Bet of the Day

Cruzeiro v Universidad Catolica: Ivaldo a card beast

Cruzeiro defender Ze Ivaldo is a card magnet
Ze Ivaldo: 10 cards in 17 starts for Cruzeiro this season

Our football props column is off to the Copa Sudamericana on Thursday and highlights a player carded in 10 of his 17 starts this season...

Cruzeiro v Universidad Catolica
Thursday 30 May, 01:00 (Fri, BST)

The group stage of the Copa Sudamericana - South America's equivalent of the Europa League - reaches its conclusion on Thursday night and there's still plenty to play for in Group B.

Both sides have already secured progress to the knockout phase but top spot remains up for grabs. That's significant as the group winners will go straight to the last 16, while the runners-up have to negotiate an extra round against one of the sides dropping down from the top-tier Copa Libertadores.

In short, this should be competitive.

Leg 1: Under 2.5 goals

The Ecuadorian visitors sit in the box seat at kick-off, topping the group and knowing they will win the group by avoiding defeat.

They've been very solid defensively so far, conceding just the one goal across their five matches, while scoring only eight.

Cruzeiro's games have also seen fairly few goals - seven for and three against.

Both look well set up to take a 'hold what we have' approach if they score first and so under 2.5 goals makes the cut for our Bet Builder.

It's landed in six of the sides' combined 10 games in the competition, including the reverse fixture which ended goalless.

Leg 2: Ze Ivaldo to be shown a card

The value for our bet comes in the player-card market where home centre-back Ze Ivaldo looks a good price.

The Brazilian has been carded in 10 of his 17 starts this season so it's a surprise to be getting 21/10.

The referee looks a good one with the relatively inexperienced Nicolas Maximiliano Ramirez, of Argentina, having tallies of 5-6-6-7 in his previous CONMEBOL club matches.

Domestically, he's a wild one - 10 matches this season have seen 79 yellow cards and 10 reds.

The two legs combine for a bet which pays north of 4/15.00 and, on a quiet football day, that looks good enough to me.

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Column P/L 2023/24

Staked: 268pts
Returned: 296.86pts
P/L: +28.86pts

2022/23 P/L: +68.69pts


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.