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jason pettigrove

    Author: Jason Pettigrove

    Runners and riders2YATR’s Glenn Turner was just one of many completely agog at the appointments this week in the Premier League.

    PGMOL again don’t appear to be using their common sense when handing down the matches to the officials.

    “Neil Swarbrick performs superbly in the live TV game Liverpool v WBA and is rewarded with fourth official,” Turner noted.

    “Jon Moss performs well below par consistently and gets a Premier League middle - unbelievable.”

    Certainly could do with an explanation.

    Let’s see who has been selected for the EPL appointments in week ten….

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    Martin Atkinson: Sunderland v Arsenal
    Assistants: S. Child and S. Burt
    Fourth official: C. Pawson

    Martin AtkinsonJoint top plays bottom and there can’t be too long left for David Moyes in the Stadium of Light hot seat.

    A last-second loss to West Ham was the cruellest of blows but he has the opportunity to blow the cobwebs away with a home win.

    Those who suggest that it’s never going to happen only need to refer to when Dick Advocaat ruled the wearside roost and went to north London and saved the Black Cats for another season.

    Arsene Wenger’s side are showing much promise this season and finally are looking like the real deal after many promising seasons.

    Moyes was charge with improper conduct towards referee Martin Atkinson back in 2010 and he’s not Arsene Wenger’s bosom buddy either, so PGMOL’s appointment of him here adds a nice little sideline and some extra spice to what is sure to be a memorable game for one reason or another.

    Martin Atkinson – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 9 (5 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Mark Clattenburg: Manchester United v Burnley
    Assistants: J. Collin and R. West
    Fourth official: K. Friend

    Mark ClattenburgMark Clattenburg and Old Trafford. Hand in glove.

    Burnley will come to frustrate and annoy Jose Mourinho’s side and after their shocking loss at Stamford Bridge last weekend, the atmosphere at the Theatre of Dreams may not be the best.

    England’s best official needs to manage that first and foremost, then manage the expectations of both managers and teams.
    There’s a history between Jose and Clattenburg but surely not even the Special One is idiotic enough to call out PGMOL again this week if decisions go against him?

    Sean Dyche will only expect fairness. Win, lose or draw, he’ll hammer home the point to his staff to play to the very edge of what the rules will allow and look to Clattenburg to apply common sense at all times.

    That’s his middle name so if there’s any controversy here, it’s unlikely to come from the man in black. Or yellow. Or whatever shade he’s wearing this week.

    Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 6 (4 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Stuart Attwell: Middlesbrough v AFC Bournemouth
    Assistants: A. Nunn and D. Eaton
    Fourth official: M. Oliver

    Stuart AttwellBoth teams pulled off surprising but well deserved draws against their north London opponents last week, draws that will give them confidence ahead of this one.

    We’re almost certain to see a much more attacking game given than each side likes to express themselves in the same way.

    Aitor Karanka has a kindred spirit in opposite number Eddie Howe and although points mean prizes, if there’s an improvement from their staff, each manager will be happy. Likewise, the fans pay to be entertained and this is a game where they’ll get their money’s worth.

    If there’s one issue that Karanka needs to address it’s Boro’s lack of goals. Penetration in the right areas doesn’t seem to be a problem but finishing off attacks definitely is.

    Bournemouth will at least afford them chances to add to their meagre tally.

    Stuart Attwell takes charge of only his third appointment of the season which is unlikely to fill either manager with too much confidence. If PGMOL believe he is worthy of top billing then for goodness sake give the man matches.

    Peacemeal every now and then benefits no one, least of all Attwell himself, who isn’t known for being the most confident official at times. Eggs on their faces potentially here….

    Stuart Attwell – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 3 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 6
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 8

    Robert Madley: Tottenham Hotpsur v Leicester City    

    Assistants: M. Perry and C. Hatzidakis
    Fourth official: G. Scott

    Robert MadleyIt was the Foxes who ultimately deserved last season’s English Premier League title but there won’t be too many arguments against those who suggested that it was Tottenham who actually played the best football.

    The Lilywhites have carried on where they left off whilst their visitors have tailed off – in their domestic league at any rate. Unbeaten and unbowed in Europe, Leicester need one more win to be mathematically certain to reach the knock out stages of the Champions League at their first attempt.Clearly this isn’t going to be all plain sailing for the hosts, but at home, Spurs are fearsome going forward and solid in defence.

    In short, they’re already bearing the hallmarks again of a side that is more than capable of challenging for the title at the tail end of the campaign.

    If they’re to win here however, Riyad Mahrez has to be marked out of the game from the first whistle.

    Allow the mercurial midfielder to get into the game and he will, as he has done many times before, cause havoc.

    Robert Madley officiated in exactly this fixture at the start of the year and Leicester fans won’t forgive his awarding of an 89th minute penalty to the hosts, converted by Harry Kane, to give Spurs a share of the spoils.

    It’s a brave one from PGMOL but it does give Madley a chance to prove he has the mettle to move on, and if he wants to continue moving up the ladder, these are precisely the appointments he needs to get his teeth into.

    Robert Madley – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 7 (2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Jonathan Moss: Watford v Hull City
    Assistants: A. Halliday and H. Lennard
    Fourth official: N. Swarbrick

    Jonathan MossThe most controversial appointment of the weekend? Almost certainly.

    Jon Moss gets another crack at proving he has the right credentials at the highest level.

