Bet of the Day

Bayer Leverkusen v Qarabag: Card value lies with Romao

Qarabag's Brazilian midfielder Julio Romao
Julio Romao: Has received 15 cards in 33 starts this season

Our football props column returned to the winners' circle on Wednesday and Andy Schooler feels he's found some card value in the Europa League on Thursday...

Bayer Leverkusen v Qarabag
Thursday 14 March, 20:00
Live on TNT Sports

It's mid-March but Bayer Leverkusen are yet to lose in any competition this season - there's more than one reason Xabi Alonso is being linked with the Liverpool job.

However, that record only just survived the first leg, the Germans having to come from 2-0 down and level in injury time to earn a 2-2 draw in Azerbaijan.

While there's no getting away from the fact that Qarabag have already lost 5-1 in Leverkusen during the group stage, this still has the potential to be competitive - the visitors have won four times away in the competition, including at Portuguese high-fliers Braga in the last round.

Leg 1: Over 2.5 Qarabag cards

If that's the case, then the chance of cards looks strong.

Qarabag lead the competition for fouls committed and are second for cards received - 26 yellows and two reds in nine games since the group stage began.

We've also got a strict official in Anthony Taylor - he's now shown at least five cards in 27 of his last 43 UEFA club appointments.

I'm happy to put down Qarabag for over 2.5 cards at 13/102.30, a bet which landed in both group games against Leverkusen.

Leg 2: Julio Romao to be shown a card

Looking a little deeper, I like the chances of Julio Romao being one of those carded.

The midfielder has been booked in 15 of his 33 starts this season, while in the Europa League (including qualifying) it's six in 11 - including the 5-1 group-stage loss here.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Brazilian was suspended for the first leg but he is expected to return to the starting XI here to bolster Qarabag defensively.

A price of 9/52.80 looks good single material given his record but with a Bet Builder required in this column, I'll add Romao to over 2.5 Qarabag cards to form a 16/54.20 shot.

Back Qarabag over 2.5 cards & Romao to be shown a card @ around 16/54.20

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More UEL: Dan Fitch's best bets for Thursday's action

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Column P/L 2023/24

Staked: 203pts
Returned: 223.73pts
P/L: +20.73pts

2022/23 P/L: +68.69pts


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