The Geordies and the Mackems have a particularly spicy relationship which tends to come to the boil on derby day and results in fights between fat blokes and horses. The Tyne-Wear Derby is like no other in that respect.
This weekend’s clash will be no different, but, for the sake of our betting accounts and all animals in the North East, we’re hoping the punishment is dished out on the pitch rather than around the stands.
- The Tyne-Wear Derby has had an average of 4.9 yellow cards a game in the last 20 matches
- That’s more than the Merseyside Derby (4.7), the Manchester Derby (4.35) and the North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham (3.7). Insert your own joke about soft Southern Fairies here
- In the last 20 games there have been five red cards. It’s well short of the 11 that have been dished out in the last 20 matches between Liverpool and Everton, however one every four games is still enough niggle to get us interested
— VintageFooty (@VintageFooty) December 3, 2013
The man in the middle of the battlefield attempting to restore order is non other than referee Phil Dowd.
- Nobody has dished out more yellow cards than Dowd who has shown yellow 59 times in 16 matches this year – an average of 3.7 cautions a game
- He has refereed two Sunderland games already this season and shown six yellows to Gus Poyet’s players
- Last time he refereed a Tyne-Wear Derby was in 2010. On that occasion he showed nine yellow cards and gave Titus Bramble a straight red at St James’
Taking the stats into account it would be very surprising if this fight was interrupted by a game of football. Consequently backing the card markets could improve the state of your e-wallet if not the state of the players’ shins.
Phil Dowd to referee the Tyne-Wear Derby…. pic.twitter.com/qGW9DCInlk
— Rich (@RichGarrattSAFC) January 27, 2014
Over 50 points on the card index hits the key big match trends and is an 8/13 shot. Being a little braver, 55 to 60 points inclusive is tempting at 5/1.
The best value might come in backing individual players however. Surprisingly not Lee Clattermole, but instead Newcastle’s chief offender Cheick Tiote and Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback.
Colback is a local lad – born in Killingworth, North Tyneside – so the nature of this rivalry won’t be lost on the young midfielder.
- He has racked up five yellow cards this season and only Mathieu Debuchy has more cautions from either side.
- In the derby at the Stadium of Light in October, Colback commited three fouls but escaped a booking. Only Tiote and Jozy Altidore committed more fouls in that match
- Phil Dowd has already booked Jack Colback twice this season, in both Sunderland games he has been in charge of
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 7, 2013
Colback is 11/1 to pick up the first booking and 6/4 to be cautioned anytime. It is 20/1 that he is sent for an early bath on Saturday afternoon.
Cheick Tiote’s record is fairly notorious. Just four players have committed more fouls than Tiote this season and only Liverpool’s Lucas Lieva and West Brom’s Claudio Yacob have put in more tackles.
He has been booked twice by Phil Dowd this season and has one red card and three yellows in his six previous Tyne-Wear Derbies. Tiote to get booked at Evens any time is as close to a banker in this match as you’re going to get.