Eyes down for round four, and let’s hold our collective breath while we are at it, as not only is there no Dean, no Marriner, no Madley nor Atkinson, but perhaps more tellingly there is no Tierney and no Attwell, either.

The latter two, along with Chris Kavanagh, who thankfully does return, were seen as part of the answer to the succession conundrum as recently as last season.

The total amount of games Lee Probert, Kavanagh and Graham Scott have done between them in the past two seasons is 17, without forgetting the former’s injury problems, and a further glance at the appearances table from last year reveals that Kevin Friend, Lee Mason and Mike Jones were all easily in the bottom half when it came to how many games they were trusted with, yet they will be on duty this time at West Ham, Leicester and Swansea respectively.

Week four follows a double international break which only featured Andre Marriner and his assistants once, as well as a third round of fixtures followed by a prime section of Match of the Day devoted to a tirade against Mike Dean’s interpretation of a goal celebration. Fingers crossed, then, and off we go…

Jonathan MossManchester City v Liverpool
12.30 – 09/09

Assistants: E Smart & A Halliday
Fourth official: Craig Pawson

Will Belgium bench-warmer Simon Mignolet’s rest be extended to this mouthwatering early kick-off, and what about Philippe Coutinho’s poorly back?

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Jon Moss:
Matches in 2017/18: 3 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0
Reds: 0 Yellows: 10[/quote_box_right]

There were three yellows each dished out by Michael Oliver last season at the Etihad while neither scorer that day, Raheem Shaquille Sterling nor James Philip Milner, is expected to start today.

Another probable observer who has worn the shirt of both clubs and England, Daniel Sturridge, was at City between 2003 and 2009, when he became the first player to score in the FA Youth Cup, the FA Cup and the Premier League in the same season.

Jonathan Moss seeks to extend a run of form in the full glare of the satellite spotlight, while, fresh back from fourth official World Cup duty in Cyprus, Craig Pawson will be seeing the technical area in his dreams after another stint beckons at Burnley versus Palace tomorrow.

Anthony TaylorArsenal v Bournemouth
15.00 – 09/09

Assistants: G Beswick & A Nunn
Fourth official: Darren England

It was one bruising break for Laurent Koscielny in more ways than one while on France duty, and today he could be facing either boyhood Arsenal fan Jermain Defoe or ex-Gooner Benik Afobe of DR Congo, yes, the nation second only to England in World Cup qualification attendances!

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Anthony Taylor:
Matches in 2017/18: 3 (3 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0
Reds: 0 Yellows: 14[/quote_box_right]

Harry Arter, the latest off the same Republic of Ireland/Sidcup conveyor belt Tony Cascarino leapt off back in the eighties, might find Anthony Taylor cocking an ear to ensure there is no repeat of the call which allegedly denied Watford a shot on goal on Matchday 2.

There could be no better Arsenal scout for this one than Jack Wilshere, presuming he still owns an Emirates parking space. Wilshere was on loan at the Cherries last season but started this with a straight red card in an under-23 Premier League encounter with Manchester City’s Matt Smith during Arsenal’s 4-3 win in August.

Last season Mike Jones had to dish out three yellows for Arsenal and five yellows for the visitors, while this time Taylor will enjoy the support of Darren England from the technical area, the Barnsley official who ran the line for Jon Moss in the 2015 FA Cup Final.

Brighton & Hove Albion v West Bromwich Albion
15.00 – 09/09

Assistants: P Kirkup & S Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Andre Marriner

This battle of the two senior English footballing Albions (Burton only came along in 1950) offers up so-called purists against so-called pragmatists, yet the truth is both sides can mix it up while boasting recently-signed flair players for when the grunting subsides.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Chris Kavanagh:
Matches in 2017/18: 0
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2
Reds: 0 Yellows: 0[/quote_box_right]

New boys Markus Suttner and Jose Izquierdo join a prominent part of The Netherlands’ recent progress, Davy Propper, in trying to build on Brighton’s meagre points haul of one so far.

Old boy Gareth Barry may not get the best of welcomes, even if it has been 20 years since he left the Goldstone Ground for the greener pastures of Aston Villa. The ever-reliable Barry should easily overtake the PL appearance record set by Ryan Giggs by the time of the retired Welsh winger’s 44th birthday in November.

The Seagulls will also be hoping for more than the 7,440 paying customers who attended their last home game against the Baggies as they attempt to repeat the 3-1 win, which came in the old Division Two, back in March, 1993. The standard away allocation at Brighton these days comes in at almost half that, at 3,300. On their way to that season’s play-off final, West Brom won by the same scoreline under a month later at the Hawthorns thanks to a hat-trick from Andy Hunt.

