The Premier League should be back with the right kind of bang following an international break that did not leave quite everyone twiddling their thumbs.
World Cup qualification, UEFA under-19s and the FIFA under-17s in India have kept some busy and explains the absence of Anthony Taylor this weekend, while Stuart Attwell and Paul Tierney are back and Jon Moss, Graham Scott, Roger East and Mike Jones step down.
Chris Kavanagh finds himself with two further learning curve opportunities holding the electronic board, but why don’t the top refs get to maximise the potential of those bicep ads now 12 top flight clubs are at it? After all they were sleeve sponsor pioneers not so very long ago!
Liverpool v Manchester United | 14/10 | 12.30
Assistants: L Betts & S Child
Fourth official: Jonathan Moss
Although most stats appear to stack up on Jose Mourinho’s side heading into this early kick-off, the fact is Jurgen Klopp has lost only once to a Mourinho team in seven goes.
All you need to know about Martin Atkinson:
Matches in 2017/18: 4 (2 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0
Yellows: 11 Reds: 1
When Allenby Chilton moved from LFC to MUFC in 1938, he chose a direct path avoided by Michael Owen some 51 years later and also by Paul Ince, an England team-mate who turned out for Internazionale in between the fierce Lancashire rivals.
Phil Chisnall, at £25k, was signed by Shanks from Matt Busby in the sixties but managed just nine games and made do with a job in a malt loaf factory in Urmston once immortality had eluded him. Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze even made an attempt to switch via a fiendish loan arrangement in which Crystal Palace were prepared to participate, yet neither move materialised.
An FA Cup winner with United in 1985, John Gidman had been let go by LFC before he could reach the first team, as was Scott Wootton, whose 2007 switch to the MUFC academy proved nothing more than a precursor to bouncing between Championship and League One. Peter Beardsley played one trial game for the Red Devils under Ron Atkinson as a Vancouver Whitecaps player before returning from Canada to sign for Newcastle and then Liverpool, in 1987.
If the direct route really was taboo, however, no one told Busby, who signed as a player for Liverpool for eight grand from Manchester City in 1936 and was appointed assistant to manager George Kay in 1944, before leaving for Old Trafford in February, 1945, his wonders to perform.
Exactly a year ago the result of this most anticipated of fixtures was 0-0 at Anfield, discretely refereed by Anthony Taylor, while January’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalise James Milner’s penalty, when Michael Oliver cautioned four.
Assistant Lee Betts accompanied Martin Atkinson in Kosovo on World Cup duty with Craig Pawson last Friday, and Atkinson it was who sent off second-half sub Steven Gerrard after 38 seconds in this fixture two years ago, which made for one fascinating touch map.
Burnley v West Ham United | 14/10 | 15.00
Assistants: E Smart & M McDonough
Fourth official: Mike Dean
If it’s fake derby matches you’re looking for, you came to the right place… how about El Claretico!
Burnley won the very first meeting of the clubs 5-1 in November, 1923, and West Ham came from behind and won 2-1 to bring down the curtain on last season in the most recent, as Bobby Madley booked two players from each side.
All you need to know about Stuart Attwell:
Matches in 2017/18: 2 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 4
Yellows: 5 Reds: 0
Junior Stanislas spent three years at Burnley after 11 years at West Ham, from boy to first-teamer, while Swindon’s Matt Taylor moved from West Ham to Burnley in 2014 after three years, having played at Turf Moor in the March 2012 encounter refereed by Mark Haywood, a 2-2 Championship draw between these two.
Others to have worn the claret and blue of both include Reg Attwell, Tyrone Mears, David Unsworth (who also flirted with and spurned the same shades at Villa), Alan Taylor, Sam Jennings, Walter Pollard, Ian Wright, Ian Moore, Zavon Hines, Tommy Hampson, Herman Conway and Frank Birchenough.
Luke Chadwick made 40 Burnley appearances and scored six goals, joining West Ham in 2004, and getting promoted with Alan Pardew only to be farmed out on loan to Stoke after 36 appearances and one goal.
Stuart Attwell might well remember an action-packed Hammers engagement at Wigan in March, 2009, when he booked six and sent off two more, including West Ham’s match-winner, Carlton Cole.
