Using my Card Sheets I have picked the two most attractive looking games for bookings in the UEFA Europa League tonight as we pay visits to Rome and Naples. After smashing a 23/1 winner last time, I have selected my six favourite players to get into the referees notebook this evening backed up with plenty of stats and research.
Lazio v Marseille
Thursday 21st October – 5:45PM Kick Off
BT Sport Extra
Referee – D. Aytekin averages 4.0 yellows per domestic game & 3.33 in Europe over in the past 2 seasons
We kick things off in Rome then for a mouth-watering clash between two massive sides in this season’s Europa League as Lazio host Marseille. Both clubs are followed by some of the most loyal and passionate fans in European football and I expect an electric atmosphere at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening. That should add to what I already expect to be a fiery encounter and there are three players in particular who stick out to me having referred to my trusty Card Sheet. I have made a note and done some extra research on a trio of players who I fancy in particular; you can see them listed below.
Luiz Felipe to be Booked v Marseille
Now this guy is a proper old-fashioned s***house. I am not sure how many of you tuned into Lazio’s 3-1 win over Inter Milan at the weekend but his antics were there for all to see. Following the final whistle, Felipe decided to jump on the back of former Lazio teammate, Joaquín Correa to celebrate which unsurprisingly started a full blown melee at the end of the game. Correa reacted angrily, with a full-blown fight ensuing between opposing players, and Luiz Felipe was consequently sent off at the Stadio Olimpico before departing the pitch in tears. Now if this isn’t a guy who looks likely to be booked tonight then I don’t know who is!
His behaviour this weekend was far from a one off either and as you can see from the Card Sheet he is a man who loves to bend the rules. His career average of 0.34 YCPG is already fruitful enough but he seems to be getting more dirty as his career continues and last season averaged a card every 0.41 games and is averaging a card every 0.38 games so far this season. He is suspended for the weekend’s Serie A game so is certain to start here and likely to play the full 90 minutes too. At odds of 3.6 and following his behaviour this weekend just gone, he looks exceptional value to pick up a card in this one.
Luiz Felipe to be Shown a Card v Marseille @ 3.6 at Paddy Power
Lucas Leiva to be Booked v Marseille
A real firm favourite of mine to be carded over the years is veteran midfielder Lucas Leiva. He is a dirty bugger as he showed throughout his years at Liverpool and if anything has gotten worse as his career has advanced. His style of play and gritty personality mean he is never shy of a booking as his 114 career yellow cards to date can confirm. He is indispensable under Sarri and viewed as a vitally important player by the Italian. He will have the very difficult task of trying to keep a very talented Marseille forward line at bay on Thursday evening.
The card sheet again supports this selection. He averaged 0.4 YCPG last season and is averaging a very respectable career average of 0.28YCPG over a career which has spanned as long as his (531 games) is mightily impressive. He will be expected to keep tabs on Payet and is sure to have a battle or two with the fiery youngster Matteo Guendouzi who is renowned for having a temper. Fancy fireworks for Lucas and he looks good value as always to pick up a yellow.
Lucas Leiva to be Shown a Card v Marseille @ 3.6 at Paddy Power
Boubacar Kamara to be Booked v Lazio
We finish with a Marseille player and although Alvaro Gonzalez stands out quite clearly on the card sheet, at odds of just 1.83 there is little to no value in his selection. A player who stands out for me is highly-rated holding midfielder Boubacar Kamara. He is just 21 and very highly thought of around Europe and been labelled a ‘technical destroyer’ by one media outlet in France. From pressing the opposition, battling for possession or making fierce tackles, Kamara is always involved in the thick of the action. He is reportedly being scouted by English clubs with Newcastle and Aston Villa particularly interested in his signature. It isn’t really surprising given the France under-21 international is one of only 10 players under the age of 23 across Europe’s top five leagues to rank in the top 25% for winning the ball and regaining possession for his team according to scouted football.