    With respect to Watford and Hull, if the official can’t do it in this type of fixture then PGMOL really have to look long and hard at themselves from this point onwards, as to whether they continue Moss’ employment within the Select Group.

    The visitors have sunk like a stone after a promising start to the campaign whereas their hosts have flattered to deceive in almost every game they’ve played.

    Mike Phelan’s side certainly need to reverse the trend and will be looking for Moss and Co. to be right at the top of their game for the entire 90 minutes.

    Jonathan Moss – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 7(2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 4
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Lee Mason: West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City
    Assistants: S. Ledger and I. Hussin
    Fourth official: M. Dean

    Lee MasonAfter looking likely to streak away with the title, Pep Guardiola’s City side have been pegged back and are now locked in a three-way tie at the top with Liverpool and Arsenal. Chelsea and Spurs sit just a point further back.

    The Hawthorns probably isn’t the best next fixture for the Citizens either because Tony Pulis will try every trick in the book against a team he knows are far superior in the football department.

    Lee Mason will surely have to watch for the more industrial challenges that are likely to come from the Baggies and it certainly won’t be appreciated by the Catalan if his players aren’t protected.

    Mike Dean has a job and a half keeping things cool on the touchline too.

    A VERY interesting side note to this one is the selection of all of the officials. How many of you noticed that Mason was fourth official for Dean in the week when City played against Manchester United in the EFL Cup? Who was one of the two assistants….Ian Hussin.

    Doubt that three officials presiding over the same team for two games in a row has ever happened before in Select Group history. Care to explain PGMOL?

    Lee Mason – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 5 (1on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 5

    Andre Marriner: Crystal Palace v Liverpool                                   

    Assistants: S. Beck and A. Garratt
    Fourth official: P. Tierney

    andre-marrinerAll of the focus pre-match will be on Christian Benteke and whether he can derail his old side’s terrific start to the season.

    The Belgian has his critics but given the right service, he is a beast of a centre-forward. Unfortunately, his style was one that didn’t fit into the manner of play which manager Jurgen Klopp desired - which is the German’s prerogative.

    You can’t really argue with him given how well the Reds have done to this point.

    Although Benteke will be the danger man, Klopp is likely to have his players concentrate on stifling the creativity of Palace’s wingers, such as Andros Townsend. Stop the crosses, you stop the goals.

    Palace meanwhile, face a team that are quick on the counter and decisive when necessary. Play them at their own game and there’s only one winner. However, Alan Pardew won’t set up defensively because it’s not in his nature to do so.

    It’s laudable from the Eagles to come out fighting but they should really be taking a leaf out of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. OK, it wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.

    Andre Marriner has been excellent all season and continues to impress. His grasp of the laws is second to none and he has the nous to know when to let things go or get involved.

    Players love him and that is the best sign an official can have that he’s doing something right.

    Unlikely to be any complaints from either manager about this appointment.

    Andre Marriner – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 7(5 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 6
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Anthony Taylor: Everton v West Ham United 

    Assistants: G. Beswick and S. Bennett
    Fourth official: J. Moss

    Anthony TaylorWest Ham got out of jail at the London Stadium last weekend with their winner against Sunderland coming in the last 10 seconds.

    Although the Hammers were dominant for long periods, they’re not clicking in anything like the same way as they were last season. Against Everton, they will be ripped apart.

    The Toffees are the east Londoners bogey team, and at Goodison Park the visitors have a wretched record. The last thing that Slaven Bilic’s side would need after a morale-boosting victory – however it came – is to be up against Ronald Koeman’s swashbucklers.

    Although they found Burnley a tough nut to crack, as did neighbours Liverpool, against a team like West Ham, that will come to play football, the hosts will showcase their full repertoire and the match could be over before half time.

    There’s no doubt that when they’re on their game, the Hammers can be a match for anyone but they just can’t get going. It’s far too early to suggest that Bilic could be on his way but clearly he needs to provide something extra at this point. Perhaps he can take a leaf out of Koeman’s book.

    This is an ideal game for Anthony Taylor to referee too. He’ll appreciate the flow of the game, which he will contribute too – no need to be over officious here.

    If he’s as good as he’s been all season, there’ll be little for PGMOL to worry about. The only issue is whether both teams do come to play or not. If the visitors take a stance such as Jose Mourinho’s United did at Liverpool, which forced Taylor into overuse of the whistle, then this will be killed as a spectacle too.

    John Moss as a fourth official here is an interesting choice also because he’s been on the receiving end of West Ham’s ire in the not too distant past.

    Anthony Taylor – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 9 (4 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

     

    Michael Oliver: Stoke City v Swansea City 

    Assistants: M. McDonough and E. Smart
    Fourth official: P. Tierney

    Michael OliverAmazing what a win can do for the confidence and for league table positioning.

    Stoke are now up to the heady heights of 16th after being marooned in the bottom two for what seemed like an age.

    Their visitors have now replaced them there and Bob Bradley brings his Swansea side to the Midlands still getting to grips with the team, the club and English football in general.

    If it’s an easy introduction he’s looking for then the Britannia Stadium is the wrong place to look for it as Mark Hughes’ troops will be as unforgiving as always.

    Michael Oliver doesn’t mind if the battle lines are drawn but does need to start administering punishment a little faster than he has been just lately.

    It’s almost as if his leniency is beginning to author his outlook and teams have begun to pick up on the same.

    Juicy challenges are all well and good but the expectation is that the official will grab the game by the scruff of the neck when necessary and lay the law down. Oliver hasn’t done that for a while.

