Credit where it’s due, and despite the continued absence of Martin Atkinson and the lack of consecutive appointments for Swarbrick, Scott and Cavanagh causing some concern, at least only one of the SG1 truly let the side down on Matchday 4.

Whether Mike Jones’s selection as fourth official this weekend at Anfield represents being dropped or rested is up for debate, unlike his decision not to sanction Newcastle’s Mikel Merino at all and his decision to let Matt Ritchie off with a caution for replicating the Mane/Ederson clash the day before.

Readers who profess undying love for any team in particular might ask themselves just how many of their own players they instinctively sense would have reacted to such an incident with the degree of maturity displayed by Alfie Mawson last weekend.

Craig PawsonBournemouth v Brighton & Hove Albion

Assistants: R West & C Hatzidakis
Fourth official: Chris Kavanagh

Tommy Elphick captained both clubs before finding his way to Villa Park in 2016, and Steve Cook started out at Brighton before joining Bournemouth after an initial loan spell.

Cook’s team-mate Charlie Daniels, who signed a new contract after scoring so spectacularly against Manchester City on Matchday 2, was coincidentally also on the score sheet last time these teams met in 2014. Keith Stroud was in charge that day and had to wield his yellow card on eight occasions.
[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Craig Pawson:
Matches in 2017/18: 3 (2 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 4
Yellows: 19 Reds: 2[/quote_box_right]

The Carabao Cup Third round tie between the same teams takes place at the same place just four days on, when the difference in line-ups will reveal much about the immediate priorities of these two English coaches.

Eddie Howe has so far proven impervious to mounting pressure of the Bilic/De Boer variety, yet anything but three points in this televised home encounter against promoted opposition could well put paid to that.

Chris Hughton confessed that relief was his overriding response to a first Premier League win for Brighton on Matchday 4, and this away fixture’s unfamiliar slot at the behest of the broadcasters poses plenty of challenges as he seeks to improve on 14th place.

Craig Pawson returns to the middle after a run of games as fourth official and finds familiar company in assistant Richard West at least, while everyone on duty will be hoping for no repeat of the burst match ball which distinguished Bournemouth’s last outing, at the Emirates…

Robert MadleyCrystal Palace v Southampton

Assistants: L Betts & M Perry
Fourth official: Graham Scott

Neil Shipperley may have joined Palace from Saints for a fee of one million way back in October, 1996 and then rejoined Palace from Wimbledon in the summer of 2003, but the connection looming largest is surely Alan Pardew, who has managed both clubs as well as played for the home team.

“Four games in” is no longer too soon for a relegation scrap, apparently, and it’s all change once again at Selhurst Park for the visit of 2016/17 EFL Cup finalists Southampton, who just happened to beat Palace at the semi-final stage on their way to winning the FA Cup in 1976.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Robert Madley:
Matches in 2017/18: 2 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 4
Yellows: 7 Reds: 2 [/quote_box_right]

Last time out it was easy enough for Palace, who won 3-0 thanks to two from Christian Benteke plus a goal from James Tomkins. Neil Swarbrick was in charge of Pardew and Puel’s men and kept the yellow card count down to four. Another player to have represented both clubs, Jason Puncheon, became Palace’s record Premier League assist provider that day.

Bobby Madley was promoted to SG1 in 2013, having made his top flight debut in a 3-0 home defeat many Saints fans will remember. First a clash between Gaston Ramirez and West Brom’s Marc-Antoine Fortune saw Madley dismiss both, before Danny Fox followed them for a reckless challenge on Steven Reid. In case you’re wondering, it was not Roy Hodgson but Steve Clarke in the Baggies hot seat that day, with Mauricio Pochettino his opposite number.

And if you’re off to Selhurst Park and need a ride, do look out for Shipperley… because these days he’s one London cabbie who will gladly take you south of the river.

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City

Assistants: A Holmes & S Ledger
Fourth official: Oliver Langford

Exactly one year ago, Craig Shakespeare sat next to Claudio Ranieri on the bench during Leicester’s Champions League debut awaiting news from England boss Sam Allardyce about the future of their freshly forged partnership. The news was bad, but today he should keep his wits about him during the game, or at least provide a moving target for David Wagner, who was fined £6,000 last season for barging Garry Monk.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Jonathan Moss:
Matches in 2017/18: 4 (2 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0
Yellows: 14 Reds: 1 [/quote_box_right]

These managers’ starts to this season provide a stark contrast indeed, even if Leicester’s three early conquerors did include Chelsea and Manchester United.

Chris Powell was a Leicester player before taking the same caretaker reigns Shakespeare took last term, but Powell went on to be Wagner’s predecessor as The Terriers’ boss from 2014 to 2015.

