Those who keep an eye on the Suspension Tightrope widget on our homepage will be aware that the yellow cards are steadily racking up for several Premier League players.
The respite provided by the final international break of 2020 seems like 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 a team’s 19 league fixtures (more on that later), after which the threshold moves up from five to ten bookings.
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.
ON FOUR YELLOW CARDS
There is only one player who is currently a solitary yellow card away from suspension: Leicester City’s Jonny Evans (£5.5m).
The Northern Ireland international has managed to rack up four cautions in just five league appearances this season, the latest of which came in Gameweek 8.
With Caglar Soyuncu (£5.3m) a longer-term absentee and news awaited on the severity of Wesley Fofana’s (£5.0m) knee injury, the Foxes can’t afford to lose many more bodies at the heart of their defence.
Evans’ four bookings have come from just six fouls conceded, at least, so the experienced stopper is hardly flirting with danger on a regular basis.
ON THREE YELLOW CARDS
While Evans is out in front on his own on four bookings, there is a baker’s dozen of Premier League players who are just a caution behind.
Most are lower-owned FPL assets and/or agricultural midfield types but there are a handful of semi-popular options within the list.
Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.5m) boasts a double-digit ownership, while Hector Bellerin (£5.1m) was among the top five most-bought defenders of Gameweek 8.
Those two players sit in 19.7% and 16.4% of the top 10,000 squads respectively.
John McGinn (£5.5m) saw his ownership increase sixfold after his early-season heroics, while Mateusz Klich‘s (£5.6m) own purple patch of form and penalty-taking responsibilities have seen him become the fifth most-popular budget midfield option under £6.0m.
Of the 14 players on three or four yellow cards, Klich has committed the most fouls. Indeed, only two top-flight players have fouled the opposition on more occasions than the Pole (19).
There are no surprises to see Oriel Romeu (£4.5m) on the above table: the Southampton midfield spoiler and emergency bench fodder option has racked up over ten times as many yellow cards as he has FPL attacking returns in his Premier League career.
John Lundstram‘s (£5.1m) name appearing on the list would have been headline news in 2019/20 but given his recategorization as an FPL midfielder, uncertain future at Bramall Lane and plummeting ownership, he is but a mere footnote this season.
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.
In most seasons, that would ordinarily mean after the completion of Gameweek 19 – but this is no ordinary campaign.
Aston Villa, Burnley, Manchester City and Manchester United are a game behind the other 16 top-flight clubs, with word awaited on the rearrangement of their respective Blank Gameweek 1 fixtures.
We have also yet to see how a complicated-looking January schedule pans out, with the ‘Matchweek 18’ games split into two and sandwiching Gameweek 19.
And any unexpected postponements between now and then would, of course, further affect the ’19th fixture’ cut-off point.
The threshold for ten yellow cards is after 32 league matches, which will be mid-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.
Keep your eyes peeled on our Suspension Tightrope widget over the coming weeks and months, as we’ll be updating that after every Gameweek to keep you informed on the latest disciplinary developments.
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