As the relentless Championship fixture list continues, tonight there is a mouth-watering top of the table clash between third place Cardiff City and league leaders Leeds United.
The sides are joint on points, with only goal difference separating them after fantastic starts to the season, this adds even more importance to the fixture and although still early in the season both Neil Warnock and Thomas Christiansen will be hoping to cement themselves as Premier League contenders.
The bookmakers have priced the fixture in a generous manner throughout the various markets, again reinforcing the fact that no one can predict which way the game will go. In order for us to find an “edge” we can use the importance of the fixture to our advantage, knowing that both sides will be up for the game, which is also being shown live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event, there is a bet which stands out.
Cardiff City over 1.5 Team Cards @ 8/11
Cardiff City, like any good Neil Warnock side have a nasty streak and know when to use their physicality to assert dominance over an opponent. This is especially the case when playing against a side who are comfortable on the ball, such as Leeds, who have numerous players who can hurt you from anywhere on the pitch. This season the Bluebirds average 1.78 cards per game whilst their opponents draw 2.00 cards per game, given that these statistics do not take in factors such as this being a top of the table clash or that it is a televised game where referee Kevin Friend will take charge.
Delving deeper into what drives this number of cards for the Welsh side, we can see they commit 13 fouls per game whilst Leeds are able to draw 12 fouls, allowing us to be confident that if both sides play true to form in this evenings fixture we can expect between 12/13 fouls for Cardiff. We then need to consider how this equates to cards and looking to Kevin Friend’s season so far, from his two Premier League and one Championship fixture, he has delivered a booking every 6 fouls, which would be beneficial for our over 1.5 team cards selection for Cardiff.
When backing a card market, whatever the spread – 1.5, 2.5, or 3.5 – it is pro-active to identify the common offenders likely to assist your selection. With just the 1.5 cards required here I want to select one player to bank on getting booked and trust that the situation of the match with produce the additional bookings.
The player who fits the bill for Cardiff has our bookings already this season and is expected to play in this fixture having been out with injury recently. Lee Peltier has been playing as right full-back for Neil Warnock and having picked up a booking in over half his league appearances this season, he fits the bill for our “go to” guy here, committing three tackles and two fouls per game suggest chances for a booking will come.
Given the likelihood Peltier could have to deal with players such Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez and Stuart Dallas who will look to take him on a small bet on the player to be booked at 10/3 would be worthwhile should he start.