Last time these clubs met, Leicester completed a league double during their 2014 promotion run-in. Ian Williamson was the ref, and Riyad Mahrez came on as a sub for scorer Gary Taylor-Fletcher, while Wes Morgan got the other in a 2-0 win. Adam Clayton took to the field with a blue and white beard, as if it was Huddersfield doing the celebrating, only to promptly shave it off at the final whistle.

Jon Moss has repaid the faith shown in him by the PGMOL so far this season, culminating in possibly the biggest call of his career in sending off Sadio Mane at the Etihad. The YATR team was unanimous, unlike the former striking fraternity, in giving this decision the thumbs-up, and the FA duly rejected Liverpool’s appeal.

Liverpool v Burnley

Assistants: H Lennard & M McDonough
Fourth official: Mike Jones

As eighth place hosts seventh, Jurgen Klopp will be aiming to maximise his resources given successive home games against Sevilla and Burnley followed by a knockout trip to Leicester the Tuesday after.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Roger East:
Matches in 2017/18: 1 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2
Yellows: 4 Reds: 0[/quote_box_right]

Danny Ings, who has played for both clubs, continues to plot his comeback from a knee injury, while cult figure Jon Flanagan, on loan at Turf Moor last season, also pines away on the sidelines. The late Brian Hall played in midfield for Liverpool and Burnley with distinction throughout the seventies, only to succumb to leukaemia in 2015.

Craig Pawson booked four in last season’s corresponding fixture, a 2-1 home win, but perhaps just as significant, Philippe Coutinho was replaced on the hour by a certain teenager by the name of Ben Woodburn.

Roger East takes his 64th Premier League fixture at the age of 52, and was promoted to SG1 at precisely the same time as Pawson and Madley. Mike Jones will be holding the board after failing to penalise Merino’s simulation at Swansea and opting for yellow, not red, in response to Ritchie’s dangerous challenge on Mawson.

Stuart Attwell

Newcastle United v Stoke City

Assistants: S Child & M Wilkes
Fourth official: Lee Mason

Former Real Madrid and Celta Vigo striker Joselu, having been born in Germany but qualifying for Spain in general and Galicia in particular, joined the Magpies from Stoke in the summer. And if he was looking to give Renato Sanches a rude awakening at the Liberty Stadium on Matchday 4, it turned out to be the other way round, with the Portugese boot to Joselu’s nether regions going unpunished.

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

The referee in question, Mike Jones, showed just one yellow card in Stoke’s 2-1 away win at SJP back in 2010, while Roger East presided over an uninspiring 0-0 draw the last time these teams met.

Rafa Benitez is expected back in the dug-out following his hernia op and is not expected to decline any offer of a handshake from Mark “handshake gate” Hughes, either before or after the game.

It’s a second Premier League appointment of the season for Nuneaton’s Stuart Attwell, who returned to SG1 in 2016 after a demotion lasting four long years.

Anthony TaylorWatford v Manchester City

Assistants: G Beswick & A Nunn
Fourth official: Neil Swarbrick

Richarlison and Gomes will provide a welcome of sorts for current leading lights of the Brazilian selecao Jesus, Ederson and Fernandinho ahead of, if not following this game pitting second against fourth.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Anthony Taylor:
Matches in 2017/18: 4 (3 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0
Yellows: 15 Reds: 0[/quote_box_right]

The clubs have several personalities in common, not least Ron Saunders, now 84, who notched 18 goals in 34 appearances for the Hornets and later managed City, as well as the unlikely trinity of Villa, Birmingham and West Brom.

Get past defender Fred Fayers, who played for both teams before retiring in 1923, and it really is all about the keepers when it comes to City and Watford.

Costel Pantilimon won a Premier League title and a Capital One Cup at City and will likely be on Watford’s bench, just as he was for last season’s 5-0 defeat, while Tony Coton and David James both served with gloves on and became crowd favourites at both clubs.

Abdoulaye Doucoure received the sole yellow card brandished by Jon Moss in last season’s closer which saw City clinch third place. This afternoon might not prove so straightforward given Watford’s own rise to the giddy heights of the top four under Marco Silva and City’s midweek exertions against Feyenoord.

Paul Tierney

West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United

Assistants: S Long & D Eaton
Fourth official: Andy Davies

Hal Robson-Kanu versus James Collins could well be a feature of today’s game. Fellow Welshmen who played for both clubs also include Danny Gabbidon and John Hartson, while ex-Hammer and Baggie Frank Nouble has ended up at Newport and Bobby Gould played for both Hammers and Baggies before managing West Brom… and Wales.

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

Geoff Hurst managed two goals for West Brom in the twilight of a career which included many a trophy at West Ham, while Nigel Qashie, who signed for the Hammers from the Baggies for 1.75m in 2007, was released in 2010 and is still, by all accounts, going strong, registered with Bl/Bolungarvik in Iceland.

Archie Macauley played for West Ham and managed West Brom, and Stuart Pearson likewise, except his caretaker stint lasted a mere six matches following the departure of Brian Talbot in 1991.

