Just three rounds of fixtures to go now until the end of this Premier League campaign, and Mike Riley has found himself short of staff once again.

With Jonathan Moss and Anthony Taylor otherwise engaged on Football League Play-Off duties, the pool of elite referees has decreased significantly.

So much so that Chris Foy – out injured for some while, and after only having taking charge of Accrington Stanley v Mansfield Town last weekend – has been thrown straight back in at the deep end.

Let’s take a look at who is reffing who on Week 36…

Martin Atkinson: Hull City v Burnley

Assistants: M. Mullarkey and S. Child
Fourth official: R. Madley

We all know what happened the last time that Martin Atkinson refereed a Burnley game.

Stamford Bridge was the venue. Minutes 30, 33, 43 and 69.

Clearly the wily official will need to be on his mettle this time in what has become the proverbial relegation six-pointer.

If the visitors lose this one, they’re down. Plain and simple. So expect Sean Dyche to ensure no quarter is asked or given from his players.

Hull can take a big leap towards safety with a home win too, so we can expect a nervous crowd and 22 nervous players.

The one man who needs to stand up and be counted is Atkinson.

Anyone watching the Juventus v Real Madrid Champions League game during the week will have seen an official at the top of his game, making big calls and decisions that were spot on.

That kind of application is required at the KC Stadium.

Martin Atkinson – all you need to know

Matches in 2014/15: 30 (15 on TV)

Recent European games: Sevilla v Villarreal, Barcelona v PSG, Schalke v Real Madrid, Bayern Munich v Porto, Juventus v Real Madrid

Fourth official appointments in 2014/15: 10
Football League appointments in 2014/15: 0

Last reffed Hull: 18 January 2015
Last reffed Burnley: 21 February 2015

Honours: 2011 FA Cup Final, 2014 Capital One Cup Final

Mark Clattenburg: Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur

Assistants: J. Collin and S. Beck
Fourth official: G. Scott

Tottenham pitch up at the Britannia Stadium looking for three points that will keep them in the hunt for fifth place at the expense of Liverpool.

Stoke have little but pride to play for although, should West Ham come unstuck in the Midlands against Aston Villa, Stoke can leapfrog the Hammers into ninth in the table.

One place doesn’t seem too much, but the financial rewards it brings are meaningful. An extra £1m is not to be sniffed at.

It’s the third time in five games that Clattenburg has been appointed to oversee proceedings at the Britannia, the previous two ending in victories over Everton and Southampton. Mark Hughes will be hopeful of a hat-trick.

It’s worth posting the question at this point as to whether one official has ever been seconded so often to the same venue? Should anything be read into this?

In any event, Spurs should also be happy that a referee of the calibre of Mark Clattenburg is taking the reins here.

Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know

Matches in 2014/15: 25 (10 on TV)

Recent European games: Shakhtar Donetsk v Athletic Bilbao, FC Basel v Porto, PSG v Barcelona

Fourth official appointments in 2014/15: 7
Football League appointments in 2014/15: 4

Last reffed Stoke: 18 April 2015
Last reffed Spurs: 15 March 2015

Honours: 2012 League Cup Final, 2012 Olympic Games

Mike Dean: Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers

Assistants: J. Brooks and S. Long
Fourth official: M. Jones

Similarly to Clattenburg, Mike Dean finds himself back at the Etihad Stadium after just a fortnight.

On this occasion QPR are the visitors, in a repeat of the conclusion of the 2011/12 season.

There isn’t quite as much at stake for the hosts this time but with Arsenal breathing down their necks, City do need a win to consolidate second place.

QPR on the other hand need the three points to stay in the division.

Hoops’ manager Chris Ramsey isn’t the biggest fan of the officials at this precise moment.

He criticised ref Mike Jones for disallowing a Richard Dunne goal which would’ve won his side the game against West Ham, and given them hope in their survival boost.

However, with respect to Jones, Mike Dean is operating at a higher level than his colleague this season and it’ll be a surprise if fingers are pointed in his direction at the conclusion of this one.

