Whether it’s winter breaks, soiled water bottles, foul throws, harrassment in the workplace, leaked assessor reports, rogue pundits, friendly fire, centre circle traffic or good old VAR, there’s certainly no shortage of issues facing the contemporary ref.

Those spared the hassle at the Select Group level this weekend include Madley, Pawson, Dean, East, Attwell, Moss and Marriner, while Neil Swarbrick gets respite from the Video Operations Room by actually taking a game himself, even if he does have to wait until Monday.

Burnley v Everton

Assistants: L Betts
& C Hatzidakis
Fourth official: Jon Moss

It’s an early TV appointment under the watchful eye of otherwise in-form fourth official Jon Moss for Chris Kavanagh, as this fixture pits seventh against ninth in the Premier League.

It’s also game 112 overall, with the first ever having ended 2-2 in Division One back in November, 1888, while Burnley won this season’s reverse fixture 1-0 at Goodison Park.

All you need to know about Chris Kavanagh:

Matches in 2017/18: 10 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 14

Yellows: 32 Reds: 0

In last season’s corresponding encounter, which ended 2-1 to Burnley in October, 2016, it was not the goal from Sam Vokes that caused any concern, but that of Scott Arfield, who both avoided a second yellow beforehand and saw Mike Jones make the interesting move of bringing in Ben Mee as opposed to goalkeeper and captain Tom Heaton to help mediate. He also cautioned Jeff Hendrick, Idrissa Gueye, Gareth Barry and Seamus Coleman, while Everton’s goal came from Yannick Bolasie.

Jason Pickford and Michael Keane are set to be denied a meet with Stephen Defour, a potential World Cup opponent in June, thanks to the Belgian’s injury, while England’s Euro 16 nemesis, Iceland, should have both Gudmundsson and Sigurdsson on opposing sides and on show this afternoon.

Mancunian Kavanagh has two Premier League matches for each of these clubs to his name so far this season. He has been in charge of two of Everton’s home victories (Huddersfield and Leicester) plus two 0-0 stalemates featuring the Clarets (Huddersfield at home and Brighton away). He booked five players (including Cork, Arfield and Tarkowski) in the former and six (including Taylor and Barnes) in the latter.

Lee Probert

Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth

Assistants: A Garratt
& M Perry
Fourth official: Bobby Madley

It is only the 17th time these sides have met in all competitions, and the first was in December, 1987, in Division Two, when the score was 1-0 to home side Leicester.

The reverse fixture at the Vitality earlier this season ended 0-0, while last May, 2017 it was 1-1 with goals from Jamie Vardy and Junior Stanislas the last time the teams met in the Midlands.

All you need to know about Lee Probert:

Matches in 2017/18: 11 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 9

Yellows: 12 Reds: 2

That day, referee Lee Mason saw to it that Danny Simpson, Yohan Benalouane, Ben Chilwell, Riyad Mahrez and Simon Francis all saw yellow.

As well as officiating Leicester’s Carabao Cup win at home over Leeds, Probert took their home Premier League victories over Brighton and Watford, while he also boasts a 100% win rate when it comes to AFCB this season, having overseen their wins at both Stoke (2-1 in October) and Chelsea (3-0 in January).

Southampton v Stoke City

Assistants: G Beswick & A Nunn
Fourth official: Andre Marriner

As 16th entertain 19th, Xherdan Shaqiri will both be looking to extend his recent domestic scoring streak as well as show Dusan Tadic what to expect when the latter’s Serbia face group opponents Switzerland on June 22nd in Russia.

All you need to know about Anthony Taylor:

Matches in 2017/18: 19 (10 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 6

Yellows: 72 Reds: 0

The first time these clubs met on the south coast, however, was in October, 1911, and Saints won 1-0 in the Southern League with the winner supplied by Henry Hamilton.

Stoke won this season’s reverse fixture 2-1, while on last season’s last day Stoke also won as Peter Crouch scored on his return to St Mary’s. Lee Probert cautioned Sofiane Boufal, Jack Stephens, Joe Allen, Glenn Whelan, Ramadan Sobhi and Shaqiri to boot.

Anthony Taylor refereed Stoke’s 1-1 draws at West Brom and Huddersfield earlier this season, plus their 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford, while he has not refereed a Saints match since they won 2-1 at the Riverside as the Teesiders succumbed to relegation last May, when Rodriguez and Redmond scored and he cautioned just the three players from the hosts.

