Our football props column has picked out two Europa Conference League games as strong candidates for card chaos on Thursday.
“Vitesse are bottom of the fair-play league in the Netherlands and were sixth for fouls committed in the group stage of this competition.”
Europa Conference League
Thursday 17 February, 17:45
Live on BT Sport Digital Exclusive
Cards haven’t been kind in recent days but I’m sticking with them in the Europa Conference League on Thursday – here are the reasons.
Midtjylland v PAOK and Rapid Vienna v Vitesse Arnhem are two games featuring high-carding referees and teams with plenty to suggest they’ll be picking up a few yellows.
Let’s start with the former.
English ref Craig Pawson takes charge here and he’s a man who angered PAOK a couple of seasons ago when he awarded three penalties against them in a game against Ajax. Some players remain and it’s not hard to see there being some residual effect.
As for the hosts, only two sides committed more fouls in the Europa League group stages (they’ve dropped down into this competition), while their 17 yellow cards were topped by only five of the 32 nations. They also picked up one red.
Pawson has shown at least four cards in 16 of his last 19 UEFA club matches and given the teams’ involved, I’m happy to put him down for at least five here.
The same goes for Lithuanian official Donatas Rumsas, who will take charge in Austria. He showed no fewer than 15 cards in a European tie earlier this season.
His 4+ figure is 13 in 17 games and he’s now got to deal with two teams with disciplinary issues.
Vitesse are bottom of the fair-play league in the Netherlands and were sixth for fouls committed in the group stage of this competition.
Meanwhile, only three sides in the Austrian Bundesliga have been shown more yellow cards than Rapid, who were also sixth in the Europa League on the same metric.
The over 4.5 cards double pays 16/5 which looks fine to me.
Thursday Cheat Sheet: All the best bets in one place!
Source: BetFair Tips