One week to go before the historic full English debut of VAR in the televised Brighton versus Palace FA Cup 3rd round tie, and Keith Hackett sounds a warning bell given the experiences prompted by its administration in foreign leagues thus far: “We have to get used to it and referees must build their own confidence in the system. They have to see it as a plus point, not a threat, and realise the human element remains and we will still see mistakes.

“Howard Webb has done well with VAR in Major League Soccer. We have to see it as an additional assistant and not over-complicate matters. The key should always be the accuracy of the decision,” he added.

Michael OliverBrighton & Hove Albion v AFC Bournemouth

S Bennett & S Burt
Fourth official: Kevin Friend

Both these clubs have had all too close a brush with extinction, Brighton’s coming in 1997 and Bournemouth’s in 2009, when they were saved during current boss Eddie Howe’s first spell in charge.

Albion have gone through over a dozen managers since their escape, and brought in 13 players following last summer’s promotion from the Championship, while Howe returned to replace Paul Groves in October 2012 and took the Cherries to a 9th place Premier League finish in 2016.

All you need to know about Michael Oliver:

Matches in 2017/18: 17

Yellows: 64 Reds: 4

The visitors have won four more of the games between the two than the hosts, who emphatically won the first played in Sussex in December, 1923. That one ended 5-0 in Division Three (south).

The last league game in Sussex saw Yann Kermorgant and Callum Wilson score for Bournemouth in a 2-0 away win in the Championship. Referee Craig Pawson cautioned Adam Smith and Joe Bennett, who played for both clubs on loan before rocking up at Cardiff, as well as Lewis Dunk.

Rather than return to the subject of September’s Carabao Cup win after extra time for AFCB, Aussie goalkeepers Adam Federici and Mathew Ryan are surely more likely to discuss their group C World Cup prospects, while fellow keeper Artur Boruc may be slightly less interested in engaging in mind games with Colombian Jose Izquierdo since he retired from international football with Poland earlier this year.

Appointed to this early kick-off for the cameras, Michael Oliver has refereed two Brighton matches this season, but no Bournemouth fixture since their ill-fated visit to White Hart Lane, which ended 4-0 to Spurs in April. Only Ryan Fraser managed to have his name taken after another early kick-off for the TV cameras.

Roger EastBurnley v Liverpool

Assistants: M Scholes
& M McDonough
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson

The Belgian Steven Defour, scorer of a world class free kick on Boxing Day for Burnley, will face a World Cup group G preview as he comes up against England’s Sturridge, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson and, quite possibly, Gomez. His Icelandic team-mate, Johann Gudmundsson, meanwhile, could just as easily face Dejan Lovren, whose Croatia side comes up against his own in Rostov on June 26.

All you need to know about Roger East:

Matches in 2017/18: 9

Yellows: 30 Reds: 1

Liverpool’s Jon Flanagan is unlikely to feature today but is well known to both dressing rooms, having spent last season on loan at Turf Moor.

The first meeting there between the clubs ended 3-3 in Division One back in September, 1894, while the last took place in August, 2016, when Sam Vokes and Andre Gray, a Hinckley United Conference North player as recently as 2012, scored first-half goals and referee Lee Mason booked only Jordan Henderson.

Roger East took the corresponding fixture at Anfield between these sides in September, which ended 1-1, as well as Burnley’s visit to the Etihad and the Vitality this season.

Graham Scott

Leicester City v Huddersfield Town

Assistants: C Hatzidakis
& N Davies
Fourth official: Anthony Taylor

The first Midlands meeting between these clubs ended 3-0 in Division Two, back in April, 1920, while the last, which took place in October, 2013, ended in a 2-1 home win in the Championship. Jamie Vardy and Anthony Gerrard scored at the right end, while their team-mate, Paul Konchesky, recently of Billericay, contributed the Terriers’ goal and there was a red card for James Vaughan for a push on Marcin Wasilewski.

All you need to know about Graham Scott:

Matches in 2017/18: 11

Yellows: 21 Reds: 1

The game represented a sixth defeat in a row for embattled Huddersfield boss Mark Robins and, Vaughan aside, Vardy and Adam Clayton were referee James Adcock’s only cautions.

The tally for this fixture stands at 71 games all told, including 21 Leicester wins, 26 Terriers wins and 24 draws.

Graham Scott has refereed Huddersfield at the Emirates and Leicester at home to Manchester City and away at Bournemouth this season.

Stoke City v Newcastle United

Assistants: P Kirkup
& S Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Craig Pawson

Stoke have won five out of their last six Premier League home games against Newcastle, losing the other, The very first, however, took the form of a Test match in April, 1898, and Stoke won that 1-0.

