Who amongst us hasn’t cringed every time an opposition defender has lunged recklessly towards our team’s most talismanic player. Be it Aaron Ramsey or Wayne Rooney, careers and campaigns both have gone awry as a result of a single mindless tackle.
BetVictor is now allowing us to bet on the dirtiest team in the Premier League in the upcoming season. Not surprisingly Stoke are the heavy favourites at odds of 4, way ahead of it’s nearest rival and newly promoted Championship side Cardiff City (7). The laurels for the cleanest team however is jointly shared by Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal, an indication that class does not require brute force as back-up.
In a survey done by talkSport, which ranked the dirtiest team in the Premier League based on last season’s campaign, with 42 yellow cards and 5 red cards Arsenal came in last indicating that the Premier League glory days of Patrick Vieira and his bone-crunching challenges are now a thing of the past. Southampton and Manchester United came in joint second last, while Tottenham took the laurels for fourth last. With Tottenham cleaning up their act significantly this season with a new look midfield, they are likely to be right up there with Arsenal as frontrunners to end this season as the cleanest sides.
While a ball is yet to be kicked in the campaign 2013-14, indications are rife that we should already start bracing ourselves.