Chris Kavanagh takes charge of his first top flight game since his appointment to Select Group 1, having taken West Brom versus Southampton last season. Fourth official Andre Marriner was in charge of Cyprus versus Bosnia-Herzogovina during the international break, while it’s a welcome first Premier League appointment of the season on the line for Sian Massey-Ellis.

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur
15.00 – 09/09

Assistants: R West & S Long
Fourth official: Kevin Friend

Erik Lamela scored one of his total of only three Spurs league goals on the first day of last season. That day at Goodison, Martin Atkinson kept a clean sheet but his own poorly back has so far cost him the Turkey versus Croatia World Cup qualifier as well as Liverpool versus Arsenal on Matchday 3. Get well soon, Martin.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Graham Scott:
Matches in 2017/18: 1 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 1
Reds: 1 Yellows: 1[/quote_box_right]

Jordan Pickford is another in a hurry to regain full fitness, with Maarten Stekelenburg and Joel Robles vying for his place and team-mates Aaron Lennon and Gylfi Sigurdsson ready to greet any remaining familiar faces from their respective spells at White Hart Lane.

Senior England player Eric Dier found himself on loan at Everton from Sporting Lisbon in 2011 for 18 months, during which he won the 2010/11 under-18 Premier League.

Colleague and Lion of Valletta (OK, the Ta’ Qali stadium is 10 miles from Valletta) Harry Kane, meanwhile, will be looking to make it another memorable September as Belgians Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld will be on cloud nine since Belgium qualified for Russia.

From the England under-20s Korean class of 2017, winners Kyle Walker-Peters, Josh Onomah (just loaned out to Villa), Ademola Lookman, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Kieran Dowell (just loaned out to Nottingham Forest) and Jonjoe Kenny will no doubt have pencilled in some kind of reunion.

Graham Scott should at least see a goal in his second top flight appointment of the season, with rival managers Ronald Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino on four points each and desperate to justify the rising expectations of their respective supporters.

Leicester City v Chelsea
15.00 – 09/09

Assistants: H Lennard & M Wilkes
Fourth official: Roger East

Robert Huth is still fighting for a starting spot at the King Power, even if he’s been employed at the Riverside and Britannia since leaving Chelsea, and it is over 13 years since Claudio Ranieri played him out of position after taking off Scott Parker in the Champions League semi-final at the Stade Louis II.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Lee Mason:
Matches in 2017/18: 2 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2
Reds: 1 Yellows: 2[/quote_box_right]

The Foxes, of course, distinguished themselves throughout their Champions League debut season, but while Gary Cahill will not be back to bother them, Eden Hazard may well be, having been used in qualification by Belgium.

Danny Drinkwater knew this game was coming ahead of his August switch, and he links back up with Ngolo Kante at the very stadium that saw them lift the Premier League together 17 short months ago.

The late Keith Weller, right winger and tights pioneer, was Chelsea top scorer in 1970/71 and went on to win four England caps, having signed for Leicester. Also before Huth there was Muzzy Izzet, signed by

Martin O’Neill from Chelsea at the age of 21, who won the League Cup twice and faced Brazil for Turkey in a 2002 World Cup semi-final. Then there was Frank Sinclair, Dennis Wise and Mark Schwarzer.

The biggest connection of the lot, however, remains Ranieri, current head coach at Nantes and predecessor both of Craig Shakespeare and Antonio Conte. Coincidentally, the man in the middle for Ranieri’s first game of that historic 2015/16 season was Lee Mason, in a 4-2 home win against Sunderland.

Southampton v Watford
15.00 – 09/09

Assistants: A Garratt & D Cook
Fourth official: Tim Robinson

Big Lawrie McMenemy and Graham Taylor may never go down as the England dream team, but they will be remembered as the respective favourite managers of these two particular clubs.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Lee Probert:
Matches in 2017/18: 1 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 1
Reds: 0 Yellows: 1[/quote_box_right]

It was as far back as 1900 that these two first met, with hosts Southampton coming away narrow victors in the Southern League, thanks to a goal from England striker Harry Wood. And it was only this March when goals from Deeney, Okaka, Doucoure, Tadic, Redmond (2) and Gabbiadini contributed to a thrilling 4-3 Saints win at Vicarage Road.

Mauricio Pellegrino and Marco da Silva’s Iberian hostilities start today, as they have never managed in the same country before. The Spaniard and the Portugese have both claimed five points from their first three outings with their new squads.

Gloucester-born Lee Probert’s return from injury in April last season also featured Watford, who beat Sunderland as he produced his yellow card four times.

