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Monday Football Tips: Friendly fouls can reap rewards

Merih Demiral, Turkey defender
Merih Demiral: Has committed a foul in 10 of his last 13 international starts

On a light Monday coupon, our football props column focuses on the Poland v Turkey friendly where a 2/1 fouls double makes appeal.


Poland v Turkey
Monday 10 June, 19:45
Live on Premier Sports 2

Euro 2024 begins on Friday - you may have heard - but for now preparations continue for the tournament in the form of warm-up friendlies.

It's fair to say these are far from ideal betting heats but this contest could offer something for props punters when there is little going on elsewhere.

Both sides will be in Germany next week having qualified for the Euros and so you'd imagine this will be a fairly competitive affair, especially with players aiming to cement their place in the starting XI.


Leg 1: Merih Demiral to commit 1+ foul

The angle I'm pursuing here is fouls.

Only one side committed more fouls per game in qualifying than Poland (they were also highly fouled too), while Turkey had the worst discipline, picking up 27 yellow cards in their eight matches.

Backing cards doesn't reap rewards too often in friendlies but fouls are a different matter - there were 29 in the Turks' goalless draw with Italy last week.

I'll start by picking their defender Merih Demiral for 1+ foul.

With former Liverpool man Ozan Kabak picking up a serious knee injury against the Italians, one which will rule him out of Euro 2024, Demiral looks set to start in the centre of defence.

He committed a foul in four of his five qualifiers and he's now landed this bet in 10 of his last 13 international starts.

In this one, he'll be up against Robert Lewandowski, Poland's second-most fouled player in qualifying, and a forward who strikes fear into all-comers.

Leg 2: Piotr Zielinski to commit 1+ foul

For Poland, Piotr Zielinski gets the vote in the same market.

No Pole committed more fouls in qualifying than Zielinski, who will be in the heart of the fight in central midfield here.

While his stats aren't as good in terms of landing the 1+ foul bet, it's notable from his numbers that he tends to produce more fouls against the better teams. For example, he committed two against Wales in March's play-off final and had one in a friendly against Germany back in the autumn.

While we can never be sure of the starting line-ups for a friendly such as this, Zielinski rarely misses a Poland game and so I'm going to include him in a Bet Builder double which pays 2/13.00.


Euro 2024: Read Mark O'Haire's team-by-team guide!


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Column P/L 2023/24

Staked: 273pts
Returned: 312.63pts
P/L: +39.63pts

2022/23 P/L: +68.69pts

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