Anthony Taylor and his regular team are back from India and Greece as the jockeying for a possible UEFA play-off appointment continues. Missing from this weekend’s Premier League refereeing roster, meanwhile, are big guns Andre Marriner, Martin Atkinson, Craig Pawson and Jon Moss, on this season’s form, at least. Europa and Champions League appointments were conspicuous by their absence this week, with Taylor the honourable exception.
Troy Deeney accepted the charge of violent conduct after his thumbs triggered by far the biggest problem thrown up by Matchday 10, and, having missed this red card offence which was subsequently upgraded by a panel, Michael Oliver can relax as he is only responsible for the televised visit of the Premier League leaders to the Emirates following last week’s hectic afternoon at Vicarage Road!
As the FA Cup first round proper rolls around again, good luck to David Webb, fourth official Darren Drysdale and assistants Matthew Perry and Michael Denton in their televised game at Ewen Fields on Friday.
Stoke City v Leicester City
Assistants: L Betts & M Perry
Fourth official: Jon Moss
The Foxes were triumphant on their first ever trip to Stoke, in April, 1908, and owed it all to a Thomas Shanks goal in what was then Division Two.
All you need to know about Bobby Madley:
Matches in 2017/18: 6 (3 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 9
Yellows: 25 Reds: 2
The honours ever since, however, could not be any more even, with both sides claiming 33 wins and the total number of draws also 33!
That 99th game came last December, 2016: a compelling 2-2, when Craig Pawson showed Jamie Vardy a straight red on 28 minutes. Also cautioned before the break were Danny Simpson, Andy King, Islam Slimani, Uwe Fuchs and Marc Albrichton, with Robert Huth only joining the party three minutes into the second half, to be followed by Glen Johnson and Bruno Martins Indi of Stoke. The scorers? Bojan Krcic (penalty), Joe Allen, Leonardo Ulloa and Daniel Amartey.
Welsh veterans of Euro 16, Carmarthen-born Joe Allen and Barnstaple-born Andy King, could well be battling it out in midfield today, while Maxim Chupo-Moting of Cameroon via the city of Hamburg, could well be facing Berliner Robert Huth.
The managers share a Southampton connection, with Claude Puel having led Saints to the EFL Cup final last season and Mark Hughes having played for Southampton between 1998 and 2000.
Bobby Madley follows up a basement thriller at Selhurst Park with an early Saturday kick-off pitting 14th against 11th in the Premier League, while Jon Moss follows up last week’s match of the weekend by taking his turn to hold the board.
Huddersfield Town v West Bromwich Albion
Assistants: C Hatzidakis & S Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Lee Mason
Last time these teams met was in the FA Cup, and, as well as being the sole Baggies survivor from that day, Chris Brunt can also claim he was the only caution to enter referee Kevin Wright’s notebook.
All you need to know about Roger East:
Matches in 2017/18: 4 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 7
Yellows: 17 Reds: 0
Burnley’s Chris Wood and Graeme Dorrans were the scorers, after which Wood embarked on a five-club loan tour before leaving in 2013.
The first time the Terriers welcomed West Brom, it was also 2-0, in Division Two at Christmas, 1910. Can you guess the score the last time the sides met in the league? You got it: 2-0, in November, 2000, when David Elleray oversaw their Division One clash, as was. Jordao and Lee Hughes scored West Brom’s goals and Elleray booked four for Huddersfield and just one of the visitors.
The disproportionately high number of players invested in the play-offs for Russia 2018 on show would be higher still had Jonas Olsson not joined Djurgardens IF in the summer. Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans and Brunt will all be hoping for some degree of involvement, while Philip Billing, Mathias Jorgensen and Jonas Lossl might be advised not to give visiting James McClean too much Denmark/Ireland trash talk.
Having executed fourth official duties at the Vitality and AMEX on consecutive days last weekend, Roger East steps back in for his fourth game in the middle between Premier League sides this season. Carrying his board will be Lee Mason, who did the same at Turf Moor on Monday and refereed at the Emirates two days before that.
Newcastle United v Bournemouth
Assistants: S Ledger & H Lennard
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson
Perhaps surprisingly, Newcastle take to the field trying to level up their total wins in fixtures against Bournemouth, having lost four and won three.