    Michael Oliver – all you need to know 

    Matches in 2016/17: 9 (4 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17:3
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

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    Mike Jones: Southampton v Chelsea          

    Assistants: A. Holmes and D. Bryan

    Fourth official: G. Scott

    Mike JonesThe Blues are beginning to find their rhythm under Antonio Conte now and are one of the best teams to watch in the division.

    Diego Costa is thriving again in a side that has exorcised the demons of Jose Mourinho and reinvented itself as a contender once more.

    Southampton will be a positive opponent for the west Londoners, the Saints always a team who like to play the right way, getting the ball down and their wide men funnelling the channels.

    The width could cause problems for Conte’s own attacking intent given that his wing-backs may have to sit a little narrower than they have been used to at this point.

    A fiercely contested midfield battle is where this will be won or lost, and so Mike Jones will need to get a grip early – especially where Costa is concerned.

    He certainly won’t want reminding that this was the venue where he booked Sergio Aguero for simulation when in fact, the Argentinian had legitimate claims for a stonewall penalty.

    Only six appointments from 10 so far this season is poor on PGMOL’s part because Jones in the main is a solid and reliable official who gets the job done.

    Mike Jones – all you need to know 

    Matches in 2016/17: 6 (3 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 7

      Author: Keith Hackett

      Mark Clattenburg

      Once again we must ask the PGMOL why they are NOT appointing their number one referee Mark Clattenburg to games in recognition of the quality performances he delivers and the safest pair of hands to control the big games.

      Martin Atkinson in recent months has been in top form and along with Michael Oliver, Anthony Taylor and Mike Dean have officiated 8 games season to date against Mark Clattenburg's 5.

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      Even the men who have delivered games with major errors, Craig Pawson and Robert Madley, have been appointed to more games than Mark Clattenburg.

      Any business would make use of their top resource and it is difficult over the years to understand why the PGMOL have failed to support their number one referee.

      I also wonder when the PGMOL will put some trust into the new boys on the block and appoint Paul Tierney and Stuart Attwell to more regular appointments.

      stuart-attwell

      We all know that regular games for players improve performance and this is the same for referees. If you have promoted them to the top echelon then you must be confident that they are good enough.

      Graham Scott to date has been left pondering why he became a professional referee with the Select Group. I do think that referees such as Craig Pawson need more work done on the coaching side to improve their dynamic sprinting to enable them to maintain improved contact with the game when it moves at pace, end to end in the field of play.

      Craig Pawson 1000x500

      The appointments also demonstrate at this early stage of the season that the PGMOL have little faith in a couple of referees and frankly they need to take the appropriate action and drop them from the list and bring some more new faces into the group.

      In the last two weeks we have witnessed Martin Atkinson, one of our top referees lose form, and frankly it is unfair to keep appointing him to games. He needs more time to recover from his journeys into Europe and the week in week out appointments to the top encounters.

        Author: Jason Pettigrove

        Runners and Riders

        PGMOL certainly put themselves under pressure last week with Anthony Taylor’s appointment to the Liverpool-Man United game, and Jose Mourinho echoed YATR’s Keith Hackett in suggesting that the official shouldn’t have been put under so much pressure.

        Those comments look to have landed the Portuguese in hot water with the FA who are going to investigate his comments.

        Fortunately, the game was devoid of much of the controversy and tempo that make it such a classic fixture and as a result, Taylor had no trouble throughout the 90 minutes.

        A stop-start game was hardly his fault, both sets of players not really giving of their best on the night.

        A relatively quiet weekend for the men in the middle otherwise – unless your name happens to be Martin Atkinson. More on him later.

        Let’s see who has been selected for the EPL appointments in week nine….

        Craig Pawson: Bournemouth vTottenham Hotpsur
        Assistants:S. Ledger and P. Kirkup
        Fourth official: R. East

        Craig PawsonIf Mauricio Pochettino thought his high-flying Spurs side only needed to turn up on the south coast to give them another three points that would keep them at the top end of the table, he only need look at the way Bournemouth dismantled Hull City recently.

        It was one of the Cherries’ best performances of the last few seasons and Eddie Howe was rightly beaming with delight afterward.

        Two teams who love to stroke the ball around, this game virtually guarantees goals and excitement.

        Craig Pawson’s common sense in terms of his application of the laws of the game shouldn’t detract from the same and it would be a surprise indeed to find any controversy at the Vitality Stadium.

        Although the official won’t be able to sit back and enjoy the action like the rest of us, he can play a big part in ensuring a super spectacle.

        Craig Pawson – all you need to know

        Matches in 2016/17: 7 (5on TV)
        Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 7
        Football League appointments in 2016/17: 5

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        Mike Dean: Arsenal v Middlesbrough

        Assistants: S. Long and I. Hussin
        Fourth official: T. Robinson

        Mike DeanThere is a sense of excitement building at the Emirates Stadium.

        Although Arsenal have been in precisely this position before, even leading the Premier League as late as January during season’s past, something appears different this time round.

        Perhaps it’s the way in which Arsene Wenger’s side are dominating matches in the main. Even the scares in-game are being brushed aside as an inconvenience and the Gunners are worthy of their lofty current position.

        Middlesbrough are a work-in-progress. Good and bad in equal measure presently, Aitor Karanka will be happy nonetheless as long as his team continue to learn from their mistakes.

