When one thinks of football’s great derbies, Cardiff versus Swansea does not spring to mind as quickly as Barcelona against Real Madrid, Celtic versus Rangers or Liverpool against Everton but perhaps it should given the distinct lack of love that the two Welsh teams have for each other.
For years, away supporters were banned from attending South Wales Derbies between Cardiff and Swansea and, while police have lifted those restrictions in recent times, the fixture remains one of the most volatile on the British mainland.
Neither Cardiff nor Swansea scream out as the team to back in the first South Wales Derby to take place in England’s top flight. Cardiff has won only one of its last eight matches and Swansea’s recent results have been mixed, including losses away to Birmingham and Southampton.
But there are South Wales Derby betting avenues to explore, the most interesting of which are Sportingbet’s various odds pertaining to penalty kicks. Sportingbet is offering odds of 3.60 that Mike Dean awards a penalty kick, with Cardiff available at odds of 7.50 to score from the spot.
Dean is not afraid of making big decisions as his record of being one of the English Premier League’s most card-happy referees illustrates. Dean has officiated in five English Premier League games this season, showing 25 yellow cards and one red card. Dean’s red card came in the only grudge match that he has handled this term, Tottenham’s clash with Chelsea at White Hart Lane. Dean dismissed Chelsea striker Fernando Torres on the advice of one of his two assistant referees, a decision that looked harsh on the Blues star.
It is somewhat strange that English Premier League bosses have appointed Dean to the South Wales Derby. After all, Dean has a history with the fixture. Dean suffered a cut to his forehead when he was hit by a coin that came from a Cardiff section of the crowd at the old Ninian Park four years ago. With just a few minutes remaining, Dean awarded a penalty kick to Cardiff that the Bluebirds converted to draw level at 2-2. Roberto Martinez, Swansea’s manager at the time, accused Dean of making what the Spaniard called an emotional decision when he pointed to the spot. Swansea supporters have blown up on social media since it became public knowledge that Dean would referee the sides again.
Given Dean’s proven propensity to make himself the centre of attention one should be interested in backing a South Wales Derby penalty kick at odds of 3.60. If one wants to bet on an option at longer odds then the 7.50 about Cardiff scoring from the spot is worthy of serious consideration instead.
Turning one’s attention away from the South Wales Derby and Sampdoria appeals at odds of 2.00 with BetVictor, to beat Sassuolo in their Italian Serie A encounter. The price is the key here as one really ought to be interested in any Italian Serie A team at odds of 2.00 to get the better of Sassuolo in front of its home crowd. Sassuolo has collected only two points from its first five Italian Serie A away games and its only win was a 2-1 home victory over fellow struggler Bologna. Sampdoria will not pull up any trees this season but it is long odds on to finish above Sassuolo and its last home match resulted in a 1-0 defeat of Atalanta.
Finally, back to the English Premier League and the Goodison Park match between Everton and Tottenham. One cannot help feeling that Everton is punching above its weight on the ladder and that the only way is down for the Toffees. The game is one in which it is difficult to build a solid case for either side so the value lies in the draw, which is trading at odds of 3.30 with a wide range of bookmakers, including Bwin, Coral and Ladbrokes. Tottenham has kept an incredible dozen clean sheets in its 15 games across all competitions so betting on under two and a half goals is something to consider at odds of 1.91 with Coral.
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