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Booking Tips: Two cards plays for Champions League Matchday 5

Booking Tips: Dimitri Payet features.
Booking Tips: Dimitri Payet features.

We tick over into December on Tuesday which not only means that the festive season is on the horizon but that the Champions League group stages climaxes with some tantalising fixtures to look forward to. I've taken a dive into the markets to try and find some value bets.

Marseille v Olympiacos - UEFA Champions League - Tuesday 1st December (8pm)

It's last chance saloon time for Marseille on Tuesday as they look to restore something from their wretched Champions League campaign. There's no two ways about it - OM have been absolutely pathetic and the team, plus former Chelsea and Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, have taken some justified criticism for their lack of spark and ultimately performance on the pitch with 4 defeats in 4 leaving them rock bottom of Group C. 

Matchday 5 sees the French club take on Greek champions Olympiacos, who have made their mark in European competition in the last year or so as Arsenal and Wolves would be able to testify. It's simply must-win for Marseille if they are to sneak a Europa League spot by finishing third above Tuesday's opponents but they will need to replicate their recent positive league form to be able to take three points against a side that are not used to losing very often. 

Today's Football Tips
Marseille v Olympiakos
Tue, 20:00
Dimitri Payet to be carded
  • Payet has been carded in both of his last two matches and four across the season.
  • The Frenchman picks up cards for dissent frequently.
  • Marseille's discipline has been poor all season.
Odds correct as of 2020-11-30 21:20 Odds subject to change.

Every follower of the Premier League could not help but revel in the mastery of Dimitri Payet during his West Ham glory days - his tricks and flicks mesmerising but unlike some of the mercurial talent that arrives in the English game, the now 33 year-old had an end product to go with it.

Payet never got a dream move, perhaps leaving East London on a sour note and his form for Marseille has been patchy to say the least. He is still capable of producing something sublime out of nothing but it's not a scoring or shot contribution I want to focus on here but instead his tendency for a card.

Payet has always had a bit of a short fuse which has been demonstrated this season, registering 3 yellow cards and a red despite his foul averages been relatively average for a player in his advanced position. In truth, it's not just the attacking midfielder who has a disciplinary problem in this squad with OM racking up an eye-watering 46 cards in just 14 Ligue 1 and Champions League contests in 2020/21 so it is certainly always worth keeping an eye on these booking markets when Villas Boas' side are involved.

The former Hammer was sent off for a nasty, high-foot tackle in a game back in October against Lyon, receiving a three match ban as a result, and since his return, his appearances have been sporadic and his last two matches have seen him pick up a yellow card in each. Payet is no stranger to talking his way into the book either - the final three cards of his 2019/20 tally of seven cards coming as a result of dissent.

With Marseille experiencing such frustration in Europe, we could well see Payet resort to a cynical foul or get himself carded for an argument with a fellow player or referee, so the 7/2 with Betfair looks a bit of value to me with Spaniard Jesus Gil in charge of the whistle.

Champions League Betting
Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich
Tue, 20:00
Koke to be carded
  • Koke has been booked in 4 of his last 8 starts, including away to Bayern in the reverse fixture.
  • An Atleti central midfielder has been carded in 7 of their last 8 matches.
  • Referee Clement Turpin has a high cards-per-game rate in Europe in the last year.
Odds correct as of 2020-11-30 21:15 Odds subject to change.

Atletico Madrid v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League - Tuesday 1st December, BT Sport ESPN (8pm)

Atletico Madrid are having a great season domestically, sitting second in LaLiga above both giants of the Spanish game Real Madrid and Barcelona, but Diego Simeone's men are yet to click into gear in a challenging Champions League group.

Five points from four matches is a frustrating return, with draws against Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow preventing a gap opening up on those sides who are currently sitting in 3rd and 4th place. All is not lost though and although Tuesday's opponents Bayern have already progressed, 2nd place is there for the taking and would be all-but sealed if Atleti win this match.

The fact that Bayern are already through is a welcome relief heading into this game for Simeone and Co., with the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka not making the trip with the travelling party to Madrid. Atleti will be under no illusions that this will be a tough encounter though, with Bayern looking to protect a long winning record in the Champions League.

There's some nice prices about on the cards front, especially for the home side.

Atleti are well known for their 'dark arts' and for sharing the fouls/cards about, a real 'win at all costs' mentality. Teams hate playing them but do they care one jot? Of course not.

Koke is a man that always stands out on the cards front alongside his fellow central midfielders. I was really surprised to see Bet365 price him up at 9/2 for a booking here considering the Spaniard's four yellows in his last eight starts, including one in Munich in the reverse drubbing to Bayern.

A central midfielder has been booked for Bayern's opposition in three of their four group stages matches in this season's competition, with a Madrid centre mid being carded in seven of their last eight games - quite a run of games. With this such a big match for Atleti, they will be desperate to win the game and Koke looks to fit the bill considering his recent record, the tendencies of his team, the quality of the opposition and the referee in charge.

Clement Turpin has a very high card rate in European competition recently, dishing out 33 cards in his last 6 Champions League/Europa League ties, an average of 5.5 per match.

I'd price this more at the 10/3 mark so we're getting some value on hand here. 

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