Jon Moss will once again bring down the curtain on the Premier League’s weekend, but there’s no room for Andre Marriner on Matchday 19. Congrats are due, with an eye on the bigger picture, to Anthony Taylor and Michael Oliver on their elevation to elite FIFA status.
Talking of ‘new blood’, it’s welcome back on Saturday to Keith Stroud and Tim Robinson for their second appointments of the season as fourth officials, while, on Matchday 22, we already know that Neil Davies, who was an assistant last May in the League One Play–Off Final between Bradford City and Millwall, will run the line at the King Power.
Matchday 18 gave rise to a charge against Lanzini as well as criticism of Craig Pawson’s leniency towards Spurs, contrasted by Martin Atkinson’s detection of Ndidi’s simulation at Leicester. Perhaps it’s a good time to give credit where it is due, as Harry Winks emerged from Manchester City’s latest lesson with dignity, having baulked the trend and decided against gilding the lily to gain a penalty.
Let’s hope the PGMO Ltd’s version of a rotation policy can minimise mistakes among officials attributable to fatigue over technique at what is traditionally a vulnerable time of year for them.
Arsenal v Liverpool
Assistants: S Child & A Nunn
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell
If ever there was an unmissable Premier League game for World Cup obsessives this 8pm kick-off fits the bill. The permutations are enough to make your gadget self combust, but, keeping the opening group stage in mind alone, come the summer Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi could face England opponents in either dressing room in Danny Welbeck, Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge, while Croatia’s Dejan Lovren could be up against the same forward in Alex Iwobi.
All you need to know about Martin Atkinson:
Matches in 2017/18: 12 (6 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2
Yellows: 35 Reds: 4
Arsenal reserves, Takumo Asano of Japan, and David Ospina of Colombia, could both theoretically face Senegal’s Sadio Mane in a group H rehearsal tonight, too.
The same could be said for group E, where LFC’s Brazilians potentially come up against either Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka or Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell, who was on loan at Olympiakos when his country faced England at the same stage in 2014.
Then there’s an Egyptian reunion for Mohamed El Neny and Mo Salah, who will be looking to add to his miraculous tally of 20 goals in all competitions so far.
The first time these clubs met in London was at Manor Lane, Plumstead and ended 5-0 to visitors Liverpool in Division Two in October, 1893.
The last time it ended 4-3 to LFC with the goals supplied by Theo Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calum Chambers, Philippe Coutinho, Lallana and Sadio Mane. Michael Oliver booked Francis Coquelin, Granit Xhaka, Iwobi, Lovren, Alberto Moreno and Lallana.
Arsenal versus Liverpool has seen more penalties missed than any other fixture in the short history of the Premier League, and Martin Atkinson reffed Liverpool’s Community Shield win over Chelsea way back in 2007, but more recently took their 0-0 Anfield draw with Manchester United. He has yet to take an Arsenal fixture this season, his last Emirates appointment having been their 3-0 win over West Ham in April.
Everton v Chelsea
Assistants: P Kirkup & M Perry
Fourth official: Anthony Taylor
It’s an early Saturday kick-off for the benefit of Sky Sports between 9th and 3rd placed teams in the Premier League, and the 179th time the two clubs have met.
The first one Chelsea won 3-0 at Goodison Park in Division One, in April, 1908, while the last one on Merseyside was also, curiously enough, 3-0 to the London visitors.
All you need to know about Bobby Madley:
Matches in 2017/18: 9 (5 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 13
Yellows: 31 Reds: 2
Second-half goals from Pedro, Gary Cahill and Willian secured three points, and Jon Moss cautioned Idrissa Gueye, Enner Valencia, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.
Ex- players of either club range from Mickey Thomas to Romelu Lukaku via Ben Howard Baker, Jack Cock, Samuel Eto’o, Mark Hughes, Jack Kirwan, Bobby Laverick, Tommy Lawton, Tom McDermott, Duncan McKenzie, Pat Nevin, Terry Phelan, John Tait Robertson, Fred Rouse, John Spencer, Gary Stanley, Graham Stuart and Jack Whitley.
Bobby Madley last refereed Everton in their draw at the Etihad, sending off Kyle Walker when he did so, quite possibly on someone else’s bad advice. He has not taken a Chelsea game since their Community Shield shoot-out defeat to Arsenal in August, when he red-carded Pedro.
Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford
Assistants: S Burt & M Scholes
Fourth official: Tim Robinson
Will Buckley and Eric Steele played for both sides, while Gifton Noel Williams started out at Watford but stopped off for seven games on loan at Brighton from Burnley in 2006.
The clubs’ first encounter was won 3-0 by the visitors in Division Three (south), while Watford won their last game at Brighton 2-0, too, in the Championship back in April, 2015.
