Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha will be the first Premier League player this season to serve a one-match ban after accumulating five yellow cards. And, Gabriel Jesus is next in line to suffer the same punishment with four cautions to his name.
This hands Mikel Arteta a major selection headache as the 25-year-old striker must now walk a tightrope until 19 games have been played in order to prevent suspension. And, with the Gunners’ clash versus Manchester City postponed on matchday 12, Jesus must tread carefully otherwise he faces several weeks out of action for just a one-match ban.
But, the league’s rulebook is clear. It reads: “Any player earning five bookings from their side’s first 19 Premier League matches will serve a one-match ban in the same competition. Yellow cards are not carried over to the EFL Cup or FA Cup.
“Players who accumulate 10 yellow cards in Premier League matches up to and including their team’s 32nd fixture will serve a two-match suspension in the competition.”
Five players are currently one game from a suspension: Jesus, Adam Smith, Kenny Tete, Ruben Neves and Scott McTominay. The Brazil international must now go without a yellow card in the north London derby in order to be eligible to play against Liverpool the following week.
From those at London clubs, Aaron Hickey, Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Kai Havertz and Reece James have all picked up three yellow cards in the Premier League so far this season. William Saliba, Ben White and Granit Xhaka are on two.
As have Marc Cucurella, Ivan Perisic, Richarlison, Harry Kane, Yves Bissouma, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Harrison Reed and Antonee Robinson.
With the Qatar World Cup just around the corner and several cancellations in the fixture calendar already, Chelsea, Arsenal, Fulham and Brentford players will have be careful about the accumulation of yellow cards.