Premier League Foul Play

Premier League Foul Play


Whether it’s a tactical foul or bad sportsmanship, referees in the Premier League often hand out cards in matches. And with the changes to timewasting and treatment of referees, cards are even more common in the current season. As of match week nine, 251 players have seen at least one yellow card, compared to the 393 players for the whole of the 22/23 season. That’s just under two-thirds of the total from the previous season, and we are only around a quarter of the way through the current season.

But which players and teams have seen the most bookings and fouls throughout the last season and the beginning of this one?

Our experts at Gambling Zone have researched Premier League statistics for the 22/23 and 23/24 seasons to determine which teams have faced the most disciplinary measures. We have analysed which players and teams have the most yellow and red cards and the most fouls committed. Additionally, we’ve looked at which teams have received the most fines from the English Football Association.

 

Premier League Players With The Most Yellow Cards

1) João Palhinha

Total Number of Yellow Cards: 17

Portuguese defensive midfielder João Palhinha comes out on top with the most yellow cards received from the previous and current Premier League seasons. The Fulham player is known for winning the ball back for his team and breaking up opposition play, meaning he gets into plenty of challenges and ultimately into the referee's book quite often.

2) Nélson Semedo

Total Number of Yellow Cards: 16

Nélson Semedo comes second, with 16 yellow cards from the 22/23 and 23/24 Premier League seasons. The Wolves right-back plays in a team known for picking up “silly” bookings, with rash challenges and behaviour, such as the Podence spitting incident against Nottingham Forest. Wolverhampton Wanderers had the most yellow and red cards during the 22/23 Premier League season.

3) Joelinton

Total Number of Yellow Cards: 13

Joelinton comes in third, with 13 yellow cards from the last and current Premier League seasons. He was initially a winger, but under Eddie Howe, has played as a more box-to-box midfielder; this saw him receive the second most yellow cards last season. In the 23/24 season, he’s only been booked once.

 

Premier League Teams With The Most Yellow Cards

1) Wolverhampton Wanderers

Total Number of Yellow Cards: 116

The Premier League team with the most yellow cards since the start of the 22/23 season is Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a total of 116. During the 22/23 season, they received the most yellow cards, a trend that has continued into the current season as they sit atop the ranking again with 31 yellow cards in just nine games.

2) Nottingham Forest

Total Number of Yellow Cards: 109

Nottingham Forest comes in second, with 109 yellow cards from the beginning of the last Premier League season to match week nine of the 23/24 season. Last season, they had the third-highest number of yellow cards; this season, the team currently ranks fifth. New defensive midfielder Ibrahim Sangare is their most common offender, with three yellow cards this season, or a yellow card for every 126 minutes played.

3) Chelsea

Total Number of Yellow Cards: 103

And rounding out the top three Premier League teams with the most yellow cards, we have Chelsea, with 103. Chelsea had just the eighth most yellow cards during the previous season. However, with a crackdown on dissent and inconsistencies in officiating, they’ve picked up the second most as of match week nine of the 23/24 season, with 29 or just over three yellow cards per game.

 

Premier League Players With The Most Red Cards

1) Casemiro

1) Mario Lemina

1) Matheus Nunes

Total Number of Red Cards: 2

We have a three-way tie for the Premier League player with the most red cards since the beginning of the 22/23 season, each with a total of two. The first is Casemiro, Manchester United’s defensive midfielder, his first card for violent conduct and second for a reckless challenge on Carlos Alcaraz.

Next, Wolves player Mario Lemina was sent off during the last season for “aggressively running” at the referee. He received his second red card in the form of a second yellow, in the Aston Villa game on the 8th of October, 2023, for a foul on Nicolò Zaniolo.

And lastly, we have a former Wolves player, Matheus Nunes. He signed for Wolves in August of 2022, picking up a single red card during his debut season. He received a second red card, in the form of two yellows, during the second game of the 23/24 season in a loss against Brighton. Nunes then transferred to Manchester City at the end of the last summer transfer window.

 

Premier League Teams With The Most Red Cards

1) Wolverhampton Wanderers

Total Number of Red Cards: 9

Wolves, having already ranked top for the Premier League team with the most yellow cards, also has nine red cards. During the 22/23 Premier League season, Wolves ended their season with six red cards, the most of any other team. They are already halfway to six this season, as they sit on three red cards just nine games into the season.

2) Liverpool

Total Number of Red Cards: 5

Liverpool comes in second, rather conversely, with a total of five red cards. Four of those red cards have been received during the 23/24 season. Their first came as new signing Alexis Mac Allister was wrongfully sent off against Bournemouth. Virgil Van Dijk was then sent off against Newcastle for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity. The other two came in a game against Tottenham, which was riddled with officiating mistakes, as Curtis Jones was sent off after a VAR check, and later Diogo Jota received a second yellow card.

