Europa League Bookings To Watch Out For - 29/04/21

Europa League Yellow Cards

Europa League Bookings To Watch Out For

We have a double header of Europa League action on Thursday evening, with two fiery semi-finals taking place.

Outright favourites Manchester United welcome Roma to Old Trafford, whilst Arsenal travel to Villarreal to take on a familiar face in the dugout.

We are hoping to see fireworks fly, and not just in the goal department either. The cards tend to be brandished in European competitions, so we've highlighted a few players to watch out for, for a potential booking on the night.

Bruno Peres - Roma

Roma have picked up 27 yellow cards in the Europa League this season, the second most of any club participating in the competition.

Right-back Bruno Peres has been their joint-top serial offender, picking up three bookings from eleven appearances. Usually operating down the channel, Peres is tasked with covering the defensive space as a wing-back, meaning he will directly be facing Marcus Rashford on Thursday evening.

The pacy forward causes the best of defenders issues at times, and will fancy his chances down the left flank. He often serves as United's main source of attacking output, and the side will surely be looking to get the in-form attacker on the ball wherever possible.

Those 1v1 duels could prove tricky for Peres, who is 9/4 to pick up a yellow.

Amadou Diawara - Roma

When the Red Devils turn up the heat, it is often the opposing central midfielders that rack up the cards. This tends to come from their advancing figures in the final third, most notably Bruno Fernandes.

Amadou Diawara will be tasked with holding the midfield for Roma, a figure that United will try to isolate. The former is a feisty player and has averaged 1.7 fouls per game in the competition this season - only the suspended Gianluca Mancini ranks higher in this department, in the club's squad.

He only has one booking in the Europa League this season, but we fancy him at a value punt at 5/2.

Scott McTominay - Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tends to set-up with the 4-2-3-1 formation in the 'big' games, and we expect this to be the case against Roma. Although Paul Pogba may come into the XI, it is likely that we see United operate with the two holding figures, usually in the shape of Fred and Scott McTominay.

Both players top the charts in terms of fouls per game in the Premier League for their side this season, as the duo attempt to break up the opposition's play and cut out any opportunities in and around their 18-yard line.

The two, on paper, look suspect for a booking against Roma - a team likes to interchange and roam around the attacking areas with the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini. It's worth noting that a CM against the Wolves has been carded twice, in the last three games.

A case can be made for either, but McTominay at 5/1 looks a real standout price.

Alfonso Pedraza - Villarreal

Sparks will hopefully fly during Arsenal's trip to Villarreal - BTTS has landed in the latter's last five games, so the Gunners should adopt an attacking mentality. Despite their inconsistencies this season, if you were to draw out one positive, it would be their flashes and moments of brilliance in-front of goal.

Such productivity often stems from the wide-men in Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka, with the duo combining to contribute to fourteen goals in the Europa League this campaign. The Englishman, in particular, is a direct threat down the right channel, cutting in and looking for openings.

Down the flank, he will be facing Alfonso Pedraza, a left-back that has averaged 1.4 fouls per game, and a defender that has been booked twice in the competition this season. He was also cautioned recently in the league against Alaves, and could well be targeted by Mikel Arteta and co.

At 15/8, he is one of the shorter selections in this game.

Rob Holding - Arsenal

For those unfamiliar with the Spanish opposition, Villarreal are a side that love to attack.

Predominantly in the orthodox 4-4-2 shape, their success tends to stem from the two frontmen in the shape of Paco Alcacer and Gerard Moreno. The duo each have six goals a-piece in the competition this season, and often serve as a handful for any opposition's backline.

In terms of identifying an Arsenal booking, the CB area looks to be a promising area to pinpoint. Moreno in particular likes to pick up the ball and drive forward, (average of 2 dribbles per game), often picking up fouls from those defenders that like to step inside and challenge.

Rob Holding seemingly fits this bill - being the more commanding figure in his partnership with Pablo Mari. The Englishman averages 1.7 tackles per game in the EUL - only Thomas Partey has managed more. A busy figure that likes to engage, he could be suspect to picking up a card against such offensive-minded players.

He has odds of 4/1 to do exactly that.

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