        Mike Dean isn’t the most popular official in the red half of north London, but is unlikely to have too much trouble here.

        Without the TV cameras to distract him, he can concentrate on what he’s good at. The only issue he faces is that of fourth official Robinson.

        Can he withstand the inevitable heat that will emanate from the benches? 

        Mike Dean– all you need to know

        Matches in 2016/17: 8 (4 on TV)
        Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
        Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

        Mike Jones: Burnley v Everton
        Assistants: A. Holmes and D. Bryan
        Fourth official: A. Taylor

        mike-jonesSince Ronald Koeman took over at Everton, they’ve looked much more like the team that everyone expected them to be under Roberto Martinez.

        One of the brightest squads in the division, their performance at the Etihad Stadium should finally have the public sitting up and taking notice of the Merseysiders’ credentials.

        Burnely, with respect, aren’t quite in the same league but what Sean Dyche does have going for him is that he has a set of players that will sweat every last drop of effort for their manager.

        Liverpool have already found out to their cost that if you turn up at Turf Moor with the wrong attitude, you’ll come unstuck.

        Mike Jones has more Football League appointments than Premier League this season and that’s a travesty.

        The official’s composure in the middle is laudable and it will be interesting to see how he perceives any robust challenges from the hosts – which are sure to be flagged up by the visitors.

        A decent back up that includes Anthony Taylor will see that this is another game that should pass off without too much controversy. Round of applause for PGMOL so far.

        Mike Jones – all you need to know

        Matches in 2016/17: 5 (2 on TV)
        Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
        Football League appointments in 2016/17: 6

        Kevin Friend: Hull City v Stoke City 

        Assistants: M. Wilkes and C. Hatzidakis
        Fourth official: D. Coote

        Kevin FriendThere was always going to be one appointment to get up a managers nose and this one is it.

        I’m not even sure why PGMOL keep exposing Kevin Friend to the wrath of Mark Hughes and Stoke City.

        There’s not been a single game where Friend and Hughes haven’t clashed, be that during or after the game so any attempt by PGMOL to take a conciliatory position is likely to be rebuffed by the Welshman, especially if the official comes up short again.

        Against old team-mate Mike Phelan, this game will have everything including, one would expect, some industrial touchline banter. Mr. Coote will also do well to keep both managers in check in this regard – another fourth official with limited experience in the role.

        Neither side are playing anywhere close to their best and a tempestuous affair is likely to result, especially in the early part of the match.

        How Friend asserts his authority during that period will author the remainder.

        Kevin Friend – all you need to know

        Matches in 2016/17: 5 (0 on TV)
        Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 6
        Football League appointments in 2016/17: 7

        Michael Oliver: Leicester City v Crystal Palace
        Assistants: G. Beswick and M. McDonough
        Fourth official: G. Scott

        Michael Oliver

        The King Power Stadium isn’t quite as formidable as it was last season and Crystal Palace will travel north with confidence, despite losing to West Ham at Selhurst Park last time out.

        Leicester need to get an unbeaten run going, even if it’s only for three or four games, because at present, which is highly unusual for a reigning champion, you can see the confidence almost drain out of the players if they go behind.
        Alan Pardew doesn’t do sentiment and with Christian Benteke looking a threat in almost every Eagles attack, Robert Huth et al need to be on their guard.

        Michael Oliver needs to keep an eye on those challenges in particular with a view to any carding early to take some heat from the fixture.

        There’s pace in abundance from Leicester’s front line, so Oliver will do well to stay up with play at the opposite end.

        Dynamic running and position in this one is key to a successful 90 minutes for the referee. Good to see Graham Scott as fourth official once more too.

        Michael Oliver – all you need to know

        Matches in 2016/17: 8(3 on TV)
        Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
        Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

        Paul Tierney: Swansea City v Watford
        Assistants: S. Beck and A. Garratt
        Fourth official: A. Marriner

        Paul TierneyCongratulations to Paul Tierney for what is only his second appointment of this Premier League season.

        The game also marks Bob Bradley’s home debut in the Swans dugout and after a just being edged out of a five-goal thriller at Arsenal, hopes will be high that the American can deliver a home victory.

        Watford continue to quietly and effectively go about their business and should prove every bit as difficult to break down as the Gunners.

        This shouldn’t be a difficult game to officiate but Tierney will feel under pressure to impress. The reality is that keeping the top brass at PGMOL towers happy is something he must ensure that he does do - if he wants a more regular employ at the top level.

        Cool, calm and collected is therefore the order of the day please Mr. Tierney.  

        Paul Tierney – all you need to know

        Matches in 2016/17: 2 (0 on TV)
        Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
        Football League appointments in 2016/17: 8

        Robert Madley: West Ham United v Sunderland 

        Assistants: M. Perry and A. Nunn
        Fourth official: K. Stroud 

        Robert MadleyNo doubt who needs the points more in this game, and Sunderland’s prayers might just have been answered with a trip to the London Stadium.

        West Ham’s new home feels anything but at this point and David Moyes’ men could capitalise in what is fast becoming a huge millstone around the Hammers’ necks.

        Jermain Defoe, should be play, will enjoy twisting the knife into the hopes of his old employers whilst simultaneously helping his current side climb off the bottom of the table.

        Robert Madley doesn’t really want to give a restless crowd any excuse to make the atmosphere more funereal that it has been to this point but he is a capable official who continues to work hard on every aspect of his trade.