Martin AtkinsonSwansea City v West Ham United

Assistants: P Kirkup
& A Holmes
Fourth official: Roger East

Here is something of a World Cup Group F fest, with representatives of South Korea, Sweden and Mexico potentially in action, but no Germans.

As 18th-placed Swansea take on the Irons in 13th, their Swede, Olsson and their South Korean, Ki, can weigh up the scoring form of Mexico’s Chicharito, as long as he features in the Irons’ attack.

All you need to know about Martin Atkinson:

Matches in 2017/18: 20 (10 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 5

Yellows: 69 Reds: 4

Back to the serious business of Premier League survival, and the first time these clubs met was actually in another competition, the 1922 FA Cup, in a 0-0 draw that went to a second replay won 1-0 by the Welsh.

The last meeting in Wales was won 4-1 by West Ham on Boxing Day, 2016, when referee Andre Marriner may have kept a ‘clean sheet’ but the goals flowed from Fernando Llorente, Andre Ayew, Winston Reid, Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll. Bob Bradley was sacked by Swansea a day later.

While West Ham won the reverse fixture 1-0 in London this season, another matter of historic fact is that the Swans’ heaviest ever home defeat in the top flight was 5-1 to West Ham, at the Vetch Field, in April, 1983.

Martin Atkinson turns 47 this month and has refereed West Ham four times in the Premier League so far this season without seeing them win. The West Yorkshireman has taken two Swansea games on the road, meanwhile: their defeat at Turf Moor and their December win at Watford, when he took the names Federico Fernandez and Tom Carroll out of a total of six cautions in the game.

Mike JonesTottenham Hotspur v Huddersfield Town

Assistants: I Hussin
& M Scholes
Fourth official: Kevin Friend

Harry Kane goals have earned Spurs 14 points so far, in other words they might otherwise be all the way back in, er, seventh instead of fourth. But then, who else’s job is it…

Tottenham won the first encounter 2-0 between these clubs played in London back in a February, 1920 Division Two fixture. They also won this season’s reverse fixture, 4-0.

All you need to know about Mike Jones:

Matches in 2017/18: 11 (2 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 17

Yellows: 38 Reds: 1

The last time they entertained the Terriers was all the way back in September, 1972: a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane in the League Cup.

One of the three SG1 refs to share his name with a professional British player, the others being Oliver and Tierney, Jones returns to Wembley with his 50th birthday just around the corner. He refereed November’s win for Spurs at home to West Brom, but has not refereed the Terriers since February 2015. That day in the Championship they won 3-1 win at Millwall and he was required to show seven yellow cards, two of which saw Huddersfield’s Nahki Wells, now at Burnley, dismissed.

Paul Tierney

Watford v West Bromwich Albion

Assistants: H Lennard
& M McDonough
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell

It’s do-or-die every week, it seems, for Alan Pardew’s Albion, but if he gets to use the one and a half bags he claims he has packed and ready to go, surely his first port of call will not be Barcelona, nor Pamplona, the part of Spain that his opposite number, Javi Gracia, calls home.

All you need to know about Paul Tierney:

Matches in 2017/18: 10 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 12

Yellows: 29 Reds: 0

The first visit in anger of the Baggies to Hertfordshire did not come around until September 1982, although they have now met 40 times in all. While Watford won that Division One fixture handily, the reverse fixture this term was a scrap of a 2-2 draw, and last April, in the corresponding fixture to this, Watford prevailed 2-0 thanks to goals from M’Baye Niang and Troy Deeney.

Today’s referee, Paul Tierney, dismissed Leo Britos for clocking up two yellows and also cautioned Niang, Allan Nyom, Doug Livermore, Hal Robson-Kanu and James McClean.

Tierney has refereed two 0-0 draws featuring the Baggies this season so far (at home to West Ham in September and away at Anfield in December). He also took charge of Watford’s 1-0 defeat at Brighton, when he kept a personal ‘clean sheet’.

Graham Scott

Liverpool v Newcastle United

Assistants: S Long
& D Cook
Fourth official: Neil Swarbrick

It’s third place versus 15th at Anfield and a big vote of confidence in Oxfordshire official Graham Scott before the satellite cameras on a Saturday evening.

Rafa Benitez brings his Magpies back to Merseyside for game 173 between the clubs overall, the first ever having ended in a 5-1 win for Liverpool in Division Two back in November, 1893.

