Premier League referees 2023/24 & cards betting market tips

Refereeing has never been more contentious in English football than it has been this season. The men in black are never far from controversy, and in 2023/24, we’ve already seen a VAR error award Spurs an offside goal against Liverpool, and Arsenal left furious by two goals against them where the officials have been unable to determine if the ball has been in play or not.

Premier League referees 2023/24 & cards betting market tips: our picks

In this article we’re going to take a look at the records of the highest profile referees in the Premier League, and look ahead to their upcoming fixtures to pick out some wagers.

Sam Allison made history at Bramall Lane – Photo by Icon Sport

The highest average of fouls awarded per game: Sam Allison – 26.0

Sam Allison became the first black referee to officiate a Premier League in 15 years at Sheffield United 2-3 Luton Town on Boxing Day 2023. In that helter-skelter game, Allison gave 26 fouls, a high number. But as Allison has only officiated this one game, this is not a great sample, and he is not currently scheduled to referee any more top-flight games.

The ref with the highest average number of fouls awarded to have refereed more than one match is Andy Madley, who has given an average of 24.92 fouls per game. After FA Cup duty, Madley returns to league action, taking charge of Manchester United vs West Ham United. 

This game is full of tough tacklers: none more so than Casemiro. The Brazilian is averaging 1.53 fouls per 90 minutes in the Premier League so far. But with Madley’s officious approach, that number could be much higher in this game. The midfielder is at 11/4 to commit over 2.5 fouls.

Anthony Taylor is one of the most high-profile Premier League referees
Anthony Taylor is not shy about penalising players with yellow cards – Photo by Icon Sport

The biggest tally of yellow cards: Anthony Taylor – 83

Anthony Taylor is one of the most experienced referees currently in the Premier League, and has officiated a league-high of 16 games this campaign. As such, he has given out the most yellow cards, though he is also second for yellow cards given per game.

Taylor is often trusted with the biggest games: this weekend is no different, he will be taking charge of Arsenal vs Liverpool, upon which many title hopes rest.

Arsenal and Liverpool are both fairly well-disciplined however. Arsenal have the fewest yellow cards in the league with just 33, and Liverpool only have 42. 

The most likely player to pick up a yellow is Kai Havertz, who is deceptively combative in midfield. The 24-year-old also picked up a yellow in the reverse fixture, which earned him a one match ban. The German is usually trusted by Arteta in the biggest games, and is at an excellent price of 7/2 to be booked.

Darren England shows the most yellow cards per game – Photo by Icon Sport

The highest average of yellow cards per-game: Darren England – 5.75

The referee quickest to show a yellow card in the Premier League is 39-year-old Darren England. However, England has largely been refereeing in the Championship in recent months, with just three of his last ten appearances coming in the top flight.

This weekend, he takes charge of Middlesbrough vs Sunderland, which is usually a feisty encounter – seven yellows were given in the reverse fixture. England is at 9/4 to give out more than six cards.

Michael Oliver has already sent off two Spurs player this season – Photo by Icon Sport

The biggest tally of red cards: Michael Oliver/Robert Jones/John Brooks – 4

Michael Oliver is tied with Robert Jones and John Brooks for the most red cards on four, but as the latter pair are not slated to officiate any matches this weekend, we’ll be focussing on Oliver.

Oliver is one of the most highly-regarded referees in the land, and is often entrusted with high-profile games. This weekend he is officiating Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur, which promises to be a feisty clash, not only between two teams desperate to kick on, but between diametrically opposed ways of playing the game. 

Perhaps surprisingly, Ange Postecoglou’s side lead the league in red cards, with four, while Everton have just one. 9/2 is always a good price for a sending-off while Cristian Romero is on the pitch.

The highest average of red cards per-game: Darren Bond – 1.0

Another referee making the step up from the Football League to Premier League level is Darren Bond. 

Bond will take on only his second Premier League match on Saturday, when he officiates Burnley vs Fulham. In his previous appearance, refereeing Fulham 0-3 Brentford, he gave a red card to Tim Ream.

To repeat the trick, and make it two sendings off in as many Premier League matches, Bond is currently 4/1.

Darren Bond pointed to the spot at Craven Cottage – Photo by Icon Sport

The highest average of penalties per-game: Darren Bond – 1.0

Fulham 0-3 Brentford was quite the baptism of fire for Darren Bond, as he also gave a penalty, giving him the highest average number of penalties of any referee in the league.

Bond awarded a spot kick to the Bees when he felt Tim Ream applied a little too much pressure from behind on Bryan Mbeumo.

Burnley have only one penalty this season, which was converted by Jay Rodriguez. But with the 34-year-old’s last start coming six weeks ago, new striker signing David Datro Fofana will likely take any penalties that come the Clarets’ way. The Ivorian is currently at 3/1 to score anytime.

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William Evans

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.