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Middlesbrough vs. Cardiff Predictions: Back Bookings at the Riverside

Chris Wilder's Boro average 2.4 cards per game in their last ten at home
Chris Wilder's Boro average 2.4 cards per game in their last ten at home
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Middlesbrough vs Cardiff Odds

Middlesbrough are right in the mix. The Riverside will bear witness to Boro’s game in hand, another opportunity to tug at the coattails of those occupying the playoff places.

Chris Wilder will have eyed Cardiff’s visit as one his side should capitalise with the aim of reaching the Premier League summit at the first time of asking. The former Blades boss has taken to life in Boro with minimal fuss, ensuring his Riverside outfit presents as one of the trickiest in the division.

Although Cardiff are home and hosed in terms of safety, Steve Morison expects his side to arrive ready for battle. Speaking in the pre-match presser, Morison explained, “it’s a game that will be on TV, and it’s one that you want to play in, similarly to Saturday. Our game over the weekend was very close, and on Wednesday, we’ll go up there looking to give a good account of ourselves.”

It is a fixture with much more on the line for home support. In November, Wilder’s presence in the dugout brought a sense of expectation with him, with the promotion push being precisely the type of fight they’d have hoped to be involved in.

At this stage of the season, the weight of the pressure and expectation to provide results with so much at stake can make a mockery of bet-slips. For that very reason, in anticipation of a nervously heated match-up, I’m veering towards utilising the card markets on offer.

Middlesbrough vs Cardiff Tips

Football Betting Tips
Over 39.5 Booking points + Middlesbrough most corners
Odds correct as of 2022-04-27 09:10 Odds subject to change.

With the inclusion of Matt Donohue as the referee, this appears to be a wise approach. Donohue’s 4.36 per90 average in the Championship this term provides an insight into what could materialise here. 

Over 3.5 cards have landed in 75% of the referee’s games this season. As the season ramps up towards a climax, both card averages for Middlesbrough and Cardiff witness an increase compared to the campaign in its entirety. In Boro’s last ten at home, their cards per90 total creeps up from 1.90 to 2.40. For Cardiff, their output nudges up to 2.50 from 2.33 whilst on their travels.

Equipped with a combined 4.90 cards per90 figure and a 4.00 opponent’s cards received average; we may be on the right track. 

The inclusion of Middlesbrough to force the most corners feeds into the narrative of the hosts dominating and attempting to break the deadlock with intense pressure. The longer Cardiff holds Boro at arm’s length and keeps the score line close, the better for the selection.

Wilder’s men average 6.20 corners from the previous ten matches on familiar ground at the Riverside. When Cardiff vacate their base in Southern Wales, their’ corners forced’ total hits an uninspiring 3.00 per game in the last ten.

With Cardiff’s little motivation to harness compared to their opponents, it’s difficult to envisage the Bluebirds laying siege on a Boro backline and leaving with the lion’s share of the corner count. Not only that but the ‘corners against’ averages from the same timeframe suggest that the home side should come out on top. 

Cardiff’s 6.00’ corners against’ overshadow Middlesbrough’s 4.60. As a result, this travelling Cardiff outfit has lost the corner count in 7 of 10 recent match-ups on the road.

Middlesbrough vs Cardiff Odds
Bet Builder
Odds correct as of 2022-04-27 09:15 Odds subject to change.

Now, to play things a little riskier and to fashion a longshot from the numbers at our disposal, there’s a bet builder selection at 5.50 to run the rule over.

  • Over 39.5 Booking points
  • Over 9.5 Booking Points Each Side in the Second Half 
  • Boro Most First Half Corners 
  • Boro Most Second Half Corners 
  • Boro Over 5.5 Corners
  • @ 5.50 on William Hill - 0.5u

The long shot’s corner angle has landed in the last five head-to-heads dating back to 2019. A month before Wilder took charge in October’s meeting, the corner count ended 4-14 in Wales.

Boro have landed over 5.5 corners in 70% of their most-recent ten, whilst only 10% of Cardiff away games hit such a total for Morison’s men. As you’d expect, then, the two side’s first half and second half’ corners for’ average also works in our favour: 

First half: 2.90/1.30

Second half: 3.30/1.70

In addition, the longer priced play includes a booking apiece to be shown to the sides. In 71% of Matt Donohue’s officiated matches, both teams have received a booking in the second half.

After the break, in the final 45, Boro stumps up a 1.90 second half cards total. The figure is a little less for Cardiff but still streets ahead of what’s required at 1.60.

No matter what, it should be a hotly contested 90-minutes. One to rival the Champions League tie on the other channel, perhaps?

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