They did win the first at St James Park however, when the score was 2-0 in an FA Cup tie in January, 1973.
All you need to know about Paul Tierney:
Matches in 2017/18: 2 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 3
Yellows: 10 Reds: 0
Nevertheless Bournemouth won on their very last visit, 3-1 in March, 2016, thanks to goals from Steve Taylor (og), Josh King and Charlie Daniels. Jose Perez provided the consolation and referee Paul Tierney cautioned him along with Steve Cook, the ex-Magpie Dan Gosling and Lewis Grabban.
Matt Ritchie was in that side, which managed to inflict Newcastle’s ninth defeat in 12 games in all competitions, and on the Bournemouth bench that day was Sylvin Distin, who made 20 league appearances for Newcastle in 2001/02.
Kevin Bond became assistant to manager Glenn Roeder at Newcastle from June 2006, only to leave in a hurry in September and turn up as manager of AFCB in October. He kept them up and was joined by player Eddie Howe on the coaching staff with Rob Newman before all three were dismissed in September, 2008. Howe was back as manager just four months later for the first of his two impressive spells in charge.
Southampton v Burnley
Assistants: S Beck & A Garratt
Fourth official: Kevin Friend
Remarkably, four players native to Southampton have turned out for Burnley in the Premier League era: Sam Vokes, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Danny Ings and Wade Elliott, who scored the crucial play-off goal at Wembley in 2009 that saw Burnley promoted to the Premier League for the first time.
All you need to know about Lee Probert:
Matches in 2017/18: 3 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2
Yellows: 2 Reds: 0
The last time these clubs met in this league was in October, 2016, when Vokes scored at his spiritual home only for a goal from Nathan Redmond and two from Charlie Austin to win the game 3-1 while Dusan Tadic, Steven Defour and Dean Marney were cautioned by Mike Dean.
The last time the away team won between these two was October, 2007 in the Championship, when referee Nigel Miller only cautioned Ade Akinbiyi. Goals from him, Chris McCann, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Jason Euell and Stern John resulted in a 2-3 Saints win.
The very first meeting, however, came in Division Two and ended up 1-1 in September, 1930.
Not only does Shane Long expect to join today’s opponents Jeff Hendrick, Jon Walters, Robbie Brady and Stephen Ward for Ireland’s World cup play-offs next week, but the benches could prove just as animated by talk of Russia given the possible presence of Ireland’s Kevin Long, Will Ferry, Aaron O’Driscoll, and Michael Obafemi plus Denmark’s Anders Lindegaard and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Italy’s Manolo Gabbiadini and Northern Ireland’s Steven Davis, while Chris Wood could easily chip in with his prediction for the New Zealand versus Peru double-header!
Lee Probert presides over this fixture with the overall tally standing at 20 wins each and 14 draws.
Swansea v Brighton & Hove Albion
Assistants: I Hussin & D Eaton
Fourth official: Simon Hooper
The very first encounter between these two was certainly nothing to write home about, ending up 0-0 in Division Three (south) back in November, 1920.
All you need to know about Mike Dean:
Matches in 2017/18: 7 (5 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 6
Yellows: 25 Reds: 1
The last one at Swansea took place in August, 2009 in the League Cup, with Swansea winning 3-0, while the last league encounter ended up with the same scoreline as the first. In September, 2007, Mike Jones cautioned two players from each side in a lunchtime kick-off at the Liberty Stadium.
Winger Andrea Orlandi joined Brighton in 2012 after five years and promotion at Swansea, going on to play for Blackpool, Anorthosis and APOEL FC of Cyprus, before signing for Serie B club Novara Calcio this summer.
Left back Marcos Painter first played for Swansea on loan from home-town club Birmingham City before moving permanently and staying for three years. The pattern repeated itself at Brighton, from whom he was to join Bournemouth on loan in 2013 and eventually Portsmouth, for whom he made 17 appearances in 2014.
An English coach faces an English coach in the Premier League while the World Cup play-offs will quite possibly be a distraction that Swansea’s Martin Olsson (Sweden), Brighton’s Shane Duffy (Ireland) and Ezequiel Schelotto (Italy) have to contend with.
