Barry and Evra look best bets for first booking in derby

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Paul Scholes may be a popular choice to be the first player booked in the Manchester derby, but there are grounds to believe that Gareth Barry and Patrice Evra may be better options in this market.

The central midfield battle could be where the game is won and lost and there could be some overzealous challenges in the early stages as players look to stamp their authority on the opposition.

Scholes and Barry are among a quartet of players priced as 8/1 co favourites to collect the first booking and the Manchester City man looks an especially prime candidate.

Not blessed with the quickest of acceleration, Barry is prone to the odd pull-back on an opposing player, while part of his role in the team is to prevent quick counter attacks and this will involve committing fouls if necessary.

Barry is the most booked player in the Manchester City squad this season and six of his eight yellow cards have also been shown in the first half of games.

For Manchester United, Patrice Evra is 9/1 to be the first player booked and he has been cautioned in all three meetings with Manchester City so far this season.

The French full-back is the most carded player in the Manchester United ranks, but the only doubt for this specific bet is that his six bookings have all come in the second half of matches.

Andre Marriner is the man in the middle for the Manchester derby and he is yet to yellow card more than five players in any game this season.

However, he has booked Rio Ferdinand in the last two games that he has taken charge of Manchester United and so 12/1 offers some appeal that he is the first player carded at the Etihad Stadium.

Given Marriner’s slight reluctance to card players this season, 3/1 also stands out that under 45 booking points are accumulated in the derby.

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