Crystal Palace v Chelsea | 14/10 | 15.00
Assistants: S Beck & S Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Roger East
Sam Allardyce found a way to cut off Chelsea’s supply lines at Stamford Bridge on April Fools Day, but Sam has gone, along with ex-Blue Loic Remy, whereas ex-Chelsea players Ray Lewington and Carlton Cole lay in wait today for their former employers.
All you need to know about Andre Marriner:
Matches in 2017/18: 5 (4 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 4
Yellows: 13 Reds: 1
Other links include old muckers Terry Venables and Allan Harris, while the dedicated mod Steve Kember spent four years at Chelsea as their record signing, between two spells as a Palace player which led to eight months as Palace manager. Kember was granted a Selhurst Park testimonial in 2004, which featured a veterans game against who else but Chelsea.
Charlie Cooke was a Chelsea stalwart between 1966 and 1972 and then 1974-78, with 44 Palace appearances sandwiched in between, and Clive Allen was another who represented both.
Peter Osgood scored four in a festive 1969 fixture which Palace lost 5-1, the 49,498 gate setting a Selhurst Park attendance record, and Jim Cannon made his debut in a 2-0 Palace win in 1973. He was booked within ten minutes as goals from Iain Phillip and himself got the Malcolm Allison reign off to the best possible start.
The only time Roy Hodgson and Antonio Conte have previously gone head to head, Andros Townsend salvaged a draw for England in a Turin friendly in March, 2015. That would no doubt do just as well today, and Hodgson will also need Wayne Hennessey to put his midweek disappointment to one side.
Andre Marriner was 4th official to Michael Oliver in Minsk last week, with Oliver taking the 3-1 Netherlands win against Belarus that saw him issue cautions to current Premier League practitioners Janmaat and Wijnaldum.
Manchester City v Stoke City | 14/10 | 15.00
Assistants: I Hussin & A Garratt
Fourth official: Andy Madley
Mark Hughes spent 18 months as Manchester City boss and is certainly remembered more fondly than one who managed both clubs through periods of decline, the late Alan Ball.
The home side’s 2011 FA Cup Final survivors are Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and David Silva, while on the blue bench was Shay Given, who has played for Stoke since. At the heart of Stoke’s losing midfield that day was Glenn Whelan, who made one UEFA Cup appearance for Manchester City, in 2003. Ryan Shawcross is Stoke’s sole survivor from that 1-0 Wembley defeat six years ago.
All you need to know about Craig Pawson:
Matches in 2017/18: 6 (4 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 5
Yellows: 26 Reds: 2
Peter Beagrie spent three seasons in sky blue, having earlier clocked up 50+ Stoke appearances. Mike Doyle, Joe Corrigan and Dave Watson all pulled on both shirts, as have Stephen Ireland, Mike Sheron and Nigel Gleghorn, who won the Second Division title with the Potters in 1993.
Although Stoke have only managed to ever score one goal at the Etihad, Mame Biram Diouf’s winner in 2014, last season’s 0-0 draw in March saw Guardiola’s men muster a mere one shot on target, and Neil Swarbrick cautioned four that day.
Bobby’s older brother, Andy Madley, gets another shot between Premier League technical areas as fourth official after a fine performance in the middle when Sheffield Wednesday beat Leeds in the Championship earlier this month.
Swansea City v Huddersfield Town | 14/10 | 15.00
Assistants: D Cook & M Scholes
Fourth official: Mike Jones
While seventies Prime Minister Harold Wilson famously hailed from Huddersfield, his successor, James Callaghan, was President of Swansea University from 1986 to 1995 and became an Honorary Fellow there in 1992, the year the Swans finished 19th in Football League Division Three.
All you need to know about Paul Tierney:
Matches in 2017/18: 1 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2
Yellows: 4 Reds: 0
Back in May, Huddersfield earned the right to became the 49th Premier League club in its 26th season, and the home side will have happy memories of today’s ref, as Paul Tierney officiated their victorious Championship play-off semi-final first leg against Sheffield Wednesday before they clinched a decisive Wembley appearance against Reading on penalties.
Following his crucial performances and what was voted the Terriers’ goal of last season, the lanky Denmark under-21s midfielder Philip Billing found himself the subject of mounting speculation, linking him to Swansea in particular. Whereas Billing stayed put, Dutchmen Wilfred Bony, Mike van der Hoorn and Leroy Fer should be able to show fellow countryman Rajiv van La Parra around without any such rumours getting started.