Lanzini and Zabaleta could today come up against fellow countryman Claudio Yacob, while the Austrian Marko Arnautovic is available again to Slaven Bilic following suspension.

Following the clubs’ corresponding 2-2 draw back in February, refereed by Michael Oliver, Bilic observed, “the ref was very bad today”, while, according to Pulis, Oliver “got most incidents right”.

Paul Tierney can look forward to the assistance of fourth official Andy Davies, who has five Championship games and a Carabao Cup tie as a referee already under his belt this season. Tierney’s first ever Premier League refereeing appointment also featured West Brom, when they lost 3-0 at Swansea three years ago.

Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City

Assistants: D Cann & I Hussin
Fourth official: Kevin Friend

Fernando Llorente may have been signed for Swansea by Francesco Guidolin, and they say it’s centre forwards who get you sacked, but Spurs’ most recently signed striker had actually been more of a historical thorn in the side of Paul Clement, the English coach who succeeded Bob Bradley at the Liberty Stadium at the turn of the year.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Mike Dean:
Matches in 2017/18: 2 (2 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 3
Yellows: 10 Reds: 1[/quote_box_right]

Llorente scored in both group stage games for Juve against Real Madrid in 2013, the eventual winners of that season’s Champions League having Clement in their dug-out at the time. Spurs will be hoping not just to balance Champions League commitments with holding their end up in the Premier League, they will be looking to make a statement vindicating the wisdom of their choice of Wembley for as long as it takes.

Gylfi Siggurdsson (going in the opposite direction) and Ben Davies were part of the same deal, in July 2014, that saw Mauricio Pochettino’s first buy, Michel Vorm, arrive at White Hart Lane. Having served the Swans since 2011, Vorm arguably won them their first ever Premier League point, all by himself, by saving a penalty versus Wigan.

Swansea’s last trip to Wembley, of course, saw Michael Laudrup’s men waltz off with the Capital One Cup back in 2013.

Chelsea v Arsenal

Assistants: S Bennett & S Burt
Fourth official: Neil Swarbrick

So is Arsene Wenger turning it around? The jury, as ever, it seems, remains out, and the Europa League visit of Cologne to some extent cancels out Chelsea’s running rings around Qarabag FK, even if the West Londoners have benefited from an extra 48 hours rest.

Petr Cech is the only current player to sample both dressing rooms, although Ashley Cole, William Gallas and John Hollins, among others, have done so in the past.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Michael Oliver:
Matches in 2017/18: 3 (3 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 1
Yellows: 7 Reds: 0[/quote_box_right]

These teams are growing increasingly familiar, but while Arsenal have won the last two encounters at Wembley, they seem to harbour what could be interpreted as a mental block when it comes to getting a result at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal also appear to struggle with Mr Oliver in charge, which has not gone unnoticed, but one of the four wins chalked up in games that were officiated by him came at the Emirates last season with three first-half goals from Sanchez, Walcott and Ozil. Even more surprisingly, Chelsea were unbeaten in 13 games taken by Oliver up to that point!

Last season’s disputed first goal in the reverse fixture sparked debate around Alonso’s challenge on Bellerin prior to scoring. Was it a foul or not? “In England, never,” said Antonio Conte; “It was a foul”, said Wenger.

But that debate still pails by comparison with the “disappointment” expressed by Andre Marriner after he sent off Kieran Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in March, 2014. Arsenal tumbled to a 6-0 defeat that day and will presumably look to more recent encounters with Chelsea for inspiration today.

Manchester United v Everton

Assistants: S Beck & A Halliday
Fourth official: Jonathan Moss

Travelling the short distance from Merseyside rarely daunts the Toffees; it will be what their trip to Atalanta in Thursday’s Europa League fixture has taken out of them that will concern the side currently occupying 16th place in the Premier League.

[quote_box_right]All you need to know about Andre Marriner:
Matches in 2017/18: 3 (2 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2
Yellows: 8 Reds: 1[/quote_box_right]

Michael Keane and Wayne Rooney are merely the latest to tread a well-worn return path given that Brian Kidd, Mark Higgins, Marouane Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku, Phil Neville, Morgan Schneiderlin, Tim Howard, Darron Gibson, Louis Saha and Andrei Kanchelskis have also represented both clubs.

It was 2013 when David Moyes left Goodison for Manchester, and his successor but one, Ronald Koeman, was a minute away from recording three consecutive away wins at Old Trafford last season, when a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty equalised Phil Jagielka’s effort. Neil Swarbrick’s award left Koeman with just a point and a suspension for the man guilty of handball on the line, Ashley Williams.

A year ago at this very venue, Andre Marriner switched from green to purple at half-time, so maybe he will stick with the one colour throughout this afternoon, after all he has the home side’s latest all-black away kit to fall back on in an emergency!