Sunday Football Tips: Keeping calm on the final day

Andre Marriner
The lenient Andre Marriner takes charge of Liverpool v Palace

Cards are often at a premium on the final day of a Premier League season so our props column has thrown up 17/2 and 7/1 related bets...

"Three of Andre Marriner's 25 games this season have had no cards, as did his 2017 final-day match."

Back no cards in Liverpool v Crystal Palace @ 7/1

Premier League final day
Sunday 23 May, 16:00
Live on Sky Sports and BT Sport

Going low on cards is an angle I've often taken on the final day of the season over the years with the potential for some big prices.

An 'unders' acca is a potential route forward but for a tasty single it's worth looking for a game that will feature no cards at all.

Six of the last seven final days have seen at least one no-card match, while there were two in both 2016 and 2018.

It makes sense to look for a game with little riding on it but history shows it's not essential - in 2019, Manchester City's title-decider at Brighton saw the referee keep his cards in his pocket.

I'll therefore split stakes between two games - Sheffield United v Burnley, which has nothing riding on it, and Liverpool v Crystal Palace, where the hosts know a win is almost certain to take them into next season's Champions League.

The referee is the big plus at Bramall Lane.

Kevin Friend has averaged just 2.25 cards per game this season - the second lowest of the Premier League's 19 refs. He also produced zero cards in his final-day game three years ago.

Burnley's presence is also a boon - they've been involved in six no-card games, the most in the league.

The problem is Sheffield United. They have collected more cards than any Premier League side this term but with so little at stake, I'm still prepared to get involved with this game - no cards is a 17/2 shot.

Moving on to Anfield, we have a game Liverpool seem highly likely to win - their need is high, Palace's non-existent.

Teams often sit deep against Liverpool, thus making fewer challenges, and it's not hard to envisage Liverpool getting ahead early in this one and cruising to victory. If they do get two up, the lack of competitiveness will be good for this bet.

The outgoing champions have been the league's cleanest side this year in card terms, while Andre Marriner is another good appointment.

He's averaged just 2.36 cards per game, continuing his long-held reputation for being one of the top flight's most lenient officials.

Three of his 25 games this season have had no cards, as did his 2017 final-day match.

Palace sit in the middle of the fair-play table but with their players pretty much on the beach, the 7/1 about no cards in this one also appeals.

Click here for our in-depth previews of every Premier League game

Column P/L

Staked: 61pts
Returned: 52.53pts
P/L: -8.47pts

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