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Fulham vs Southampton (Saturday, 15:00)
Fast-improving Fulham will be looking to continue their upward curve when they welcome Southampton to Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Scott Parker’s side have finally found their feet in the Premier League having avoided defeat in four of their last five fixtures.
Next up for the Cottagers is a Boxing Day showdown with a Southampton side sitting seventh in the Premier League standings.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men were on the wrong end of 1-0 reverse at home to Man City last weekend but the Saints will march into the capital boasting a six-match unbeaten run on the road.
A Southampton success on Saturday will attract plenty of attention at widely available quotes of 13/10, however, there is an alternative angle that has caught my eye in the card markets.
Fulham are priced up at 4/5 with Sky Bet to receive 20 or more booking points during this dust-up and that betting angle makes appeal.
The West Londoners are averaging 2.07 cards per game this season – the third-highest tally in the division to date – and they rank first when it comes to average cards received by a home team this season – Parker’s charges are averaging 2.43 cards per game at Craven Cottage.
When digging slightly deeper it can be seen that the Cottagers have clocked up 20+ booking points in 11 of their 14 top-flight tussles this term and they have received two or more cautions in all but one of their seven home matches so far.
It’s also worth noting the above-mentioned betting angle would have banked profit in five of Southampton’s last seven Premier League matches.
What’s more, referee Darren England is averaging 42.14 booking points per 90 minutes this season and that only adds to the appeal of backing relegation-threatened Fulham to rack up 20+ booking points on Boxing Day.
- Fulham 20+ Booking Points (4/5, Sky Bet)