieces of data that offer a little support.
Obviously we want team news to be onside and if 3 out Sissokko, Winks, Davies, Aurier and Kane aren’t starting, I’d probably be worried.