        Slaven Bilic will keep a keen eye on Madley’s performance after he described the official’s awarding of an 89th-minute Chelsea penalty as “unacceptable” back in March. It was a decision which resulted in the Blues drawing the match, the Hammers losing out on two vital, and well deserved, points.

        Robert Madley – all you need to know

        Matches in 2016/17: 6(2 on TV)
        Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
        Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

        Neil Swarbrick: Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion   

        Assistants: D. Cann and R. West
        Fourth official: L. Mason

        neil swarbrick1Liverpool will be keen to get right back at it after a lack lustre home performance against Manchester United.

        Unfortunately, Tony Pulis and his West Brom side will come to Anfield with much the same mindset as Jose Mourinho. That is, to stifle the life out of the game and to limit any attacking intent from the Reds.

        The Welshman makes no apology for the style of his side and nor should he. Games are there to be won by hook or by crook.

        Neil Swarbrick does have a history with the Baggies, albeit from a while ago now, for it was he who sent off the wrong player in a case of mistaken identity at Manchester City. A decision that Pulis described as “amateurish” and that left him livid.

        Jurgen Klopp has held his tongue in the main as far as performances from officials are concerned and if Swarbrick is at it, he won’t have cause to bleat here either.

        Neil Swarbrick – all you need to know 

        Matches in 2016/17: 5 (0 on TV)
        Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 4
        Football League appointments in 2016/17: 8

        Mark Clattenburg: Manchester City v Southampton

        Assistants: J. Collin and S. Bennett
        Fourth official: K. Friend

        Mark ClattenburgFinally back where he belongs, Mark Clattenburg still missed out on the big game of the weekend.

        After inexplicably being left out in week eight by PGMOL, they’ve seen the error of their ways, albeit this is still only the fifth top-level appointment of the season for England’s top official.

        Southampton shouldn’t be discounted from this one. Although it’s one of their more arduous journey’s and against opponents who are formidable when on their game, City will be playing on the back of what is likely to be a gruelling examination at Barcelona in the Champions League.

        The result, performance and outcome of that game could well affect this and City’s league form has stuttered a little of late.

        Claude Puel finally seems to be getting things together with the Saints, who sit in a respectable mid-table position at start of play.
        They’ve conceded less than their hosts so could provide a more difficult opponent than perhaps many expect.

        A free-flowing affair will be appreciated by both teams and if it’s refereeing controversy you’re looking for, you won’t find any here. 

        Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know

        Matches in 2016/17: 5 (4 on TV)
        Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
        Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

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        Martin Atkinson: Chelsea v Manchester United  

         

        Assistants: S. Child and S. Burt

        Fourth official: A. Marriner

        Martin Atkinson 5The big one. Stamford Bridge will be full to bursting and the TV audience will run into millions for the return of Jose Mourinho to his old stamping ground.

        How ironic that Martin Atkinson – the referee who sparked one of the ‘Special One’s’ biggest tantrums against PGMOL and its officials – is the man in the middle here.

        The likelihood of United doing to Chelsea what they managed at Liverpool is high and that won’t endear the Portuguese to the thousands who idolised him on the Stamford Bridge terraces.

        A midfield battle is likely to provide Atkinson and his team with the most work in this real clash of footballing titans and the official will certainly need to be on his mettle – unlike last weekend at Selhurst Park.

        YATR’s Keith Hackett was scathing of Atkinson’s performance especially relating to the two key decisions that saw West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell sent off.

        “The first one was a clear penalty kick,” said former PGMOL chief Hackett. “He wrongly cautioned Cresswell for an act of simulation.

        “Less than a minute later, Peter Kirkup, his assistant, wrongly advised Atkinson to issue a caution to Cresswell when it was difficult to see a foul!!

        “Player dismissed…..totally wrong.”

        The pressure to perform will be on his shoulders from the first minute and Atkinson is an official who has laid bare how much the Burnley incident with Mourinho affected him. Will he cope?

        A win for the visitors will see them leapfrog their hosts which is enough of a reason for the crowd to get behind Antonio Conte’s side and help them to hopefully draw level with those at the top of the table at the end of 90 minutes.

        Martin Atkinson – all you need to know 

        Matches in 2016/17: 8 (4 on TV)
        Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
        Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

         

          Author: Jason Pettigrove

          Runners and Riders

          For once we at YATR are completely lost for words. Genuinely.

          What on earth has possessed PGMOL to hand out the set of appointments you’ll read about below.

          Talk about shooting yourselves in the foot. With a double-barrelled sawn off…

          If the Select Group of officials are happy about it, then there is something seriously wrong in the game. Mark Clattenburg as a fourth official – are you being serious?!

          Strap yourselves in for these week eight EPL appointments….

          --

          Andre Marriner: Chelsea v Leicester City
          Assistants: S. Beck and A. Garrett
          Fourth official: S. Attwell

          andre-marrinerA role reversal from this time last year and the expectation from the home crowd will be that the Blues upward trend will continue.

          Antonio Conte won’t write his countryman and elder statesman Claudio Ranieri off that easily however.

          Chelsea have shown their vulnerabilities already and although Leicester are already far from the championship winning form of last season, there’s still enough in the Foxes side to trouble the hosts.

          Gary Cahill for one won’t be too enamoured at the choice of official, given his two-minute post-match diatribe on Andre Marriner’s performance as Chelsea drew two-apiece at Swansea just a month ago.