The last time this fixture graced the Britannia, or the bet365 as even more recent sponsors prefer, was in March, 2016, when Xherdan Shaqiri scored the only goal and winner on Peter Crouch’s 400th Premier League appearance. Marc Muniesa was Neil Swarbrick’s only caution on that occasion.

All you need to know about Chris Kavanagh:

Matches in 2017/18: 7

Yellows: 26 Reds: 0

Two years previously Newcastle ran out 5-1 winners at home, with the  help of first-half red cards for Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson from Martin Atkinson, who dismissed manager Mark Hughes for good measure. Even further back, a Jackie Milburn hat-trick, in August, 1951, helped the Toon post a 6-0 home victory in Division One the year Newcastle won the FA Cup.

Chris Kavanagh has refereed one Newcastle fixture, their 3-0 home defeat to Watford this season, but has not refereed Stoke since their Carabao Cup defeat to Hull at home in September, 2016, when Indi and Allen were cautioned.

Everton v Manchester United

S Ledger & R West
Fourth official: Paul Tierney

While there are several current players who have played for both, three from the past are defender Mark Higgins, boyhood Toffees fan Mickey Thomas and the Ukrainian/Russian speed merchant, Andrei Kanchelskis, who signed for Joe Royle from United in the summer of 1995, following an FA Cup Final between these clubs won by a Paul Rideout goal.

All you need to know about Andre Marriner:

Matches in 2017/18: 14

Yellows: 34  Reds: 2

There have been two more recent FA Cup clashes at Wembley, albeit semi-finals, with one victory claimed by either club. While Everton went on to lose the final 2-1 to Chelsea in May, 2009, United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in 2016, having beaten Everton in their semi, and seeing De Gea save a penalty from Romelu Lukaku into the bargain.

The overall tally after 188 games stands at 69 Everton wins, 86 United wins and 43 draws.

The first meeting on Merseyside came in September, 1892 as Newton Heath took a 6-0 drubbing thanks to goals from Fred Geary (2), Edgar Chadwick (2), Alf Milward and Allan Maxwell.

The last ended 1-1 thanks to Leighton Baines’s last-minute penalty, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring for United. Michael Oliver faced an inquest afterwards over a Marcos Rojo challenge on Idrissa Gueye, while Jose Mourinho insisted he had “no thoughts” about the referee, who did at least caution Rojo as well as Marouane Fellaini and David de Gea, plus Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry.

The Croatian, Nikola Vlasic, could face Argentina’s Rojo, who will be reunited with fellow Albiceleste defender Ramiro Funes Mori. All share group D with Gylfi Sigurdsson’s Iceland, while Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford are two of several contenders to face Belgium’s ex-Toffee Lukaku in England colours on June 28. Lukaku is himself reunited today with countryman Kevin Mirallas.

Andre Marriner is in charge of this 1730 kick-off for Sky Sports and also took the corresponding fixture at Old Trafford, which ended 4-0 in September, as well as United’s win at the Emirates in December. He also took charge of Everton’s 2-0 defeat at Leicester in October.

Stuart AttwellSouthampton v Crystal Palace

S Long & A Holmes
Fourth official: Kevin Friend

Since the first Hampshire meeting between these two clubs, which took place in September, 1906 and ended 1-1 in the Southern League, they have chalked up 105 encounters in all competitions.

All you need to know about Stuart Attwell:

Matches in 2017/18: 8

Yellows: 31 Reds: 1

The last meeting was only last April, in the Premier League, when Nathan Redmond, Maya Yoshida, James Ward-Prowse and Christian Benteke got on the score-sheet in a 3-1 home win and referee Roger East cautioned Benteke plus Oriol Romeu and Cedric Soares.

Stuart Attwell refereed Southampton’s 0-0 draw at the John Smith’s in August, as well as Palace’s defeat at St James Park in October, when Cabaye and Van Aanholt accounted for two of his total of six cautions.

Robert MadleySwansea City v Tottenham Hotspur

Assistants: M Perry
& S Child
Fourth official: Lee Probert

Fernando Llorente, Ben Davies and Michel Vorm all return to Wales in the colours of Spurs for this 1945 kick-off for the benefit of Sky viewers.

The first ever meeting in Wales ended 4-0, in Division Two, in November, 1928, while the last came in April, 2017. Despite Wayne Routledge opening the scoring after 11 minutes came three goals in the dying minutes from Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen. Referee Jon Moss issued cautions to Jordan Ayew and Eric Dier.

