Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

The Punter: Rovers a very good shout to be the new ‘bad boys’

Sunderland were the bad boys of the Premier League last season.

The Black Cats had the worst disciplinary record and Victor Chandler bookmakers are offering a market on the most indisciplined team based on one point per yellow card and three for a red as determined by the league’s official website.

But from a betting point of view, Blackburn have the ‘form’ if we take in the last five seasons.

Admittedly, they were not the worst in the previous two seasons but were numero uno in successive campaigns from 2006 up to and including 2008.

While Sunderland head the market at 3-1, West Brom (10-1) must come into the picture after they picked up 90 cautions on their way to promotion and had three players sent off.

The Baggies are more than likely to be one of the teams struggling at the bottom and hence with their backs to the wall more often than most.

But that of course does not necessarily mean more fouls, but the correlation can’t be dismissed.

West Brom have shown they have a mean streak under Roberto Di Matteo who is bound to adopt a defensive approach throughout the season.

Paddy Power have a similar market but for red cards only and have Newcastle at a tempting 14-1. The Magpies were top of the list in 2008 and again in 2006. They have physical players in Alan Smith, Kevin Nolan and the infamous Joey Barton.

Team with worst discipline (VC): 3-1 Sunderland; 4-1 Blackburn, Stoke; 5-1 Blackpool; 6-1 Newcastle; 7-1 Bolton; 9-1 Wolves; 10-1 Wigan, West Brom, West Ham; 16-1 Birmingham, Spurs, Man City;18-1 Arsenal; 20-1 Man Utd; 22-1 Chelsea; 25-1 Villa, Everton, Fulham; 33-1 Liverpool.

Most red cards (Paddy Power): 15-2 Sunderland; 8-1 Stoke; 10-1 Wolves, Bolton, Blackburn; 12-1 Blackpool, West Ham; Newcastle, Man Utd, Wigan, West Brom; 14-1 Chelsea; 16-1 Fulham; 18-1 Liverpool, Birmingham; 25-1 Everton, Spurs, Aston Villa, Man City; 40-1 Arsenal.