All you need to know about Paul Tierney:
Matches in 2017/18: 6 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 7
Yellows: 20 Reds: 0
However, there was a more memorable encounter featuring a current Brighton player in the shape of the 2013 play-off semi-final, second leg. Aggregate scores being level, Anthony Knockaert won a penalty for Leicester City against Watford deep into stoppage time. He opted to take the penalty himself but it was saved by Manuel Almunia, who also saved the follow-up. With the ball still in play, and with Knockaert standing still and making no effort to win back the ball, Watford broke quickly and scored just seconds later, to go through.
Paul Tierney will handle this clash between 13th and 10th and has yet to take either team in the Premier League so far this season, but refereed Brighton’s Championship win over Leeds at home last December and Watford’s home win over West Brom in April.
Manchester City v Bournemouth
Assistants: I Hussin & D Eaton
Fourth official: Mike Dean
Former soldier Lee Bradbury, John Bond, Kevin Bond, Sylvain Distin and Ian Bishop are the most prominent links between the clubs, who first met as recently as February, 1988 in Division Two, which is now the Championship, in front of 16,106. As the 12th game looms, City have still never lost this fixture and will look to repeat their win in the corresponding game earlier this season, or, indeed, their home win in September, 2016.
All you need to know about Mike Jones:
Matches in 2017/18: 7 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 11
Yellows: 23 Reds: 0
That day City won 4-0, making it eight out of eight wins in all competitions. Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan and Kelechi Iheanacho scored, while yellow cards were forthcoming from Jon Moss for Adam Smith and Nicolas Otamendi, plus a red for Nolito, which Pep Guardiola disagreed with.
“The referee took a decision and we have to accept that,” said the City manager afterwards.
Mike Jones took both City’s wins at the Hawthorns in September and October, and the last time he came across Bournemouth they lost 6-3 at Goodison Park, in February, when Harry Arter was the only Cherries player to get his name taken.
Southampton v Huddersfield Town
Assistants: S Beck & A Garratt
Fourth official: Keith Stroud
Players for both clubs in living memory include Simon Charlton and Oscar Gobern, whose tackle on Shaun Cooper versus Bournemouth in March, 2011, could hardly have been any straighter a red card, if you should feel the urge to Google it.
All you need to know about Lee Probert:
Matches in 2017/18: 7 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 5
Yellows: 8 Reds: 2
The first meeting between Saints and Terriers was in Division Two, November, 1952, and was won by the Yorkshiremen, 2-0.
The last ended 4-1 in League One in December, 2010, when referee James Linington booked Gary M Roberts, Antony Kay, Morgan Schneiderlin and Richard Chaplow. Goals were supplied by Rickie Lambert, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Radhi Jaidi and Chaplow after Lee Novak had put the Terriers ahead early on.
You can hardly get more of a midtable battle than 12th versus 11th, and Lee Probert last refereed Southampton against Burnley, a home defeat. He also took Huddersfield’s heavy defeat at Bournemouth, when he dismissed Simon Francis for a second yellow as well as cautioning Terriers Collin Quaner and Florent Hadergjonaj.
Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion
Assistants: S Ledger & A Holmes
Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh
Oh for the days before third and fourth kits, when red stripes versus blue stripes was the order of the day. This being the 144th encounter tells you they have been at it a long time between them, and the first in the Potteries took place in September, 1888, ending in a 2-0 Baggies win in Division One.
September, 2016 was a different story, resulting in a 1-1 draw thanks to goals from Joe Allen and Salomon Rondon. Cautions were dispensed by Martin Atkinson to Ryan Shawcross, Glenn Whelan, Charlie Adam, Craig Dawson, Claudio Yacob, Allan Nyom and Nacer Chadli.
All you need to know about Neil Swarbrick:
Matches in 2017/18: 11 (6 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 12
Yellows: 26 Reds: 0
Peter Odemwingie, Saido Berahino, Darren Fletcher, who was West Broms’ skipper last season, and Tony Pulis, who signed and sold him, are among the many club connections.
The current managers may well have faced each other in the 1990 FA Cup Final and replay but they will have precious little time to reminisce today as they address their club’s respective positions of 17th and 19th.
Neil Swarbrick has yet to referee West Brom so far this season, and last took the Baggies in March, when they beat Arsenal 3-1 at home last term. He took Stoke’s home draw with Manchester United and their opening day defeat at Goodison Park.
Swansea City v Crystal Palace
Assistants: L Betts & R West
Fourth official: Kevin Friend
While the first of 28 games came in Division Three (south) in December, 1920 and ended 0-0, the last could hardly have turned out any more differently, ending 5-4 to the home side at the Liberty in November, 2016.
Currently occupying 10th and 14th place, the clubs curiously shared more success between them at Euro 16 than any other Premier League club, with four players each making the quarter-final stage and six between them in the semis. The six were Jonny Williams, Joe Ledley, Wayne Hennessey and Yohan Cabaye of Palace plus Ashley Williams and Neil Taylor of Swansea.
All you need to know about Craig Pawson:
Matches in 2017/18: 14 (10 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 11
Yellows: 50 Reds: 4
Back to 2017, and it’s now one win in 10 for the home side this season, for whom Wayne Routledge will be hoping to start against the team who provided his footballing apprenticeship.
