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Nick’s Picks: Hungary v Belgium


Hungary (6/1) v Belgium (3/4) - Toulouse [8pm, BBC]

Hungary have arguably been the surprise package of the tournament, topping a group that – on paper at least – looked tough, with Portugal, Austria and Iceland their opponents. Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ are yet to really get going but they reached the knockout stages with just one blemish, a 2-0 defeat to Italy.

The referee for Sunday night’s match is Milorad Mažić, who had one of the highest card make-ups during Euro 2016 qualifying. The Serbian handed out a total of 25 yellows and two red cards in six games, leading to an average of 50 booking points. William Hill go 8/5 for over 45 booking points tonight.

Prior to this tournament Mažić had a career average of 4.72 cards-per-game. He is also no stranger to handing out a red card on the international stage, sending off Pepe at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

So far in France he has only shown six cards in the two games he’s officiated – Ireland 1-1 Sweden and Spain 3-0 Turkey. His tournament average is low but the most recent game was a very one-sided affair, which could have affected the intensity of the match.

Hungary’s disciplinary record is of interest for tonight. During qualifying, they earned 3.2 cards per game (average of 31.7 booking points) and in their opening three games they have been shown 2.7 cards per game (average of 26.6 booking points). By contrast, Belgium have received just four cards in three games.

The Hungarians have also committed 46 fouls at Euro 2016 – the third highest in the competition. Taking these statistics into account, the 5/4 on offer for Hungary to earn over 20 booking points is a fantastic bet in my eyes.

*BEST BET*  Hungary over 20 booking points - 5/4 with Paddy Power = WON

Similar markets are over 2.5 Hungary cards (5/6 Bet365) or Hungary most booking points (3/4 William Hill). For a long-shot, I like the look of over 2.5 goals and over 6 cards, which is 14/1. Hungary are no strangers to a high-scoring match, and if the game spills over we could see Mažić lose his patience with both sets of players.

Hungary most booking points - 3/4 with William Hill = WON

Over 2.5 Goals and Over 6 Cards - 14/1 with William Hill = WON



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