As mid-week fixtures arrive, particularly in England, now is the time to try and latch on to some gems that can potentially give us some good profit.
Hull host Derby County in the 2nd leg of the Championship Playoff Semi-finals with a 3 goal advantage coming into this encounter. Hull will feel that all the advantage is in their hands having netted 3 goals in the first leg, and Derby having it all to do in this pressure cooker game away at the KC Stadium.
Hull will look to play much like Sheffield Wednesday last night who had a 2 goal cushion, and that will be to sit back and invite pressure, get in some tackles to avoid Derby scoring and frustrate them, looking for the opportunity to break on the counter attack and score. Hull know if they can keep Derby quiet for the first half, then it will be very difficult for them to get back into the game with a deficit. Hull have some strong players who regularly get invited into tackles and that might risk them getting booked. Serial offenders from the season have been Michael Dawson, Jake Livermore, Tom Huddlestone, Andrew Robertson, Moses Odubajo who have accumulated most bookings for Hull through the campaign. Hull might have a tendency like many teams to get a booking for time wasting.
Derby County will be going out chasing the game with full vigour knowing that scoring 3 goals is their only way back into this game. They are coming into this game on the back of some horrible form, drawing 2 and losing 2 games. They know that their job is cut out for them, and will look to attack from the first whistle in search of an early first goal to get the momentum into the team. Failing to do that, you could see the team getting frustrated which leads to more cynical offences and some late bookings. Some of the usual suspects for Derby’s offences have been Keogh, Christie, Johnson, Thorne, Butterfield and Ince all of whom have over 5 bookings each for the season.
This game will also be refereed by Michael Oliver who is one to keep his cards in his pockets, but averages at least 3 yellow cards per game for the last 7 games he has taken charge and 14 out of his last 15 games. This has mainly come in the Premier League without the passion for such a high pressure and tense game.
I expect the line of over 3 Asian Cards to easily come out in this high pressure encounter.