          There are some odd appointments made elsewhere this week, so Marriner needs to up his game at the Bridge. He simply cannot afford to give Cahill or anyone else an excuse to mock his work again.

          Andre Marriner – all you need to know

          Matches in 2016/17: 6 (4 on TV)
          Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 4
          Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

          Jonathan Moss: Arsenal v Swansea City
          Assistants: H. Lennard and M. Perry
          Fourth official: N. Swarbrick

          Jonathan Moss
          Jonathan Moss is on FA Cup duty this weekend

          So…..when one of your officials who, by common decree, isn’t having the greatest of seasons so far, makes an unquestionable howler – that simply cannot be defended in any way, shape or form - what do you do?

          Well if you’re PGMOL, you reward him with another appointment. But of course, how could we possibly have thought otherwise.

          Utterly ridiculous.

          YATR’s Keith Hackett rightly flagged the decision for Everton’s free-kick against Crystal Palace as an indirect one at the time, yet this simple enough decision for an official at this level was missed and Romelu Lukaku scored from the direct kick that was incorrectly awarded.

          This game is interesting for two reasons. The debut of Bob Bradley in the Swansea dugout – a man not known for holding his tongue when it comes to the criticism of officials – and the opportunity for Arsenal to keep pace at the top of the table.

          This will be dynamite. Trust me on that.

          Jonathan Moss – all you need to know

          Matches in 2016/17: 6 (2 on TV)
          Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
          Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

          Lee Mason: AFC Bournemouth v Hull City
          Assistants: M. McDonough and A. Halliday
          Fourth official: T. Robinson

          Lee MasonJust his fourth appointment of the campaign, Lee Mason has been handed a 13th plays 15th fixture – which probably reflects Mason’s own contributions.

          A referee who blows hot and cold, when he’s on his game, Mason is a competent official – but when he’s bad, he’s horrid.

          Certainly Eddie Howe still hasn’t forgiven him for an appalling decision made when Bournemouth were back in the Championship.

          Mike Phelan doesn’t really know whether he’s coming or going at Hull and the former Manchester United assistant could really do with another win to kick-start the Tigers season again after it started so promisingly.

          Let’s hope he’s no reason to growl at Mason at full time either.

          Lee Mason – all you need to know

          Matches in 2016/17: 4 (1 on TV)
          Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 4
          Football League appointments in 2016/17: 4

          Michael Oliver: Manchester City v Everton                                                                                                               Assistants: G. Beswick and S. Burt
          Fourth official: A. Taylor

          Michael Oliver

          Pep Guardiola is back home and he’ll certainly not be taking any teams lightly again after Celtic gave City an almighty scare in the Champions League.

          It’s gone under a lot of people’s radar that Everton’s defence have been pretty rock solid this year – only Tottenham have conceded less – so a swashbuckling home side could find their pathway to glory blocked.

          It will be interesting to see what influence John Stones has against his old side who can get to within a point of his current employers with an away victory.

          Michael Oliver is well used to this ground, if not this manager but the official does know what Ronald Koeman is all about.

          Koeman and Pep are two peas from the same pod, both in the way that they view football and in their style on the sidelines. Oliver has been known to clamp down to those who are a little ‘over animated’ on the touchline, but to reduce that element of their personalities here, will take something from the game within the game.

          That Manchester-born Anthony Taylor is the one who’ll be bringing the good news as it were, will leave a lot open to interpretation. More on him later…!

          Oliver’s focus is beginning to return after a dip in form so how he fares here will give us an inkling as to whether his own personal trajectory continues to rise.

          Michael Oliver – all you need to know

          Matches in 2016/17: 7 (3 on TV)
          Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
          Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0      

          Mike Jones: Stoke City v Sunderland
          Assistants: M. Scholes and R. West
          Fourth official: G. Scott

          mike-jones-1000x500

          In seven games so far in this campaign, neither Mark Hughes or David Moyes have managed to get three points on the board and if there’s another failure here, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one fall on his sword.

          Luckily, they have Mike Jones to steady the ship on the pitch and even though the appointment of Graham Scott as fourth official – given the magnitude of any potential fall out – could comeback to haunt PGMOL, Jones has enough about him to smooth the waters.

          If anything, Jones might need to work on keeping his concentration levels up because with the two lowest scorers in the league, this could become a bit of a bore fest at the Britannia.

          Mike Jones – all you need to know

          Matches in 2016/17: 4 (2 on TV)
          Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
          Football League appointments in 2016/17: 5

          Kevin Friend: West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur
          Assistants: J. Collin and D. Cann
          Fourth official: M. Clattenburg

          Kevin Friend

          With the greatest of respect to Kevin Friend he’s no Mark Clattenburg, so why their respective roles aren’t reversed here only PGMOL will know.

          Jealousy on the part of the organisation perhaps? Clattenburg getting too big for his boots so we’ll bring him down a peg or two??

          Fair enough questions to be asked because there is no way an official of such standing should have taken charge of just half of the EPL appointments available thus far.

          As it is, Friend will have to feel the wrath of Messrs. Pulis and Pochettino. If results go well elsewhere, this game could produce the table toppers at the end of play, so the Argentine coach in particular will be looking for an extremely high standard of professionalism.

          Something that, frankly, has been beyond Friend on occasion.

          Kevin Friend – all you need to know

          Matches in 2016/17: 4 (0 on TV)
          Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
          Football League appointments in 2016/17: 6

          Martin Atkinson: Crystal Palace v West Ham United                                                                                                   Assistants: P. Kirkup and E. Smart
          Fourth official: B. Madley

          Martin AtkinsonMartin Atkinson is the right choice for what is bound to be a firebrand London derby, but there is history between the official and both managers.

