Walking The Suspension Tightrope

When is the Premier League yellow card amnesty and which players are at risk?

With the hectic Christmas period approaching, there are a staggering 27 English Premier League players in danger of serving a suspension due to accumulated cautions. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, since the powers that be at FA HQ have a yellow card amnesty in place, which means that any player who collects his 5th booking of the season on or after the 1st January will not be required to serve a one-match ban.

Chelsea will be without leading-scoring Diego Costa and the influential N’Golo Kanté for their Boxing Day home game with Bournemouth and they are one of the clubs that have a number of key players walking that disciplinary tightrope.

List of Premier League players that are one caution away from a suspension

Bournemouth -Harry Arter, Dan Gosling

Burnley – Dean Marney, Jeff Hendrick

Chelsea -Pedro, Nemanja Matic, David Luiz

Crystal Palace – James McArthur, Damian Delaney

Hull City – Jake Livermore

Liverpool – Dejan Lovren

Man City – Fernando, Aleksandar Kolarov

Middlesbrough – Antonio Barragan, Adam Clayton

Spurs – Victor Wanyama, Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen

Stoke City – Ryan Shawcross

Sunderland – Steven Pienaar, Lynden Gooch, Billy Jones

Swansea City – Kyle Naughton, Jodi Amat

Watford – Troy Deeney, Miguel Britos

West Ham – Michail Antonio

Fantasy football managers should take note of fixture scheduling, since the GW19 matches are played over 3 days from the 30th December to the 1st January.

There are just two games scheduled for the 1st January – Watford vs Tottenham and Arsenal vs Crystal Palace, so players from 3 of these 4 sides will only have to avoid picking up that fifth caution in their GW18 fixture.

All of the other listed players will be walking on egg-shells for 2 matches, if they are to avoid a domestic ban.

Fantasy Football Portal - David Luiz - PSG

This should be factored in when making those Fantasy Premier League transfers. David Luiz, for instance, has been in terrific form, helping Chelsea to secure 9 clean sheets in their 11-game winning sequence but a caution against Bournemouth on Boxing Day, would rule him out of the New Year’s Eve clash with Stoke City, whereas a booking against the Potters would see him miss out on the crunch clash with Tottenham Hotspur, four days later.

Players have been known to take deliberate cards as well, especially in competitions such as the Champions League group stage, to get a ban out of the way and ensure that they are available for those 2-legged knockout ties.

We’re not suggesting that Mr Luiz would get himself booked on purpose against the Cherries, to make sure he doesn’t miss the Spurs game but funnier things have happened!