Mike Dean – all you need to know

Matches in 2014/15: 28 (11 on TV)

Fourth official appointments in 2014/15: 11
Football League appointments in 2014/15: 4

Last reffed Man City: 25 April 2015
Last reffed QPR: 31 Jan 2015

Honours: 2008 FA Cup final

Roger East: Leicester City v Southampton

Assistants: M. Perry and L. Betts
Fourth official: N. Swarbrick

Roger East takes charge of just his 16th game of the season, at the King Power Stadium.

Of all of the top-flight officials, East has presided over the joint-least amount of games, but cannot use injury as an excuse.

Perhaps a reflection on one or two poor decisions earlier in the season, but East has been steady on the majority of occasions, if not brilliant.

Nigel Pearson continues to belittle just about everyone, including the officials, but on his day East can produce the goods.

He needs to come up big from a personal perspective because a poor showing here and it could be his final Premier League appointment this season.

Southampton are unlikely to have too many complaints after East expertly took charge of their game against Burnley a few weeks ago.

Roger East – all you need to know

Matches in 2014/15: 15 (1 on TV)

Fourth official appointments in 2014/15: 1
Football League appointments in 2014/15: 23

Last reffed Leicester: 29 November 2014
Last reffed Southampton: 21 March 2015


Chris Foy: Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion

Assistants: H. Lennard and I. Hussin
Fourth official: M. Jones

Chris Foy has as good as been thrown to the lions by Mike Riley.

Tyneside is hurting at the moment after eight successive defeats for the Magpies, and this is Foy’s first game in almost two months in the top flight.

There can be absolutely no room for error here.

Foy must be competent in his decision making and ensure that his levels of fitness are back to somewhere near their best. At 53 years of age, that’s a big ask.

The last thing that PGMOL want is such an appointment coming back to haunt them, and if Newcastle were to lose this one, John Carver et al will be looking for scapegoats without doubt.

Mike Riley has left himself with no choice to appoint Foy again because of the removal of Moss and Taylor from this week’s elite list.

It’s extremely short-sighted on the part of PGMOL.

Chris Foy – all you need to know

Matches in 2014/15: 15 (4 on TV)

Fourth official appointments in 2014/15: 10
Football League appointments in 2014/15: 8

Last reffed Newcastle:
Last reffed West Brom:


Kevin Friend: Arsenal v Swansea City

Assistants: M. Scholes and R. West
Fourth official: R. Madley

As with many of his colleagues this particular week, Kevin Friend officiates a game that has something riding on the outcome.

The Emirates Stadium will be packed to capacity for the Gunners’ third to last home game. North London expects.

Expects a win to consolidate their place in the table and place even more pressure on Manuel Pellegrini.

Expects to see a free-flowing game of football between two sides known to enjoy a high-quality passing game.

Expects the officials to keep a tight rein on proceedings.

Friend has had his doubters this season but Arsenal and Swansea aren’t amongst them. He’ll want to keep it that way.

Kevin Friend – all you need to know

Matches in 2014/15: 22 (5 on TV)

Fourth official appointments in 2014/15: 23
Football League appointments in 2014/15: 1

Last reffed Arsenal: 4 March 2015
Last reffed Swansea: 2 December 2014

Honours: 2004 FA Cup Final (assistant referee), 2012 League 1 Play-Off Final

Andre Marriner: Chelsea v Liverpool

Assistants: G. Beswick and D. Cann
Fourth official: J. Moss

The game of the weekend comes at Stamford Bridge, Jonathan Moss taking fourth official duties the day after his Play-Off semi-final.

Andre Marriner gets the golden ticket after some fine recent displays and he’ll find a carnival atmosphere pervading around this part of West London.

Already Champions, Chelsea can afford to ease off the gas slightly.

However, in doing so, they run the risk of handing the advantage to Brendan Rodgers, whose teams have still yet to beat a Jose Mourinho-led side competitively.

It’s Marriner’s first trip to the Bridge since he mistakenly sent off Kieran Gibbs for Arsenal last season, something he won’t want to be reminded of.