All you need to know about Graham Scott:

Matches in 2017/18: 14 (2 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 12

Yellows: 28 Reds: 1

The reverse fixture this term ended 1-1, and the last time Newcastle were the visitors it was 2-2 in April, 2016. Referee Andre Marriner cautioned James Milner and Chieck Tiote, while the goals came from Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana, Papiss Cisse and Jack Colback.

Scott has refereed Liverpool’s win at Brighton and Newcastle’s 1-1 draw at Swansea in the Premier League so far this season, when he cautioned no Magpies and three Swans. He also had his first turn as VAR for the Spurs/Rochdale replay on Wednesday night, with Darren Cann at his side.

Kevin Friend

Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal

Assistants: S Beck
& M Wilkes
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell

Australia’s Mat Ryan should face France’s Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny both today and on June 16 at the Kazan Arena, when the nations meet in Group C.

Today, however, it’s 12th versus 6th and Brighton’s attempt to avenge their 2-0 defeat at the Emirates earlier this season. The first ever encounter between the clubs came in January, 1935 as Arsenal won 2-0 in an FA Cup 3rd round tie thanks to goals from Ted Drake and Joe Hulme.

All you need to know about Kevin Friend:

Matches in 2017/18: 15 (10 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 20

Yellows: 36 Reds: 0

The last south coast encounter came 80 years later to the month, again in the FA Cup, and this time a 3-2 away win thanks to Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Tomas Rosicky, with Chris O’Grady and Sam Baldock notching for Albion. Michael Oliver cautioned only Seagulls Baldock, Holla, Greer and Dunk as the Gunners evaded his notebook.

The laissez-faire outlook of Kevin Friend has been the subject of much recent debate, and he has taken charge of both teams in the Carabao Cup this season (Arsenal’s win over West Ham and Brighton’s defeat at Bournemouth after extra time). He also refereed that reverse Premier League fixture in October, as well as Arsenal’s own defeat at Bournemouth in January.

Michael OliverManchester City v Chelsea

S Bennett & S Burt
Fourth official: Jon Moss

The first meeting between these famous Blues in Manchester came in April, 1908, when Chelsea walked away with a 3-0 Division One win.

City won this season’s reverse fixture 1-0 with deceptive ease, but the last time Chelsea visited the Etihad was in December, 2016, and they won 3-1 on their way to the title as Anthony Taylor cautioned N’Golo Kante, Nathaniel Chalobah and Cesc Fabregas but also dismissed Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho in stoppage time after earlier cautioning Nicolas Otamendi and Jesus Navas.

All you need to know about Michael Oliver:

Matches in 2017/18: 23 (15 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 5

Yellows: 82 Reds: 4

Brazilians Willian, Luiz, Fernandinho, Danilo, Gabriel Jesus and Ederson will have much to discuss once hostilities have ended here, with Switzerland, Serbia and Costa Rica in their sights, while Germans Antonio Rudiger, Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan also have World Cup Group F to discuss.

Michael Oliver has just turned 33 and was in charge of City’s wins at the Amex and Old Trafford, their home win over Arsenal plus Chelsea’s Carabao Cup defeat at the Emirates and their Premier League draw against the same opposition at Stamford Bridge. It is beyond his jurisdiction whether or not Pep wears his yellow ribbon in sympathy with Catalan political prisoners today.

Neil SwarbrickCrystal Palace v Manchester United

S Ledger & R West
Fourth official: Lee Mason

As the live cameras make their way once more to Selhurst Park, we have another potential Group F clash on our hands in the shape of Sweden’s Victor Lindelof in a United shirt and Lee Chung-yong of Palace and South Korea. Their nations are scheduled to clash on June 18 in the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

It’s also a reunion for Yohan Cabaye with comrades in blue, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial ahead of France’s Group C fixtures versus Peru, Denmark and Australia in Russia.

All you need to know about Neil Swarbrick:

Matches in 2017/18: 16 (8 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 18

Yellows: 40  Reds: 0

The first time these clubs met in London was in September, 1922, in Division Two. United won that one 3-2 and the reverse fixture this season 4-0, while on the last trip, in December, 2016 United won 2-1 as James McArthur’s goal was bettered by one each from Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a Swede likely to feature neither tonight nor come the summer. Referee Craig Pawson cautioned five, including three of the visitors.

Gaining a reputation as SG1’s go-to VAR man, Neil Swarbrick, aged 47, has refereed both teams twice in the Premier League so far this season… United’s draw at the bet365 (a personal ‘clean sheet’), and their home win over Brighton, plus Palace’s 5-0 away defeat at City and their 1-1 draw at West Ham.



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