Stoke City v Manchester United
17.30 – 09/09

Assistants: D Cann & S Ledger
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell

Stoke boss Mark Hughes predicted that Wayne Rooney’s record of 253 goals for today’s visitors will never be surpassed, and while he is as qualified as any to offer such an opinion, wouldn’t it be just like Jose Mourinho to re-invent it as an insult with which to motivate one of Monday’s England scorers, Marcus Rashford?

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Neil Swarbrick:
Matches in 2017/18: 2 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2
Reds: 0 Yellows: 6[/quote_box_right]

Lou Macari is one of many further connections, and a game featured in the unmissable BBC biopic Marvellous was the 1993 League Cup 2nd round, first leg win secured by Mark Stein’s two goals for Macari’s side against his former employers. As Delilah rang around a rampant Victoria Ground, there was barely a dry eye left in the house.

This will be Neil Swarbrick’s first trial by TV this season, so it may be his turn to adjudicate whether Jack Butland moves too early or not to deny Romelu Lukaku from the penalty spot!

Michael OliverBurnley v Crystal Palace
13.30 – 10/09

Assistants: S Bennett & S Burt
Fourth official: Craig Pawson

Only the bravest punter would back Palace here, the addition of Mamadou Sakho notwithstanding. The big Frenchman will presumably get a crack at Burnley’s new New Zealand striker, Chris Wood, as Palace aim to put one over on their tenth-placed hosts.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Michael Oliver:
Matches in 2017/18: 2 (2 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 1
Reds: 0 Yellows: 5[/quote_box_right]

Turf Moor chief Sean Dyche was linked with Frank de Boer’s job before the Dutchman took it, and will only be looking to consolidate the formidable home record which kept his team in the Premier League last season.

Anthony Taylor took the corresponding fixture, memorable for a last-minute Ashley Barnes winner and just the three yellows shared between the teams.

It has taken Michael Oliver just seven years to reach this, his 176th Premier League match in charge, at the grand old age of 32. That debut at 25, when taking Birmingham versus Blackburn, remains a record.

Swansea City v Newcastle United
16.00 – 10/09

Assistants: A Holmes & M Scholes
Fourth official: Robert Madley

Jonjo Shelvey returns to the Liberty Stadium, while spoilt-for-choice, on-loan Tammy Abrahams gets a look at what he could have won…

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Mike Jones:
Matches in 2017/18: 1 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2
Reds: 0 Yellows: 3[/quote_box_right]

Last time, in August 2015, it proved to be a routine 2-0 home win thanks to goals from the other Ayew brother (Andre not Jordan) and Bafetimbi Gomis, while Mike Jones, who was in charge that day as well as today, dismissed Newcastle defender Daryl Janmaat thanks to two first-half yellows.

Shelvey anchored the hosts’ midfield that day, alongside Jack Cork and Gylfi Sigurdsson. How times change. Now Wilfred Bony is back in town, and Swansea manager Paul Clement’s coup in signing Bayern Munich and Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches could be seen as a thumb in the eye for the equally well-connected Rafa Benitez.

The surprising fact is, with 14 Premier League clubs having broken their transfer record in the window just closed, Newcastle’s record has stood since 2005.

Bobby Madley misses out on an appointment again, while it’s a first TV game of the season for Jones.

Kevin Friend

West Ham United v Huddersfield Town
20.00 – 11/09

Assistants: I Hussin & C Hatzidakis
Fourth official: Mike Dean

It’s been 45 years since they last met in the league, but 20 years since West Ham emerged victorious from a two-legged League Cup encounter 3-1 on aggregate. A certain Martin Bodenham was in charge for the second meeting, at Upton Park, and he booked John Hartson, perhaps just to take the shine off his hat-trick.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Kevin Friend:
Matches in 2017/18: 1 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 3
Reds: 0 Yellows: 4[/quote_box_right]

Friend of the Ref Show Iain Dowie also turned out for the Irons that night, but missed the quarter-final defeat at home to Arsenal, who ended both Harry Redknapp’s cup runs at the same stage that season.

With Slaven Bilic already up against it and Marko Arnautovic out due to suspension, David Wagner’s stock could hardly be any higher. The German/American coach had an impressive transfer window and is looking to continue laying Huddersfield’s illustrious ghosts to rest, this time at the London Stadium.

This is Kevin Friend’s 159th Premier League game in charge, since his debut eight years ago, when Fulham were the visitors at Molineux. Mike Dean misses out on a game to himself, having endured a hectic time at the Vitality Stadium on Matchday 3.