3) Chelsea

Total Number of Red Cards: 4

Coming in joint third, we have Chelsea, which has four red cards since the beginning of the 22/23 season. Three of those came from last season; one of the most notable was seeing João Félix send off on his club debut. Conor Gallagher and Kalidou Koulibaly were also sent off during last season. Malo Gusto is the only Chelsea player sent off this season, another officiating decision that came under much scrutiny.

4) Tottenham Hotspur

Total Number of Red Cards: 4

Similarly, Tottenham has received four red cards since the beginning of last season, with three coming during the 22/23 season. Emerson Royal was sent off during the London derby against Arsenal, Cristian Romero was sent off against Manchester City, and Lucas Moura was the third. Their fourth player was sent off during their last game against Luton, as Yves Bissouma received a second yellow during stoppage time in the first half.

 

Premier League Players That Have Committed The Most Fouls

1) Joelinton

Total Number of Fouls Committed: 75

Newcastle midfielder Joelinton is the Premier League player who has committed the most fouls, with 75 since the beginning of the 22/23 season. Being one of the Premier League players with the most yellow cards, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as well as playing in a system that presses high up the pitch.

2) Moisés Caicedo

Total Number of Fouls Committed: 74

Moisés Caicedo, who played for Brighton for the 22/23 season before moving to Chelsea over the summer, comes in second with 74 fouls committed. Playing as a defensive midfielder, his job is to commit fouls for tactical advantage, whether that’s to stop a team from counter-attacking or simply breaking up the other team's rhythm of play.

3) Kai Havertz

Total Number of Fouls Committed: 72

Coming in third, we have Kai Havertz, who spent last season playing as a forward for Chelsea before moving to Arsenal in the summer. By January 2023, Havertz had committed more fouls than shots on target for Chelsea. This stat indicates an eagerness to win the ball back but ultimately proves over-eager.

 

Premier League Teams That Have Committed The Most Fouls

1) Wolverhampton Wanderers

Total Number of Fouls Committed: 589

Wolverhampton Wanderers come out on top again, this time for the total number of fouls committed, having a total of 589 since the beginning of the 22/23 season. They topped the rankings for yellow and red cards, too, so this should come as little surprise; Wolves have cemented themselves as a team that makes rash challenges.

2) Crystal Palace

Total Number of Fouls Committed: 545

Coming in second place, is Crystal Palace, having committed a team total of 545 fouls since the start of the previous Premier League season. They came in joint-eighth for most yellow cards and joint-fifth for red cards, which shows that, compared to Wolves, they often go unpunished for the fouls they commit in games.

3) Newcastle United

Total Number of Fouls Committed: 541

And rounding out the top three, we have Newcastle United; since the beginning of the last Premier League season, they have committed 541 fouls. The biggest culprit to this statistic is Joelinton. However, fellow midfielder Bruno Guimarães is also guilty, having committed 58 fouls.

 

Premier League Teams With The Highest FA Fines

1) Manchester City

Total Amount Fined by the FA: £335,000

The team with the highest fines from the English Football Association is Manchester City, with £335,000 since August 2022. The biggest contributor to this total was the final game of the 21/22 season when they won the Premier League, beating Liverpool by a single point, and fans invaded the pitch to celebrate. This comes as they still have the controversial 115 Financial Fair Play charges hanging over their heads.

2) Liverpool

Total Amount Fined by the FA: £274,500

It should be no surprise to see Liverpool in second place, having been fined a total of £274,500 since August 2022. In particular, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is the most fined, with his rather brash and outspoken views on officiating. Virgil Van Dijk also received a hefty fine for dissent and improper language used by the referee during the Newcastle game in August this season.

4) Leeds United

Total Amount Fined by the FA: £270,000

Leeds United comes in third, having been fined a total of £270,000 since August 2022. In September 2022, Jesse Marsch, the manager of Leeds at the time, was fined £10,000 for using improper language during their match against Brentford. They’ve also been charged twice for mass confrontation, where players are involved in a physical or verbal altercation.

 

Methodology 

We wanted to show the Premier League players and teams with the most yellow cards, red cards, fouls, and fines from the FA.

Using the Premier League Statistics database, we sourced the number of yellow cards, red cards, and fouls for players during the 22/23 and 23/24 (up to match week 9) seasons. This data is correct as of 25/10/23. We then ranked each player and Premier League team on the above statistics.

We then used the English Football Association’s disciplinary charges page to get each charge for Premier League clubs from August 2022 to September 2023. We noted each charge, the team member (where applicable), and the total amount fined. We then ranked each team on the total amount fined by the FA since August 2022. Charges that have not yet been paid were not included.


 

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