You can see from his Card Sheet stats that since breaking into the Marseille senior team in recent years he has become prominent in pickup cards. He features in all 3 of the Marseille defensive card statistics and in a massive game away at Lazio where he knows he is being watched he will be keen to impress. Would not be surprised at all to see him overstep the mark and pick up a caution as a result. Scroll down below to see my Card Sheet for the game which should help you with your own betting predictions.
Boubacar Kamara to be Shown a Card v Lazio @ 2.88 at Paddy Power
Lazio v Marseille Card Sheet
Napoli v Legia Warsaw
Thursday 21st October – 8:00PM Kick Off
BT Sport Extra
Referee – C. Del Cerro averages 5.2 yellows per domestic game & 3.7 in Europe over the past 2 seasons
Next up we head to Naples for an important game in Group C for both sides. Realistically it is a must-win for Napoli following their underwhelming start to the group having picked up just one point from their opening 2 games. Expecting a feisty affair given what is at stake and Legia in particular have used plenty of aggression in Europe this season to make the great start they have to the group. 14 bookings have featured in the 2 European games they have played and would fancy plenty more to feature tonight given the magnitude and importance of the tie. My three favourite players to get into the referees notebook this evening backed up with plenty of stats and research are listed below.
Eljif Elmas to be Booked v Legia Warsaw
The young North Macedonian international has shown already in his relatively short senior career that he loves a tackle and loves to pick up a booking. I read an article this week that Elmas loves kickboxing as a way to let-out his pent up aggression. Apparently following Macedonia’s exit from Euro 2020 this summer he went to train with Dejan Mitrovski-Urko who is a very famous North Macedonian kick-boxer. You can see when he plays he is a player who wears his heart on his sleeves and is always keen to get stuck-in whenever possible and he looks the best bet from a Napoli point of view to pick up a card on Thursday night.
The Card Sheet has certainly picked up on this fighting spirit he seems to have within him. He features prominently on the Card Sheet ranking amongst the top 4 Napoli players for yellow cards this season, last season and also throughout his career. He looks great odds in this one and fantastic value to pick-up a card on Thursday night in Naples.
Eljif Elmas to be Shown a Card v Legia Warsaw @ 3.25 at Paddy Power
Filip Mladenovic to be Booked v Napoli
With Napoli like to dominate the game due to being the far superior side it made sense to have a couple of Legia players to be booked as they spend the majority of the evening out of possession and defending like mad. The first player who caught my eye was left back Filip Mladenovic. He has the unenviable task of trying to keep the likes of Lorenzo Insigne, Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano which for those who have tuned into Serie A much this season isn’t an easy thing to do. I can see the Serbian international looking a little out of his depth and having to revert to dirty tactics in a bid to stop such a talented trio. He has history in this competition too and in his 4 career Europa League appearances to date he has 2 bookings.
Domestically too he has problems with his discipline as the Card Sheet can clearly highlight. 0.36 YCPG this season is a significant number but still not far off his career average of 0.28 which shows he is often a player you can rely on to pick up a card. Against a world class Napoli side, the quality of which he will not be used to playing against, he looks a prime candidate to be booked in this one.
Filip Mladenovic to be Shown a Card v Napoli @ 2.1 at Paddy Power
Maik Nawrocki to be Booked v Napoli
Similar method of thinking for my third and final selection in this fixture and I will look to Polish youngster Maik Nawrocki to be carded. He is highly thought of in his native Poland and is spending the season on loan in Warsaw from German club Werder Bremen. He still looks a little raw and inexperienced in senior football and already has 3 yellow cards to his name in just 8 appearances including in his last two successive league games prior to the game in Naples. Similarly to Mladenovic he features prominently on the Card Sheet and given his inexperience will never have played against such attacking quality in his entire career.
Maik Nawrocki to be Shown a Card v Napoli @ 2.88 at Paddy Power
Napoli v Legia Warsaw Card Sheet
After a 23/1 winner in the last Europa League fixtures, I’m hoping for some more of this from tonight’s card sheets…👀
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *