Before heading for Leipzig for his Europa League appointment, accompanied by Messrs Beswick, Nunn, Pawson, Attwell and fourth official Stephen Child, Anthony Taylor wrote Fabian Delph’s name on a yellow only to put the cat among the pigeons by then showing him red following his challenge on Wigan’s Max Power in Monday’s FA Cup fifth round classic.

It’s next stop Watford for Taylor while Neil Swarbrick, Graham Scott, Paul Tierney and Chris Kavanagh miss out and Simon Hooper is left to ponder how long it will be before he is entrusted with a Premier League whistle once again.

Don’t forget that you can join in with Mark Halsey in rating the referees out of ten for the first time this weekend. Head to our Referee Rankings where polls will only open once each match has kicked off and you will be able to vote for 48 hours following the final blow of the whistle. 

Michael OliverLeicester City v Stoke City

S Burt & D Cook
Fourth official: Paul Tierney

‘El Huthico’, an alternative moniker for this game between clubs occupying either end of the A50, has been selected for today’s early kick-off, pitting 8th against 19th. Sadly it’s a contest that is unlikely to feature the Berlin Wall himself: the stalwart centre-half Robert Huth.

All you need to know about Michael Oliver:

Matches in 2017/18: 22 (14 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 5

Yellows: 78 Reds: 4

Whether game 101 in the series represents a Room 101 type of fixture would depend in part upon your age, and with the likes of Banks and Shilton in common before Huth came along, you might expect goals to have been at a premium.

Certainly, one was enough the first time they met at Filbert Street in October, 1907, when their Division Two clash was settled by long-serving defender Robert Pollock’s goal.

At least the reverse fixture on Matchday 11 at the bet365 was packed with everything but cards as Bobby Madley presided over a pulsating 2-2 draw in only Claude Puel’s second game in charge of Leicester.

The last meeting at the King Power posited Craig Shakespeare against Mark Hughes, and ended 2-0 to the home side on April Fools Day, 2017. Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy supplied the goals, while Lee Mason cautioned Christian Fuchs, Ryan Shawcross, Marko Arnautovic, Glenn Whelan and Peter Crouch.

As well as officiating Leicester’s 5-1 FA Cup win at Posh in January, when he only cautioned Vicente Iborra after 14 minutes, their 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford and their 2-1 win at Swansea, Oliver has refereed one Stoke home game (the win over Huddersfield) and one away (a win at Watford) this season so far. The latter required four cautions for each side, with that total of eight being the highest recorded by Oliver in a single game this season.

Roger East

AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle United

S Beck & S Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: James Linington

You can’t see either manager breathing a sigh of survival relief no matter the score today, nor any other result for a few weeks yet. Although the prospect of 10th versus 13th would ostensibly suggest that lethargy and complacency might intrude as we close in on Spring, both clubs, under Howe and Benitez respectively, without question have it all to play for.

All you need to know about Roger East:

Matches in 2017/18: 12 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 17

Yellows: 39 Reds: 1

It’s only the 10th time these two clubs have met, the first down south having ended 2-1 to AFCB in the League Cup back in November, 1963.

The last encounter down south bucked the trend in Newcastle’s relegation season, with referee Lee Mason dispensing two yellows each in a tight encounter won by Ayoze Perez in November, 2015, while this season’s reverse fixture was also won 1-0, only this time at the death, by Bournemouth.

Roger East last refereed Newcastle when they beat Huddersfield away in the Championship 11 months ago, and he took the names of four compared to one from the ranks of the hosts. He officiated for Bournemouth’s home defeats to Watford (in August) and to Burnley (November) in the Premier League this season.

Mike DeanBrighton & Hove Albion v Swansea City

S Long & E Smart
Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh

Chris Hughton regained the upper hand last season over Carlos Carvalhal’s previous employers with 2-1 wins home and away, having lost out to Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship play-offs of 2016.

All you need to know about Mike Dean:

Matches in 2017/18: 18 (9 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 16

Yellows: 69 Reds: 2

Back to this fixture, and Brighton have avoided a fixture pile-up in reaching the FA cup quarter-finals, whereas the Swans have a fifth round tie, against Wednesday, to conclude while fitting in their quest to further improve on 16th place.

The first meeting in England took place in November, 1920 in Division Three (south) and ended 1-1, while the last time Seagull hosted Swan was in May, 2008 ending 1-0 to the visitors thanks to a Febian Brandy winner in League One. Anthony Taylor kept a clean sheet at the Withdean that day while Glenn Murray played the whole game for the champions elect.

As well as taking the reverse fixture, when three were cautioned and Brighton won 1-0, Mike Dean has taken a Swansea home win over West Brom and their 0-0 draw with Spurs at Wembley this season. He also refereed the Seagulls’ 1-1 draw at Southampton last month plus their defeat at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.

Robert MadleyBurnley v Southampton

Assistants: M Perry
& M McDonough
Fourth official: Mike Jones

Once again Burnley’s Sam Vokes goes up against his boyhood heroes as Sean Dyche’s team seek to turn a relative slump into a renewed assault on the Premier League’s top six. Dyche’s opposite number, Mauricio Pellegrino, meanwhile, will be out to avenge the home defeat which contributed to the Saints languishing down in 18th spot.

The first ever encounter came in January, 1908, with a 2-1 FA Cup first round win for Saints, thanks to a double salvo from John Bainbridge.

All you need to know about Bobby Madley:

Matches in 2017/18: 13 (8 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 18

Yellows: 42 Reds: 2

Last January, 2017, it was 1-0 to the Clarets as Joey Barton scored the winner and Paul Tierney issued cautions for Dean Marney, Maya Yoshida and Oriol Romeu.

Bobby Madley officiated Saints’ FA Cup win over Watford as well as their Premier League win at Palace and their draw at home against Arsenal. He last refereed Burnley when they lost 2-1 at home to West Ham on the last day of last season, with yellow cards meted out to two players from each side.

stuart-attwellLiverpool v West Ham United

Assistants: R West
& M Scholes
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson

As 3rd place entertains 12th, it’s been two weeks off for Moyes’s men, while the Reds were denied a similar length of break due to their trip to Portugal in the Champions League.

All you need to know about Stuart Attwell:

Matches in 2T017/18: 11 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 13

Yellows: 41 Reds: 1

The first time these clubs met on Merseyside it ended 5-1 in the FA Cup in February, 1914. An Arthur Metcalf goal plus two apiece from Tom Miller and Bill Lacey did all the damage, with Sydney Puddefoot coming up with the Irons’ reply.

Last December, 2016 it was 2-2 at Anfield thanks to scorers Adam Lallana, Divock Origi, Dmitri Payet and Michail Antonio. Mark Clattenburg cautioned Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino that day, while this season’s reverse fixture was won 4-1 by Liverpool at the London Stadium.

Stuart Attwell refereed Liverpool’s Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Leicester as well as West Ham’s 1-1 draw at Turf Moor in October, which required a second yellow for Anfield old boy Andy Carroll besides cautions for Peter Obiang and Winston Reid.

Jonathan MossWest Bromwich Albion v Huddersfield Town

Assistants: A Holmes
& A Halliday
Fourth official: Lee Mason

The stakes could not have been much higher before the infamous sunshine break embarked upon by Alan Pardew’s squad prior to their FA Cup exit, but there’s now more on this game than any of the previous 70 meetings.

All you need to know about Jon Moss:

Matches in 2017/18: 20 (13 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 12

Yellows: 75 Reds: 2

Huddersfield may only have three places on rock-bottom Baggies, yet there remains a contrast in morale that Terriers boss David Wagner will surely seek to exploit at the Hawthorns just as they did in the reverse fixture won 1-0 at home by Huddersfield.

The last time the Yorkshiremen came calling was in Division One in April, 2001 and it ended 1-1 thanks to goals from Jason Roberts and Andy Booth. Referee Barry Knight showed yellow cards to Michael Appleton, Larus Sigurdsson, Booth and Chris Holland.

Jon Moss last refereed the Baggies in their 4-0 home defeat to Chelsea in November, when he cautioned Rondon and Yacob as well as three of the visitors. He has taken two Terriers home games (a draw with Leicester and a 4-0 defeat to West Ham) this season, as well as their opening day romp at Selhurst Park.

anthony-taylor-2Watford v Everton

Assistants: P Kirkup
& C Hatzidakis
Fourth official: Kevin Friend

This late kick-off for the BT cameras features 11th versus 9th in the top flight, and game 28 between the FA Cup finalists of 1984.

The first ever did not come around until August, 1982, when those in attendance at Vicarage Road witnessed a 2-0 home win.

All you need to know about Anthony Taylor:

Matches in 2017/18: 18 (9 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 6

Yellows: 68 Reds: 0

The reverse fixture at Goodison this season ended 3-2 to the Toffees, while last December, 2016 it was 3-2 to Watford in Hertfordshire. Two goals from Stefano Okaka and one from Sebastian Prodl bettered a Romelu Lukaku double, while today’s referee, Anthony Taylor, cautioned Jose Holebas, Adlene Guedioura, Leighton Baines and Gerard Deulofeu.

This is Taylor’s third Watford home game this season, having taken the 3-3 draw with Liverpool on the opening weekend and their 6-0 defeat to City in September. He oversaw Everton’s draw at Selhurst Park in November, when he took the names of Niasse, Keane and Davies, as well as two Palace players.

He’s yet to issue a red card so far in the Premier League, although there were two in the drawn FA Cup third round clash between Wolves and Swansea as Ruben Vinagre, in the first half, and, later on, Leroy Fer were dismissed, before Manchester City’s Fabian Delph saw red this week at Wigan.

Kevin FriendCrystal Palace v Tottenham Hot spur

Assistants: H Lennard
& M Wilkes
Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh

This Sunday noon kick-off for the cameras pits 15th against 5th in the 52nd ever encounter between the clubs. The first came in February, 1907, in the Southern League, and ended 1-0 to Spurs.

All you need to know about Kevin Friend:

Matches in 2017/18: 14 (9 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 19

Yellows: 35 Reds: 0

Last time they met south of the river was in April, 2017, when it was 1-0 to Spurs with Anthony Taylor in the middle and Christian Eriksen on the scoresheet.

Friend took the reverse fixture this season, yet another 1-0 win for Spurs, as well as Palace’s 1-0 defeat at Anfield and their draw at home against AFC Bournemouth. His only other Spurs appointment was their January draw at Southampton, when he cautioned Sissoko, Dembele and Trippier as well as two players from the home side.

Martin AtkinsonManchester United v Chelsea

Assistants: L Betts
& S Bennett
Fourth official: Andre Marriner

This 1405 kick-off for Sky’s cameras potentially only represents an h’ors d’oeuvre ahead of the main event at Wembley, provided there are no Carabao cock-ups in the pipeline to scupper their best laid plans. Should the managers resume their recent spat, however, Andre Marriner will be glad of his formidable experience as he patrols the technical area.

All you need to know about Martin Atkinson:

Matches in 2017/18: 19 (9 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 4

Yellows: 65 Reds: 4

Chelsea plough on in search of a return to the days when Old Trafford was a truly happy hunting ground, from Garner to Dixon to Flo and, latterly, Juan Mata, who scored the winner at Old Trafford in a Blues victory refereed by Howard Webb in May, 2013.

The first ever meeting took place at Bank Street, Clayton, in Manchester back in December, 1905. That one ended 0-0 in Division Two, the first of 49 draws in total with United claiming 76 wins to Chelsea’s 53.

Chelsea won this season’s reverse fixture 1-0, but last April, 2017, it ended 2-0 to United, with the goals supplied by Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera. On the day there were no shots whatsoever on target for Chelsea, while referee Bobby Madley cautioned Marcos Rojo, Herrera, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gary Cahill, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.

Martin Atkinson oversaw Chelsea’s semi-final, first leg Carabao Cup stalemate against Arsenal in January as well as their Premier League defeat at home to Manchester City in September. He has refereed United at home to West Ham and Burnley (a win and a draw respectively) as well as their 0-0 draw at Anfield in September in the Premier League.

Andre Marriner

Arsenal v Manchester City

S Ledger & I Hussin
Fourth official: Mike Dean

This 1945 Thursday kick-off was moved as soon as both sides qualified to meet each other in Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final. While we will know the result of the very last meeting by tea-time on Sunday, the result of the last at the Emirates, last April, was 2-2, when tonight’s referee, Andre Marriner, cautioned Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Francis Coquelin, Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi. The goals came from Theo Walcott, Mustafi, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero.

All you need to know about Andre Marriner:

Matches in 2017/18: 19 (14 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 14

Yellows: 78 Reds: 4

This is game 194 in all competitions, and the first ever took place when Woolwich Arsenal took on Ardwick in Division Two in November, 1893 and won 1-0 with a James Henderson goal at the Manor Ground, Plumstead.

City won this season’s reverse Premier League fixture 3-1, while the sides also met in the FA Cup semi-final last April at Wembley, when Sunday’s ref, Craig Pawson, cautioned five City players and two from Arsenal, as the Gunners prevailed 2-1 and the goals came from Nacho Monreal, Alexis Sanchez and Aguero.

Kelechi Iheanacho made history as City’s fourth substitute, on for Raheem Sterling, that day.

Andre Marriner refereed City’s only Premier League defeat this season, at Anfield, plus their 1-0 win at Newcastle. He was in charge at the Emirates when Arsenal lost to Manchester United as well as when they lost at Stoke back in August and he kept a ‘clean sheet’.


  1. Commentators always praise referees. I think this is exaggerated because i only notice people talking shit about referees when they make a few mistakes in a single match and players get that as well when they make mistakes


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