          Slaven Bilic is hanging onto the West Ham managerial job by his fingernails if rumours are to be believed, and the Croat placed the blame for the Hammers not making the FA Cup semi finals last season squarely at Atkinson’s door.

          Alan Pardew’s gripe goes a little further back but in the same vain, is a blame-leveller.

          Although Palace have picked themselves up and dusted themselves down after a horrific early part to the year, Selhurst Park will be as unforgiving as ever if the official makes himself unpopular.

          The east Londoners appeared to have picked up the baton from their neighbours with confidence and character at its lowest ebb as they go into this one.

          Martin Atkinson – all you need to know

          Matches in 2016/17: 7(3 on TV)
          Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
          Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

          Roger East: Middlesbrough v Watford                                                                                                             Assistants: A. Nunn and D. Eaton
          Fourth official: M. Oliver

          Roger East

          East takes charge of Watford for the first time since opening day, a game against Southampton in which he sent of the Hornet’s Ben Watson for denying a goalscoring opportunity.

          There should be plenty of those here with both sides this season looking to win games by playing the right way. On the deck, short, sharp passing movements.

          It brings back memories of the glory days of both sides and if either can get close to a decent finish in the league and a good cup run, the supporters will be happy.

          Aitor Karanka’s side are bound to come out of the blocks quicker so what little authority East seems to possess will need to be wielded firmly in the opening exchanges.

          Roger East – all you need to know Matches in 2016/17: 4 (1 on TV)
          Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 6
          Football League appointments in 2016/17: 6

          Mike Dean:  Southampton v Burnley                                                                                                                           Assistants: S. Long and I. Hussin
          Fourth official: P. Tierney

          Mike DeanGood to see Paul Tierney getting a look in as fourth official again although arguably he does need to be fast-tracked now if we are going to see him make the jump up to join the likes of Mike Dean.

          Once again, Mr. Limelight himself ensures that the TV cameras will be present for another show-stopping performance. Football as theatre….never a truer word in Dean’s case…..dahhhling.

          In any event, the game itself is unlikely to provide too many talking points save for the odd late challenge here or there. Perhaps the grappling rule that so many are struggling with will provide Dean with an interesting conundrum in-play.

          A win for the visitors will see them leapfrog their hosts so we might see, unusually, an expansive attacking game from the Clarets.

          Mike Dean – all you need to know Matches in 2016/17: 7 (4 on TV)#
          Fourth official appointments in 2016/17:1
          Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

          --

          Anthony Taylor: Liverpool v Manchester United                                                                                                         Assistants: S. Bennett and S. Child                                                                                                              Fourth official: M. Atkinson

          Anthony Taylor

          And so here’s the kicker this week. The big one. Gobsmacked doesn’t even begin to describe the arrogance of this appointment.

          A referee that comes from a David De Gea goal-kick away from Old Trafford is allowed to referee the biggest game of the weekend that involves the club closest to him geographically?
          Whichever way you look at it, there is absolutely no logic or common sense that has been applied by PGMOL here. How can there be?!

          Imagine, just for one moment, that there is a contentious decision. Worse still, it’s a game changer. And Taylor gets it wrong.

          The sheer stupidity in allowing him anywhere near this game is staggering.

          He will absolutely need to be as disciplined as ever and he and his team must get every single decision spot on for there to be no repercussions.

          A full to the brim Anfield, under the lights and under the scrutiny of millions of TV viewers.

          Nice one PGMOL!

          Anthony Taylor – all you need to know Matches in 2016/17: 8 (3 on TV)
          Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
          Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

           

           

            Author: Jason Pettigrove

            Runners and Riders

            At least the powers that be in PGMOL towers took the sensible decision to rest Roger East this week, although throwing Stuart Attwell in at the Stadium of Light might have a few repercussions.

            APPOINTMENTS: Premier League and EFL appointments in full

            It always seems to be two steps forward and one back for Mike Riley and co., and you can probably count on the fingers of one hand the amount of weeks in a season where his full complement all gain top marks.

            Mike Jones misses out, but Robert Madley – an official that can’t even remember his whistle – gets the nod again!

            Let’s take a look at the appointments for week seven of the season….

            Mark Clattenburg

            Mark Clattenburg: Everton v Crystal Palace
            Assistants: S. Bennett and R. West
            Fourth official: K. Friend

            What a turnaround in fortunes for Palace since Christian Benteke joined the south Londoners.

            He was always going to be a hit or miss signing. Give him the correct service and his hefty transfer fee would seem like a bargain. Misuse him as Liverpool did for the most part, and he would be another expensive flop.

            Fortunately for Alan Pardew he’s been the former and is certainly the main threat to an Everton side that are playing some fantastic stuff this season.

            Any Palace fans making the trip will give Mark Clattenburg some stick, many still feeling aggrieved at his FA Cup final performance.

            A free weekend after this one will be just the ticket for an official who has also been on European duty this week.

            And there’ll be no hangover from that when it comes to making the right decisions here.

            Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know
            Matches in 2016/17: 5 (3 on TV)
            Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
            Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

            michael-oliver

            Michael Oliver: Swansea City v Liverpool
            Assistants: G. Beswick and A. Nunn
            Fourth official: P. Tierney

            The Red side of Merseyside have also enjoyed a fabulous start to the campaign and Liverpool’s 16 goals is the most that they’ve ever scored in their opening half dozen games in a season.

