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Premier League face rise in yellow cards – LFC need to be on best behaviour

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Expect an increase in the number of yellow cards dished out in the Premier League as referees set out to address ‘bad behaviour’ from players and coaches.

When it comes to the number of yellow cards in season’s gone by, Liverpool have sat towards the top of the fair play table – they won the award for five consecutive seasons dating back from 2020/21.

However, they will need to be aware of the Premier League‘s changing tune over dissent and bad behaviour, with the referees clamping down on issues they’ve previously been lenient towards.

Referee chief Howard Webb told BBC Sport, “people will have to understand that some behaviours that previously would have been managed or ignored will no longer be managed or ignored.

“It is important our officials recognise, understand and differentiate between emotion and passion, but for too long officials have not been able to make that differentiation too well or they have turned a blind eye to certain things.”

The changes have already seen a rise in the number of yellow cards, with almost double the usual amount of yellow cards shown across the first weekend of the EFL season.

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 29, 2023: Liverpool's Stefan Bajcetic is shown a yellow card by referee David Coote during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the Falmer Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Referees have been instructed to show at least one yellow card if and when two or more players confront them – it will be of interest to see how Man City navigate this one.

Moreover, any dissent or unsportsmanlike conduct will also be reprimanded.

This also goes for actions from the technical area – Jurgen Klopp was suspended twice last season for his confrontations with the officials.

Jordan Henderson was not shy in letting officials know what he thought after conceding fouls and he might have needed to reign that in had he remained at Anfield, nevertheless it is a change Liverpool as a unit will need to keep in mind.

Last season the Reds were shown 57 yellow cards, the joint-fifth fewest in the Premier League – their biggest culprit was Fabinho, with 13.

Part of the new directive has also seen time-wasting rules put into effect, and we’ve already seen matches last over 110 minutes in the Football League.