When these sides last met at Liberty Stadium it was in League One, in November 2007, ending up 1-0 to the visitors thanks to a Malvin Kamara goal. Keith Hill was the ref, and he issued a yellow for Thomas Butler and Joe Skarz. Yes, of course Leon Britton was there, and he came on for Kevin Austin.
Wiganer Tierney has assistance from Bucks and Hants respectively in Dan Cook and Mark Scholes today, as 18th entertains 11th. Fourth official Jones actually dismissed a different Tierney at Wembley 10 years ago… Shrewsbury’s Marc Tierney, in the Football League Two play-off final.
Tottenham Hotspur v Bournemouth | 14/10 | 15.00
Assistants: P Kirkup & M Perry
Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh
Jermain Defoe has had multiple spells at both these clubs while Darren Anderton turned out 299 times in 12 years for Spurs, then 66 in two years at Bournemouth after stints at Wolves and Birmingham. Club captain Anderton retired in 2008.
Redknapps Harry and Jamie are more than familiar faces to both sets of fans, while Spurs youngster Adam Smith went on loan to Bournemouth for 2010/11 before signing permanently in 2014.
All you need to know about Bobby Madley:
Matches in 2017/18: 4 (3 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 7
Yellows: 18 Reds: 2
The impressive total of 47 appearances in a single Bournemouth season was clocked up by defender Paul Miller, a name more readily associated with Tottenham, but the visitors’ last appearance at Wembley came under Mel Machin in the Auto Windscreens Shields Trophy final of 1998.
Eddie Howe played in defence and was booked by referee Mick Pierce versus Grimsby that day, and while AFCB may have lost that one to a golden goal, at least they had won their first, in 1984, against Hull, when it was the Associate Members Cup. Disappointingly that was at Boothferry Park due to damage caused by the Horse of the Year Show, which was never mistaken for Wembley to our knowledge.
Even AFCB’s sole play-off win came in Cardiff, at the Millennium in 2003, and in May, 2016, a superstitious Callum Wilson said: “I don’t want to go there [Wembley] until I’m playing there, I didn’t ever want to go as a fan.” Having recovered from injury, let’s hope this is his time to do just that.
The last meeting was an April early kick-off at WHL cruised by Spurs 4-0, with Michael Oliver only cautioning substitute Ryan Fraser between goals from Moussa Dembele, Heung-Min Song, Harry Kane and Vincent Janssen.
In the corresponding Vitality fixture, refereed by Craig Pawson last season, Moussa Sissoko escaped action for elbowing Harry Arter, only to be banned by the FA for three games retrospectively.
This is not Bobby Madley’s first time back in the saddle since Arsenal versus West Brom, by the way, as he has been away on UEFA under-19s duty.
Watford v Arsenal | 14/10 | 17.30
Assistants: S Ledger & A Holmes
Fourth official: Graham Scott
Watford had lost all seven Premier League games to Arsenal prior to their 2-1 win at the Emirates in January this year, and Alexis Sanchez had scored every time he had faced them. On this occasion, however, he was booked by Andre Marriner.
All you need to know about Neil Swarbrick:
Matches in 2017/18: 5 (2 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 4
Yellows: 12 Reds: 0
After 500 Arsenal appearances, Pat Rice then put in 112 in four years at Watford, while Manuel Almunia spent all of 2013/14 on loan at Vicarage Road from the Gunners.
Last season the hosts lost 3-1 to Arsenal in August thanks to three first-half goals, and Kevin Friend booked six Watford players to Arsenal’s one.
Lancastrian Neil Swarbrick is blessed with a pair of Yorkshire assistants for this clash between 8th and 5th in the Premier League, scheduled for a tea-time television audience.
Brighton & Hove Albion v Everton | 15/10 | 13.30
Assistants: S Bennett & S Burt
Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh
There have been three FA Cup meetings between these sides; eight in the league, and that’s it for the El Garyco! What’s that now? The Gary Stevens derby, of course! Both teams boasted one back in the eighties and they made the same England squads enough times to give the late Bobby Robson more than the odd senior moment.
