Porto v Benfica: Back Kokcu to deliver again

Portuguese referee Joao Pinheiro
Joao Pinheiro may have his work cut out in O Classico

Our football props column delivered a 27/1 winner earlier this week and on Sunday it has a 24/1 shot for a huge game in Portugal - one which usually delivers cards....

Porto v Benfica
Sunday 3 March, 20:30
Live on TrillerTV

I wrote earlier this week about the 'Big Three' games in Portugal and their propensity for cards.

Sadly, the first leg of the cup tie between Sporting and Benfica rather let us down, albeit Orkun Kokcu did get his predicted card on yet another day when singles backers won but Bet Builder backers didn't.

Still, there's another opportunity straight away on Sunday with O Classico taking place in Oporto.

This is must-win for the hosts given they have fallen off the pace in the title race and, with Sporting potentially moving top prior to kick-off, current leaders Benfica know they can ill afford to drop points too.

Competitive? It certainly should be.

And history shows how the cards usually deliver - 15 of the last 17 meetings have seen at least 70 booking points (that's 10 for a yellow and 25 for a red, if you didn't know).

Sadly, the market looks pretty clued up here with 9+ cards odds-on - not a price I want to get involved with, despite referee Joao Pinheiro having cleared that bar in his two previous handlings of this fixture (10, 12).

Leg 1: Red card in the match

Another takeaway from those games is that Pinheiro produced a red card in both of them (as well as four of his last five 'Big Three matches) and there's now been a dismissal in nine of the last 16 O Classico encounters.

Even-money about a red card feels wrong, especially if you are a UK punter, but the stats show there's still potential value.

Another angle is to back both teams to have a red card at 10/111.00, given what's at stake.

Leg 2: Orkun Kokcu to be shown a card

As for player cards, Kokcu looks the best bet at 6/42.50 in a market which has no fewer than 11 players at evens or lower.

The Turkish international has been booked in one of his two appearances against Porto since joining Benfica last summer, while as already noted, he was booked on Thursday night when he was involved in the game's major flashpoint.

That follows on from the midfielder's strong card record in the big games for Feyenoord - four in seven games v PSV and three in five v Ajax.

So, let's back Kokcu to be shown a card and a red card in the match at around 7/24.50 - two-thirds of the stake on that.

Back red card in the match & Kokcu to be shown a card at around 7/24.50

Bet now

We'll shoot for the stars with the other third - Kokcu to be carded and both sides to see red at around 24/125.00. Well, after all, we did have a 27/1 winner earlier this week...

Back both teams to have a red card & Kokcu to be shown a card @ around 24/125.00

Bet now

Big Game Focus: Tom Victor on the Manchester Derby!

Column P/L 2023/24

Staked: 192pts
Returned: 211.15pts
P/L: +19.15pts

2022/23 P/L: +68.69pts

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