This is Mike Dean’s first appointment in charge of the Seagulls since their promotion decider versus Boro in May, 2016. Boro only needed a draw and were duly promoted with a superior goal difference, a result compounded for many Brighton fans by the straight red shown by Dean to Dale Stephens following his clash with Gaston Ramirez.
West Ham United v Liverpool
Assistants: S Child & E Smart
Fourth official: Craig Pawson
This Saturday evening kick-off pits 16th against 6th and this partial list of players to have represented both clubs includes names from the nineties onwards only: Victor Moses (loaned to both from Chelsea), Joe Cole, Glen Johnson, Don Hutchison, Julian Dicks, David James, Paul Ince, Craig Bellamy, Neil Ruddock, Yossi Benayoun, Paul Konchesky, David Burrows, Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Mike Marsh, Rigobert Song, Javier Mascherano, Robbie Keane (loaned to West Ham), Titi Camara, Alvaro Arbeloa, Ray Houghton, Rob Jones, Neil Mellor and David Speedie.
All you need to know about Neil Swarbrick:
Matches in 2017/18: 7 (4 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 6
Yellows: 17 Reds: 0
Both the 1981 League Cup final and its Villa Park replay, staged on April Fools day, were refereed by the legendary Clive Thomas and saw Liverpool win a trophy for the first time which they have managed to win a total of eight times.
LFC’s first visit to West Ham, in a January, 1901 FA Cup intermediate round, resulted in a 1-0 win and progress for the visitors. Their last came in May, 2017, when, with a 4-0 win, LFC equalled their biggest margin versus the Irons, 5-1 in 1985 and 4-0 in 1976… both of which took place in Division One.
It was Neil Swarbrick, funnily enough, who cautioned Edimilson Fernandes and James Collins for the home side last season. Fourth official Craig Pawson was AAR to Anthony Taylor for Olympiacos versus Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace
Assistants: S Long & A Holmes
Fourth official: Mike Jones
For this noon, Sunday kick-off, the Eagles return to Wembley for the first time since their extra-time defeat in 2016 to FA Cup winners Manchester United.
Clive Allen, Terry Venables and John Bostock, currently at Ligue 2’s RC Lens, have graced both clubs, as have Andros Townsend, Peter Taylor, Zeki Fryers, Chris Armitage and Gary O’Reilly.
Christian Eriksen and Damien Delaney, meanwhile, can contemplate coming into conflict in both Copenhagen and Dublin in the very near future.
All you need to know about Kevin Friend:
Matches in 2017/18: 5 (3 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 7
Yellows: 13 Reds: 0
This will be the clubs’ 51st encounter ever, and the first dates back to October, 1906 at White Hart Lane in the Southern League, won 3-0 by Spurs thanks to goals from Joseph Walton and James Reid (2).
The last was a late 1-0 Spurs victory courtesy of Victor Wanyama, refereed by Michael Oliver, who cautioned Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Wilfried Zaha, Scott Dann and Andros Townsend.
Palace have lost seven of their last eight Premier League games against Spurs but on their way to their last Wembley appearance they pulled off a 1-0 win at WHL in the 5th round, reffed by Craig Pawson, who took the names of Danny Rose, Yannick Bolasie and Yohan Cabaye. Martin Kelly scored the vital Palace goal in added time at the end of the first half which clinched a quarter-final tie against Reading.
Kevin Friend was in charge at Anfield for the disputed penalty won by Firmino, missed by Salah and praised by both Mark Halsey and Keith Hackett for its accuracy afterwards. He takes to the Wembley turf with a different set of assistants this week.
Manchester City v Arsenal
Assistants: S Bennett & S Burt
Fourth official: Andre Marriner
It’s first versus fifth and this Sunday kick-off marks both the 192nd meeting of the clubs and Arsene Wenger’s own 801st Premier League game in charge of Arsenal.
All you need to know about Michael Oliver:
Matches in 2017/18: 9 (6 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 1
Yellows: 35 Reds: 2
The very first encounter in London saw the teams take the field under different names. Back in November 1893 it was Woolwich Arsenal versus Ardwick, and the home side won 1-0.
The last time was at the Emirates in April of this year, the score ending up 2-2, with goals from Theo Walcott, Shkodran Mustafi, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero. Referee Andre Marriner saw fit to caution five players in all.
Alexis Sanchez was the subject of summer bids to make him latest in a long line of recent north-bound travellers including Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure.
Well before those lucrative moves, Brian Kidd, Tommy Caton, Richard Wright, Niall Quinn and David Rocastle and David Seaman also played for both, while Brian Marwood, Mikel Arteta, and Patrick Vieira have played for Arsenal and taken up senior positions with City after calling it a day. Joe Mercer belongs on that list too, having managed City from 1965 to 1971.
Hoping to participate in the UEFA end of the World Cup play-offs is Granit Xhaka of Switzerland, while a recent participant in an intermediate World Cup, held in India, was Phil Boden, a Stockport blue looking to establish himself in one of City’s teams rather than head out on loan.
AR Stuart Burt was fourth official to Anthony Taylor for Olympiacos versus Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, and referee Michael Oliver is no stranger to the big occasion, nor to the Etihad.
Chelsea v Manchester United
Assistants: G Beswick & A Nunn
Fourth official: Craig Pawson
Last season, over-celebration was allegedly the issue of the day according to Jose Mourinho when it came to the subject of his successor, and Chelsea’s Pedro was actually cautioned by Martin Atkinson for roughly the same thing as United were taken apart in a 4-0 home win.
All you need to know about Anthony Taylor:
Matches in 2017/18: 6 (4 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0
Yellows: 23 Reds: 0
There was arguably even more cause to leap into the crowd for Chris Sutton in October 1999, when he scored what turned out to be his only Premier League goal for the Blues as United were beaten 5-0 shortly after winning the Treble. A first-half red card for Nicky Butt may have been a factor.
Mourinho himself presided over a 2007 FA Cup final victory for Chelsea over today’s opposition long before he followed in the managerial footsteps of Tommy Docherty and Dave Sexton, who also guided the fortunes of both clubs.
Radamel Falcao, Juan Sebastian Veron, Ray Wilkins, Paul Parker, Mal Donaghy, Alex Stepney, Juan Mata, Mickey Thomas, Mark Hughes and Mark Bosnich were recently joined by Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic in pulling on both shirts and the curious case of Jon Obi Mikel, who signed for CFC instead of MUFC at the last minute in 2006, perhaps signified the day when the gloves truly came off in the UK transfer market.
Matteo Darmian, Davide Zappacosta, Victor Lindelof and Andreas Christensen (for Denmark) could not be blamed for having half an eye on World Cup play-offs, as will Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Conte, who were in the thick of international football until the last major tournament but can only look on helplessly with fingers crossed.
Fourth official Craig Pawson was AAR to Anthony Taylor for Olympiacos versus Barcelona on Tuesday and this is Taylor’s first Premier League appointment in a month, having been on under-17 World Cup duty with today’s assistants.
Everton v Watford
Assistants: R West & M McDonough
Fourth official: Bobby Madley
Also kicking off at 4.30pm on Sunday, this meeting of 18th and 8th pits a caretaker against one of the league’s most sought-after talents.
All you need to know about Graham Scott:
Matches in 2017/18: 4 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 4
Yellows: 7 Reds: 1
The very first meeting between these clubs did not come along until January 1983, a 1-0 home win thanks to a David Johnson goal, followed by a date at Wembley 16 short months later…
The 1984 FA Cup final referee was John Hunting, the scorers were Graeme Sharp and Andy Gray and the final score 2-0. The match threw Howard Kendall up against Graham Taylor, both of whom were interviewed for the England job six years hence; the latter getting that ‘impossible’ job.
There was a 4-4 draw three months earlier and a 4-5 Everton win four months later, as they came from behind and goals from Derek Mountfield, Trevor Steven, Graeme Sharp and Adrian Heath (2) bettered a Watford side for whom John Barnes scored, alongside George Reilly, Nigel Callaghan and a Mountfield own goal. Substitute Terry Curran was sent off just to add to the general excitement at Vicarage Road.
The last encounter was in May, when Kevin Friend cautioned Valon Behrami, Daryl Janmaat and Jose Holebas. It finished 1-0 to Everton thanks to Ross Barkley’s winner.
Good to see Graham Scott given a fifth Premier League game of the season, with Bobby Madley holding the board today at Goodison Park having refereed a rare Everton highlight, when they gained a point away at Manchester City in the campaign’s opening weeks.