Rodgers blamed the official for not awarding a penalty in their FA Cup tie against Blackburn earlier in the season, but TV replays showed that Marriner called every decision right in that game.

Andre Marriner – all you need to know

Matches in 2014/15: 20 (6 on TV)

Fourth official appointments in 2014/15: 13
Football League appointments in 2014/15: 8

Last reffed Chelsea: 12 April 2015
Last reffed Liverpool: 31 Jan 2015

Honours: 2013 FA Cup final

Lee Mason: Aston Villa v West Ham United

Assistants: A. Halliday and D. Eaton
Fourth official: M. Dean

Mason was competent enough in his last showing at the KC Stadium, and is awarded the game between the sides in claret and blue.

Tim Sherwood has done a sterling job at Villa Park since his arrival, guiding his side into the FA Cup final and almost clear of relegation.

The ex-Spurs manager hasn’t had a run-in with this particular official but if he makes a similar decision to the last time he was at this venue, that could all change.

On that occasion, Gabby Agbonlahor was dismissed for what looked like nothing more than a coming-together with Ashley Young.

It was certainly one of the stranger red cards of the season and left the entire ground baffled.

West Ham are already on their holidays by the looks of their current form so the hosts could enjoy another much-needed three points.

A win could well gloss over any of Mason’s evident shortcomings.

Lee Mason – all you need to know

Matches in 2014/15: 23 (4 on TV)

Fourth official appointments in 2014/15: 7
Football League appointments in 2014/15: 12

Last reffed Aston Villa: 28 Feb 2015
Last reffed West Ham: 21 March 2015

Michael Oliver : Crystal Palace v Manchester United

Assistants: S. Bennett and M. McDonaugh
Fourth official: K. Friend

Michael Oliver runs the risk of Louis Van Gaal’s wrath if he continues with his lack of consistency.

The official was quick to brandish a red card to Angel Di Maria earlier in the season when the Argentine placed his hands on the official.

Van Gaal had no complaints at the time but like many others will have been miffed by the decision not to send off Joe Hart when he appeared to place his head onto Oliver’s in a separate game.

Vincent Kompany has also been seen to have placed his hands right across Oliver’s chest during a game, with no action resulting for either incident.

Kompany’s misdemeanour actually came against Crystal Palace in the last game he refereed at Selhurst Park, a game in which Palace were triumphant.

Alan Pardew has got the Eagles flying high again so this won’t be a routine trip to London for the Red Devils.

The pressure’s on.

Michael Oliver – all you need to know

Matches in 2014/15: 24 (11 on TV)

Fourth official appointments in 2014/15: 4
Football League appointments in 2014/15: 8

Last reffed Crystal Palace: 6 April 2015
Last reffed Man Utd: 1 Jan 2015

Honours: 4th official – 2013 League Cup Final, 2014 Community Shield, Assistant 2014 UEFA Super Cup, 2015 FA Trophy Final

Lee Probert: Everton v Sunderland

Assistants: R. Ganfield and A. Garratt
Fourth official: C. Pawson

Lee Probert continues his comeback from injury and his rehabilitation at the top level.

In his four games this season, he has already shown 15 yellows and two red cards, so hasn’t been shy in dishing out the punishments.

He last refereed Sunderland against Everton in April 2014, a match that the Toffees won 1-0. Prior to that, Everton were again the Black Cats’ opponents, on Boxing Day 2013, when the official sent off Tim Howard.

The decision was the right one but Roberto Martinez had cause to berate the official just a few weeks later, when he accused Probert of not being “strong enough” in a decision-making process that ultimately cost Everton the points against a Chelsea side whom they had matched throughout.

Question marks remain over his fitness at this point.

Lee Probert – all you need to know

Matches in 2014/15: 4 ( 0 on TV)

Fourth official appointments in 2014/15: 10
Football League appointments in 2014/15: 11

Last reffed Everton: N/A
Last reffed Sunderland: N/A