As league campaigns across Europe come to an end, the countdown to the World Cup in Brazil is firmly underway and the specials markets are starting to come through.
A lack of discipline can be the difference between winning and losing and there are a number of options in the yellow card markets in the lead up to the first game.
Interestingly, the South African finals of 2010 yielded 17 red cards – 11 less than the previous tournament in Germany back in 2006.
Look closely at the figures and you’ll find some pointers for Brazil but in the yellow card betting, the bookies are certain as to who will come out on top. The main South America sides are favourites to receive most yellow cards at the tournament and Argentina and Brazil are both on offer at 10/1 with BetVictor.
Argentina may have a reputation for being a tough tackling, uncompromising side but in fact, they came way down the list in 2010. Diego Maradona was an unlikely man to bring discipline into the camp but his Argentine side picked up just seven yellows and no reds in South Africa. Contrast that with the worst offenders, the brutal Netherlands who picked up no less than 24 yellows plus Johnny Heitinga’s red in the final.
Louis van Gaal’s Dutch team are out at 14/1 with BetVictor to pick up the most yellows in 2014 but they are generally a calmer side than 2010’s tournament suggested.
Further down the list, Chile are known for a lack of discipline and are quoted here at 21/1 with 888Sport but are the South Americans likely to make it to the knockout rounds?
Ideally, you’re looking for a team to make it to the quarter finals at least and that’s why Italy look so generous at 16/1 with BetVictor. Once again however, it may surprise punters to learn that the Italians picked up just five yellows and no reds in 2010.
Eastern European sides can cross the disciplinary line and therefore Croatia will be an option at 25/1 with BetVictor while the Germans received a promising 13 yellows and 1 red in South Africa and areavailable at 12/1 with BetVictor again.
It’s a tough market but previous history is always an indicator. The Dutch figures from 2010 are actually quite shocking but it’s the Germans who tend to be the most consistent offenders so Joachim Low’s team get my stake in the lead up to the tournament.