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And it was all yellow: Anthony Taylor's stats to get you excited ahead of this weekend's FA Cup final

This weekend's FA Cup final could prove to be extremely profitable
This weekend's FA Cup final could prove to be extremely profitable

Arsenal and Chelsea lock horns in this weekend’s FA Cup final at an empty Wembley Stadium. 

Despite ending their domestic campaign in eighth-place - their lowest league finish in over two decades - the Gunners are still on for silverware in a competition they have tasted success in more than any other club in history, winning it 13 times.

Indeed, standing between the north Londoners and a 14th FA Cup triumph is a Chelsea side who are also somewhat of experts in this prestigious competition. 

Since the turn of the century, the Blues have lifted the trophy more than any other side in English football (six times), but were beaten 2-1 by Arsenal in the 2016-17 final thanks to goals from Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey.

The referee for that match was Premier League regular Anthony Taylor, and the Manchester-born man in the middle has been tasked with controlling things once more this Saturday as the two sides meet in the first ever FA Cup final to take place in August.

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You may be wondering why I’m telling you this, but there is a point to it I promise.

Taylor dished out a whopping eight cards during that game just over three years ago, and is one of the most card-happy officials in English football at the moment.

As you all know by now, alongside goalscorer and shots on target bets, card betting is our speciality here at BettingOdds.com, and we continually strive to pick out the value ahead of matches by assessing recent form and any trends we have noticed in previous encounters.

That’s why, as well as a comprehensive betting preview - featuring three expertly plucked tips from our very own Anthony Eadson - I’ve done a bit of digging into the archives to see exactly why we, as punters, should be excited at the prospect of a yellow FA Cup final this Saturday.

FA Cup final odds
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Stat attack

Anthony Taylor’s stats this season suggest that he won’t be able to resist dishing out the cards at Wembley this Saturday.

The 41-year-old has taken charge of 32 games this season - more than any other referee in England - brandishing a whopping 102 yellows in total (3.14 per game). 

Only Mike Dean has distributed more cards than Taylor this season, but that is perhaps unsurprising given how much we all know Deano loves being the centre of attention and chucking the bookings out.

Taylor has awarded 0.38 penalties in the Premier League this season, second only to Dean in the rankings, while interestingly the team he has shown the most bookings to this season is Chelsea (13 in just four games, an average of 3.25 per game).

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With two of the top-flight’s worst offenders both set to line-up directly against each other weekend - Chelsea’s Jorginho & Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka (10 yellow cards each) - there is a huge opportunity for the pair to find their way into Taylor’s notepad here, especially given the fact this game should be a feisty encounter with so much riding on it. 

Arsenal picked up the most red AND yellow cards throughout the 2019-20 campaign - 86 yellows and five reds - and there have been a total of 13 cards shown in the last two meetings between the Gunners and Chelsea. 

Even unassuming players, such as Arsenal’s breakthrough star Bukayo Saka and front man Alexandre Lacazette, racked up a number of yellows throughout the duration of the domestic campaign just gone.

Saka picked up six bookings in only 19 league starts this season and committed on average 0.8 fouls per game, while his teammate Lacazette is the Gunners’ second most-booked player with eight yellows in 22 league starts, and committed on average 1.5 fouls per game. 

If they feature, both could be worthwhile considerations for your Same Game Multi with the card-happy Taylor officiating proceedings. 

A Taylor

Hot-headed Luiz faces his former employers

Then there is David Luiz, the ex-Chelsea hot head who is universally described as a ‘complete liability’ by pretty much anyone who watches football. The Brazilian has undeniable qualities at times but his disciplinary record speaks for itself.

No player has been sent off more than Luiz has this season (twice), while the former Blues defender has conceded the most amount of penalties out of anyone this term - an astonishing five in 32 league starts - so it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Taylor award a spot-kick in this one; that’s best priced at 7/4 with bet365.

It is a similar situation with Chelsea. Jorginho is the Blues’ highest offender with 10 bookings but his central midfield partner Mateo Kovacic has only two less with eight, while unassuming players like N’Golo Kante and Willian each have four to their name, which could easily rise to five during a tense London derby. 

With so many players all thrown into the caldron and a referee with Taylor’s track record considered, this weekend’s FA Cup should, in theory, yield plenty of opportunities for punters betting on the card markets for this clash. 

The game should be a thriller, with previous fixtures between these two FA Cup specialists usually providing plenty of talking points. Here’s hoping for another explosive match packed full of dramas and, most importantly, cards.

Don’t let us down, Anthony.

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