Craig Pawson refereed Swansea’s recent defeat at Stoke but has yet to take a Crystal Palace fixture this season. The last time he did, they won at Chelsea, as Sam Allardyce halted the slide to announce their successful survival bid in earnest.
Following Pawson’s hiccups at the Etihad on Matchday 18, Keith Hackett asked the following question: “When will the powers that be recognise that this referee requires coaching advice on his movement and positioning, both of which are chaotic?”
West Ham United v Newcastle United
Assistants: H Lennard & C Hatzidakis
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell
Even though these clubs share the likes of Glenn Roeder, Steve Clarke, Shaka Hislop, Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan, Sam Allardyce, Paul Goddard and Craig Bellamy in their recent history, there is an intriguing sub-plot to be found in the protagonists currently occupying either dug-out.
All you need to know about Lee Mason:
Matches in 2017/18: 9 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 11
Yellows: 19 Reds: 2
David Moyes was in charge at Everton between 2002 and 2013, and was joined on Merseyside by Rafa Benitez between 2004 and 2010. Benitez it was who took the honours in head-to heads, however, despite being outlived in terms of tenure by his Scottish rival.
In a total of 14 derbies with Moyes facing Benitez as manager, Everton won only three, while three were drawn and the Spaniard claimed eight victories.
The first Magpies visit to Upton Park came in February, 1909: an FA Cup tie ending 0-0, with the replay won by Newcastle 2-1. Their last visit saw them lose 2-0 in September, 2015 thanks to a brace from Dimitri Payet, while there were bookings for Daryl Janmaat and Jack Colback from Anthony Taylor.
Lee Mason refereed West Ham’s defeat at Southampton in August, but no Newcastle fixture since April, 2016, when they beat Swansea 3-0 at home.
Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur
Assistants: S Bennett & D Cook
Fourth official: Graham Scott
Connections include Ralph Coates, Paul Gascoigne, Phil Gray, Mark Kendall, Paul Mahorn, Paul McVeigh, Tony Parks, Paul Stewart, Mitchell Thomas, plus short-term Clarets manager Chris Waddle, as well as current players Dean Marney and Kieran Trippier.
All you need to know about Michael Oliver:
Matches in 2017/18: 15 (10 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 3
Yellows: 58 Reds: 4
Last season gave goalkeeper Paul Robinson the opportunity to play three games for the Clarets before retiring and, unlike during his considerably longer spell at WHL, he failed to score!
The historic tally between these clubs stands at 40 Burnley wins, 27 draws and 44 wins for Spurs, the first encounter in Lancashire having been played in February, 1909. Burnley triumphed in their pursuit of the FA Cup to the tune of 3-1, while last season, on April Fools day, Spurs won 2-0 thanks to goals from Eric Dier and Son Heung-min. Referee Stuart Attwell cautioned Michael Keane and Ashley Barnes that day.
Michael Oliver takes this late k-o for Sky Sports between sixth and seventh place and last refereed Burnley in their 1-0 home win over Palace. He took Tottenham’s win at West Ham in the Premier League, too, also in the month of September.
Leicester City v Manchester United
Assistants: E Smart & A Halliday
Fourth official: Roger East
Both these clubs provided clothes horses for Admiral kit, in United’s case from 1975 to 1980 and City’s 1976-79 and 1983-88. The distinctive ensign logo was founded in Leicester in 1914, and went on to clinch the first branded England exclusive deal 60 years later, for the princely sum of £15k a year.
They bounced back from bankruptcy in 1982 to diversify into cricket via England, West Indies and South Africa and returned to football with Leeds United until 2008. They are still going strong at AFC Wimbledon and in the USA, as well as providing many national team kits.
All you need to know about Jon Moss:
Matches in 2017/18: 13 (9 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 8
Yellows: 44 Reds: 1
Ticker-taping, the chevron, sock-ties, the away shirt, oversized collars and visibly branded football shirts are innovations Admiral claim as their own, while United are now on their second adidas contract and Leicester have been with Puma since 2012.
United were known as Newton Heath when they won 3-2 on their first visit to play Leicester Fosse in September, 1894. Their last visit resulted in a 3-0 win, back in February, thanks to goals from Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic and Mata.
You might have to be over 60 to recall the 1963 FA Cup Final and Matt Busby getting the better of fellow Scot, Leicester boss Matt Gillies, but all readers are young enough to recall Puel and Mourinho contesting the EFL Cup Final, also at Wembley, last March, when United were considered lucky to overcome Southampton 3-2.
Jon Moss takes this 19.45 Saturday kick-off between 8th and 2nd place, and has refereed three Manchester United wins in the Premier League this season, plus Leicester’s draw at Huddersfield. He may have awarded Everton a penalty for a foul committed outside the area on Monday night, but is probably enjoying the best form of his SG1 career.