All you need to know about Bobby Madley:

Matches in 2017/18: 10

Yellows: 34  Reds: 2

Taking charge after a torrid, if sopping wet time of it last week at the Vitality, Bobby Madley has already taken two Spurs games this season, both home wins, but has not refereed Swansea in the Premier League so far. He did, however, preside over their Carabao Cup home defeat to Manchester United in October. That night three of his five cautions went to players from the Welsh club.

mike-jonesWest Ham United v West Bromwich Albion

S Beck & A Garratt
Fourth official: Neil Swarbrick

The first London visit of the Baggies was in January, 1913 and ended in a 2-2 FA Cup draw, with West Ham winning the replay 3-0.

All you need to know about Mike Jones:

Matches in 2017/18: 8

Yellows: 24 Reds: 0

The last came in February, 2017, when Sofiane Feghouli, Manuel Lanzini, Nacer Chadli and Gareth McAuley all scored, the latter’s injury time equaliser making the score 2-2. As well as cautioning Salomon Rondon, Chris Brunt, Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble and Winston Reid, referee Michael Oliver sent off manager Slaven Bilic.

Mike Jones last refereed West Brom at Wembley, when they drew with Spurs in November, but has not refereed West Ham since their April Fools day Premier League 2-1 defeat at Hull City, when Fonte and Carroll accounted for two of the game’s four cautions.

Manchester City v Watford

Assistants: H Lennard
& M Wilkes
Fourth official: Mike Dean

City are in desperate need of this win… if for no other reason than to keep up their record of not losing in this fixture since March, 1989.

These clubs have only been at it since September, 1982, when City won 1-0 at Maine Road in Division One. Last December, 2016, it was just the two-nil, thanks to Pablo Zabaleta and David Silva goals on the latter’s 200th Premier League appearance. Kevin Friend cautioned Zabaleta as well as the visitors’ Prodl and Capoue.

All you need to know about Lee Mason:

Matches in 2017/18: 10

Yellows: 21  Reds: 2

It’s a bit of a Brazil festival out there, with Richarlison and Gomes hooking up with Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus, Danilo and Ederson. Bernardo Silva of City and Portugal can converse in the same tongue with all of those mentioned, as well as visiting coach Marco Silva, of course.

Lee Mason last refereed Watford at Palace and he last took City when they beat Burnley at the Etihad in the Premier League last season. Off went Fernandinho thanks to a straight red, while the teams shared seven other cautions between them.

Anthony TaylorArsenal v Chelsea

Assistants: A Nunn
& L Betts
Fourth official: Craig Pawson

These two contested the 2017 and 2002 FA Cup Finals, refereed by Anthony Taylor and Mike Riley respectively. Arsenal won both, with five yellows shown in the latter and seven (including two plus a red for Victor Moses) in the former. John Terry started on the bench for both encounters.

All you need to know about Anthony Taylor:

Matches in 2017/18: 14

Yellows: 56  Reds: 0

The first of the meetings to take place on Arsenal territory ended 0-0 in Division One, back in 1908, while the last encounter at the Emirates was in September, 2016. Goals from Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil secured Arsenal’s first win over the Blues since 2011 and Branislav Ivanovic and Diego Costa were Michael Oliver’s only cautions.

Taylor refereed last May’s Wembley show-piece, as well as Arsenal’s home win over Bournemouth this season and Chelsea’s defeat at West Ham, plus their wins over Manchester United and Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United

S Long & D Cook
Fourth official: Roger East

Of the many potential combinations of World Cup 2018 opponents here, there’s the group F one, featuring Mexico’s Chicharito and South Korea’s Son Heung-Min, both of whom are former Bayer Leverkusen players, and who are scheduled to meet again in Rostov on June 23.

The first time Spurs entertained the Irons it ended 3-0 in the Thames and Medway League  in September, 1898 with goals from Harry Bradshaw, John Cameron and Kenneth McKay, the latter two on their debuts for the club.

All you need to know about Mike Dean:

Matches in 2017/18: 14

Yellows: 52 Reds: 1

The last time, in the league at least, was in November, 2016. One from Harry Winks and two last-gasp Harry Kane goals gave Spurs a 3-2 home victory, with West ham’s goals scored by Michail Antonio (who equalled Tim Cahill’s record for headers in a calendar year with 11) and Manuel Lanzini. Mike Dean dismissed Winston Reid and cautioned Antonio, Lanzini, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele.

Mike Dean last refereed Spurs only last week, for the fourth time this season, and was in charge when West Ham lost 2-1 to Manchester City at the Etihad in December.


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