Those who keep an eye on our Suspension Tightrope widget on our homepage will be aware that the yellow cards are steadily racking up for several Premier League players – and indeed have already resulted in suspensions for a number of Fantasy assets.
The final international break of 2019 seems a good time to take stock of the disciplinary situation around the top flight.
The yellow card amnesty is not until after the completion of 19 Premier League fixtures (more on that later), after which the threshold moves up from five to ten yellow cards.
Those Fantasy Premier League assets already sitting on three and especially four cautions still have a long way to go before they are in the clear, then.
Lewis Dunk (£4.6m) will miss Brighton and Hove Albion’s match against Leicester City in Gameweek 13 after collecting his fifth yellow card of 2019/20 in the defeat to Manchester United last weekend.
Christian Kabasele (£4.3m) will sit out Watford’s clash against Burnley next Saturday after being dismissed for two bookable offences in the victory over Norwich City, while Sean Longstaff (£5.0m) serves the final match of a three-game ban in Newcastle United’s Gameweek 13 encounter with Aston Villa.
Bernardo Silva (£7.9m) will also be unavailable for Manchester City next Saturday, after being handed a one-match ban by the Football Association in relation to a message he sent on social media.
All four of the players above will return in Gameweek 14.
Already Served a Suspension
Six players have already served a one-match ban for collecting five cautions in the Premier League.
Jorginho (£5.1m), Ashley Young (£5.4m) and Jefferson Lerma (£4.8m) are available for their clubs next weekend after serving one-match bans in Gameweek 12, while Luka Milivojevic (£6.7m), Jose Holebas (£4.7m) and Danny Rose (£5.4m) have also missed fixtures in recent weeks due to their accumulation of bookings.
Milivojevic has collected more cautions (six) and committed more fouls (27) than any other Premier League player in 2019/20.
A total of 18 players have been dismissed in the English top flight this season, although Son Heung-min‘s (£9.6m) red card in Gameweek 11 was subsequently overturned and he didn’t serve a suspension.
If any of the players above (excluding Son) are sent off for a second time in 2019/20, they will incur an additional one-game ban onto whatever the punishment is for their next dismissal.
On Four Yellow Cards
Nine players are currently one booking away from a one-match ban.
Perhaps the most noteworthy name on the list above, certainly from a Fantasy perspective, is Raheem Sterling (£12.0m).
The Manchester City winger has already accrued more yellow cards than he did in each of the last two campaigns and no player in Pep Guardiola’s squad has committed more fouls than Sterling (16) so far this season.
Of the other eight names above, Ruben Neves (£5.3m), Issa Diop (£4.5m) and Fabinho (£5.5m) are the only ones owned by more than 1% of FPL managers.
Fabinho was benched in Gameweek 11, with Jurgen Klopp not risking his Brazilian midfielder for fear of him collecting a fifth booking of the season and subsequently missing the visit of Manchester City.
On Three Yellow Cards
A total of 31 players are on three yellow cards.
Amongst this cluster of Fantasy assets are five players with double-digit ownership: John Lundstram (£4.9m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.4m), Ederson (£6.0m) and Daniel James (£6.2m).
Callum Wilson (£7.8m), Ashley Barnes (£6.3m), Moussa Sissoko (£4.9m) and Dale Stephens (£4.5m), all of whom sit on three bookings, are among the 13 Premier League players who have committed 20 or more fouls this season.
While we’re on that subject, Sadio Mane (£12.1m) is joint-third among FPL assets for most fouls committed (22) in 2019/20 – although his owners can rest easy as the Senegal international has collected only one booking along the way.
When Are the Cut-off Points for Suspensions?
As we mentioned in the introduction, the yellow card threshold is raised to ten after 19 league fixtures.
For most players, that will mean after the completion of Gameweek 19 on December 26/27.
For Liverpool and West Ham United assets, who blank in Gameweek 18, their cut-off point will be after Gameweek 20 is over on December 28/29.
Any unexpected postponements between now and Boxing Day would, of course, affect the above.
The cut-off point for ten yellow cards is after 32 league fixtures, which will be at the beginning of April at the earliest.
Players collecting ten bookings before that point will serve a two-game ban.
Punishments for yellow card accumulation are competition-specific, whereas suspensions for dismissals cover all competitive matches.
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