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Monday, 17 December, 2018

La Liga clash may be less hostile than bookies believe

Wise words from the Soccer Boffin

Jesus Navas of Sevilla
1 of 1

Bet on a low number of cards in the early kick-off. Not the one at Anfield between Liverpool and Manchester United.

It could happen there but the odds do not seem to underestimate the possibility. Instead bet on a low number of cards in the midday kick-off in Bilbao between Athletic and Sevilla.

Bet365 offer under 6.5 Asian total cards at decimal odds of 2.0 – equivalent to fractional odds of evens. Each yellow will count as one and each red as two.

There have been fewer cards than usual in La Liga games over the last season and a bit. But let us be cautious – that is usually a sensible thing to do – and accept that in future makeups could rise again.

Football tipping columns 

Mark Langdon

Dan Childs

Even-money implies a 50 per cent chance of a bet being successful. Over the last 17 and a bit seasons – since the start of 2000-2001 – 61 per cent of La Liga games have featured fewer than 6.5 cards.

The referee at San Mames will be Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva. He has produced fewer than 6.5 cards in 59 per cent of his previous games – 83 out of 140.

Athletic and Sevilla are two of the six biggest clubs in Spain. Along with Barcelona and Real Madrid the others are Atletico Madrid and Valencia.

In meetings between these big clubs from cities representing important regions in Spain low card counts tend to be less common than in other fixtures.

Even so there were fewer than 6.5 cards over the last 17 and a bit seasons in 54 per cent of La Liga games between that six. And the proportion was 56 per cent for contests between Athletic and Sevilla.

There was a time a few years back when a low card count was rather unlikely in any Athletic game or in any Sevilla game. But that has not been the case for about four seasons for Athletic, though only for about one season with Sevilla.

Both teams could revert to their former type. But it is more likely that bookings makeups in their games will remain near a normal level.

Any outcome is possible in any market in any event, but the chance of under 6.5 cards today at San Mames may be more likely than not, and if it is evens represents value for money.

Under 6.5 Asian total cards Athletic v Sevilla
1pt 2.0 bet365

Find out what Dan Childs is tipping in Athletic v Seville here

Thought for the day

Sir Bobby Charlton remembered just the right words. We should not have been surprised. He is an almost unique mixture: a humble great man, as well as the best English footballer of all time.

There was a lovely documentary on the BBC to celebrate Charlton’s 80th birthday. He recalled something the Manchester United players had been told in the 1960s by manager Sir Matt Busby:

“All these people they’re going past the ground and they’re going to work in Trafford Park, and they’re going to work really hard on shop floors and in different places. But when they’re finished on a Saturday they expect to be entertained. They expect to have something decent.”

Charlton continued: “And it’s something we must have thought about because that’s part of what Manchester United is. You’re not allowed to play boring football. You’ve got to entertain.”

I was lucky enough to see Charlton play several times – that long stride, strands of blond hair flapping across a bald scalp, then a thunderous shot. I share his philosophy of football.

Attacking, entertaining football is what I have most enjoyed watching. Others before and since have cherished the same ideal, but I have never heard anyone express it as well as in those words.

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Both teams could revert to their former type. But it is more likely that bookings makeups in their games will remain near a normal level
E.W. Terms
Sky bet