The Premier league is one of the most exciting football leagues in the world. It boasts a high level of intensity alongside great tempo, energy and quality. Due to this, aggressive challenges, indiscipline and thoughtless mistakes from players are inevitable.
When footballers lose their cool and make a rash tackle or stop a goalscoring chance, the referee is left with no other option than to show them a red card. A red card can come directly or indirectly after two yellow cards.
There have been a total of 41 red cards in the Premier League this campaign
The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has also increased the possibility of players getting sent off for rash tackles or misconduct. Even if the on-field referee misses a tackle, it can be reviewed by the VAR.
This Premier League season has seen intense battles all across the table with the title race, top-four race and relegation battle still hanging balance with just one game to go. Hence, with so much riding on each match, we have also seen some players unable to cope with the intensity and getting red carded.
On that note, let's take a look at the five teams with the most red cards in the Premier League this season.
#5 West Ham United (3)
David Moyes' West Ham United have been one of the most impressive teams in the league this season. The Hammers made it to the semi-finals of the Europa League but were beaten by Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 on aggregate. The Hammers will be making a return to Europe next season.
West Ham have accumulated three red cards this season. These have come through Michail Antonio (vs Southampton), Vladmir Coufal (vs Arsenal) and Craig Dawson (vs Chelsea).
West Ham will hope that Manchester United fail to beat Crystal Palace and they pick up all three points against Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day (May 22). This will allow the Hammers to pip the Red Devils for the UEFA Europa League spot.
#4 Watford (3)
Watford are one of the two teams who have been officially relegated from the Premier League, the other being Norwich City.
It's been a horrendous campaign for the Hornets, who have managed to pick up just six victories all season long. They also have three sending offs so far. All three of Watford's red cards have come indirectly from two yellow cards.
Juraj Kucka got his marching orders vs Arsenal while Nigerian striker Emmanuel Dennis was sent off vs Norwich. Most recently, Hassane Kamara also picked up a red card vs Crystal Palace.
#3 Leeds United (3)
Leeds United are one of three teams currently battling to remain in the top flight. Jesse Marsch's side have had three players sent off this season.
Pascal Struijk was sent off for a tackle that left Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliot sidelined. Luke Ayling and Daniel James also received their marching orders for rash tackles against Gabriel Martinelli and Mateo Kovacic of Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.
The Yorkshire club are currently 17th on the league table and are just a point above Burnley, who occupy the last relegation spot. Leeds United will potentially need a positive result against Brentford to escape dropping to the Championship on the final day of the season.
#2 Arsenal (4)
Arsenal are the club with the joint-most red cards in the 2021-22 season. The Gunners have had four players sent off this campaign. Two of Arsenal's sending-offs have come in both fixtures against Manchester City.
Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Magalhaes were the culprits at Etihad and Emirates respectively. Martinelli got his marching orders against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Rob Holding received two yellows in the most recent North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on May 12.
Mikel Arteta's side risk not qualifying for next season's Champions League after losing 2-0 to Newcastle United on May 16. They are fifth, two points behind Spurs before the final day.
#1 Everton (6)
The Toffees are the club with the most red cards this season, having had six different players sent down the tunnel by the referee this campaign.
Everton became the only club to have two players sent off in the same game this season. Salomon Rondon and Jarrad Branthwaite were shown a red card against Brentford on May 15.
The others are Allan (vs Newcastle), Jonjoe Kenny (vs Wolves) and Michael Keane (vs West Ham).
To escape relegation from the Premier League, Frank Lampard's side must secure a positive result in their remaining fixtures of the season. They face Crystal Palace and Arsenal in those fixtures.
Paul Merson has predicted Manchester United vs Liverpool and other PL GW3 fixtures! Click here