All you need to know about Michael Oliver:
Matches in 2017/18: 6 (5 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 1
Yellows: 21 Reds: 2
Everton won the last league encounter 2-1 in April, 1983 at the Goldstone Ground, thanks to two Kevin Sheedy goals, with both Garys dutifully in opposition.
Darren Hughes went from FA Youth Cup finalist at Everton to Division Two relegation with Brighton in 1987, while winger Bobby Laverick joined Brighton from Everton in 1960. Bearded striker Mick Ferguson enjoyed brief spells with each, as did defender Martin Keown and Rod Stewart impersonator Alan Biley. Biley did not make it into double figures in goals for either, whereas Warren Aspinall’s last professional club was Brighton and Everton his second in a 10-club career.
One little-known near miss, connection-wise, was Andrei Kanchelskis, who trained briefly with Brighton in 2003, having played 50 times for Joe Royle’s mid-nineties Toffees.
In 2016 the clubs were united in mourning the death of the late Gary Townsend, who raised money in his community roles for both and died suddenly on holiday in Spain.
Mickey Thomas, who was quoted saying if he had known quite how far away Brighton was he may not have signed… high-tailed it to Stoke after just 20 appearances in the blue of the Seagulls.
Today Michael Oliver finds himself among familiar company, having had Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett running the line for him in Belarus last week.
Southampton v Newcastle United | 15/10 | 16.00
Assistants: C Hatzidakis & M Wilkes
Fourth official: Roger East
Matt le Tissier was once the scourge of Newcastle, with separate SJP winners and a double at the Dell in a 2-1 1993 win. The figures of Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan loom even larger over this fixture, however. And who could forget 1976 FA Cup winner Mick Channon’s four games for the Magpies? Quite possibly even the man himself could, if truth be told.
All you need to know about Kevin Friend:
Matches in 2017/18: 3 (2 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 6
Yellows: 9 Reds: 0
Within this meeting of Spanish and Argentinian coaches lies an intriguing sub-plot featuring the master and his apprentice, reunited from their days in harness both at Anfield and at the San Siro, and as manager and player at Liverpool and Valencia before that.
Mauricio Pellegrino, in 12th, and Rafa Benitez, in 9th place, are the latest men to preside over two sides whose first league meeting came in December, 1934, a game won for Newcastle by a single Tommy Lang strike.
If Newcastle could pull off a win it would scupper Saints’ overall superiority, having won 37 to Newcastle’s 36, with 21 drawn games between the clubs since they commenced with an FA Cup tie won 1-0 by Southampton in 1898.
Kevin Friend has mixed memories of Southampton, having collapsed, been kept in hospital overnight with concussion and replaced as fourth official by Dean Treleaven as the Saints visited Bournemouth back in March, 2016, subsequently missing his scheduled appointment in the middle at St Mary’s the following Saturday. Thankfully he made a full recovery.
Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion | 16/10 | 20.00
Assistants: S Long & H Lennard
Fourth official: Paul Tierney
Not quite a derby this, but under duress you could nonetheless make a case for calling this encounter El Shakespearo, given that the Foxes manager made 128 appearances in three years at the Hawthorns. He was also caretaker manager for a 2-0 win at Palace in 2006, wedged between Nigel Pearson and Tony Mowbray reigns, having paid his dues as community officer, academy coach and then reserve team coach. In fact, Craig Shakespeare was only to leave in 2008 to assist Pearson at Leicester, the first time round, then go to Hull… and back to the King Power in November, 2011.
Gary Megson was in charge at Leicester for roughly six weeks in 2007, but has been in Tony Pulis’s dug-out at West Brom since this summer. Leicester were one of the clubs reported to have been in for Baggies captain Jonny Evans during the transfer window just gone, only for him to see the deadline come and go.
All you need to know about Mike Dean:
Matches in 2017/18: 5 (3 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 3
Yellows: 18 Reds: 1
Both chairmen are relative new boys, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha having taken the reigns in 2011, and counterpart John Williams replacing Jeremy Peace just over a year ago. Two months later, during a 2-1 away win for the Baggies, Craig Pawson handed out just the two yellows for the visitors as their hosts continued to labour under the weight of their Champions tag.
This is fourth official Paul Tierney’s second appointment of the weekend, having been in charge for Huddersfield’s visit to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.