            Jurgen Klopp’s side are a threat from all areas of the pitch and if the Welshmen don’t close down their opponents quick enough there’s every reason to expect a healthy away victory.

            Swansea have been unable to impose themselves in matches and with rumours swirling that Francesco Guidolin could be sacked, Swansea could even have a new man in charge before kick off.

            Michael Oliver had a fantastic weekend last time out and when he’s on that form, he is up there with the best.

            His fitness is obviously the best it’s been for a while and he’ll need to be at it because Liverpool will run him as well as Swansea ragged.

            Michael Oliver – all you need to know
            Matches in 2016/17: 6 (3 on TV)
            Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
            Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

            anthony-taylor-2

            Anthony Taylor: Hull City v Chelsea
            Assistants: J. Collin and I. Hussin
            Fourth official: M. Jones

            After a promising start to the season, Hull have fallen by the wayside and plummeted down the table. A rudderless ship, the Tigers appear to be lacking direction on and off the pitch.

            Although Chelsea have suffered in the last couple of games themselves, they do at least have a coach in Antonio Conte that will get the club back.

            We can be assured that Anthony Taylor will be getting it with both barrels from the Chelsea bench if things start to go awry again, but one thing the official is not is a shrinking violet.

            He'll stand his ground against Antonio Conte if necessary and is likely to be kept busy in what will be a physical encounter.

            Anthony Taylor – all you need to know
            Matches in 2016/17: 7 (2 on TV)
            Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
            Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

            Mike Dean

            Mike Dean: Watford v Bournemouth
            Assistants: S. Long and D. Cook
            Fourth official: G. Scott

            Two teams who came up into the top flight the year before last and whose paths have been eerily similar since.

            It’s unfair to suggest that either will be happy with a mid-table finish but an improvement year-upon-year would be satisfactory and appease both the money men and supporters.

            Watford have already shown that they can score goals – West Ham were taken apart on their own patch and Manchester United succumbed to the Vicarage Road hotbed – and the Hornets will be looking to sting the south coast side too.

            Mike Dean’s profile continues to author the perception of him. He, perhaps unwittingly, has allowed this ‘showbiz’ persona to come to the fore which actually takes away from him being the pretty decent referee that he is.

            A seemingly constant need for the limelight detracting from his excellence if you will.

            Just watch the way he will take this one by the scruff of the neck, and then suggest that he’s not quite up to it…

            Mike Dean – all you need to know
            Matches in 2016/17: 6 (3 on TV)
            Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
            Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

            neil-swarbrick

            Neil Swarbrick: West Ham United v Middlesbrough
            Assistants: D. Cann and M. Wilkes
            Fourth official: A. Marriner

            The Hammers have suffered from injuries to key players and as they come back, there’s every chance that they’ll start to climb the table again. But the plain fact of the matter is that those players already in situ have done nothing to impress this season.

            This will be a game where the pressure will very definitely be on the hosts from the first whistle.

            Alvaro Negredo has been a thorn in the side of West Ham once before and given that the hosts have been poor at defending the high ball into the box all season long, expect the Spaniard to profit again.

            Neil Swarbrick is already in Boro’s bad books after denying them all three penalty shouts against Crystal Palace a couple of weeks ago.

            If they were out of luck on that occasion, West Ham have had none since taking up their tenure at their new home.

            Anyone in claret and blue will be hoping to get the rub of the green from a sensible, calm and collected official.

            Neil Swarbrick – all you need to know
            Matches in 2016/17: 4 (0 on TV)
            Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
            Football League appointments in 2016/17: 6

            stuart-attwell

            Stuart Attwell: Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion
            Assistants: S. Burt and D. Bryan
            Fourth official: M. Atkinson

            It could be a very long afternoon in the north east, make sure you bring your sleeping bags.

            For those connoisseurs who like their football played the right way, this is not the game for you.

            With the greatest of respect, this will be a real battle of Britain type 90 minutes with no quarter asked or given from either side. However, moments of great skill or those that are aesthetically pleasing will be in very short supply.

            Perhaps that’s what’s required sometimes, a good old scrap where your XI dig in and gives everything for the cause. Not pretty or entertaining necessarily, but this is a results business and there’s more than one way to win football matches.

            The pressure is already mounting on David Moyes whose side are three points from safety after six games and have only scored five goals in that time. Hardly the type of impact Sunderland would’ve expected from a new manager.

            Tony Pulis can point to a stunning victory over West Ham as a guide to just how well his West Brom side can play when on song, but he can’t surely expect the same here.

            Stuart Attwell continues to suffer in the elite group. He just isn’t employed enough in the top flight by PGMOL and it leads to nervousness amongst players and managers. Is he really up to it and if so, why isn’t he getting more games?

            He’ll need to be on his best form for this match for he can well do without any game-changing decisions being his fault.

            The same would blow his brittle confidence out of the water.

            Stuart Attwell – all you need to know
            Matches in 2016/17: 2 (0 on TV)
            Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
            Football League appointments in 2016/17: 5

            Bobby Madley

            Robert Madley: Manchester United v Stoke City
            Assistants: M. Perry and E. Smart
            Fourth official: M. Jones

            This is one trip back to Old Trafford that Mark Hughes will almost certainly not enjoy.

            Second from bottom with no wins and only West Ham having let in more goals than the Potters, the last thing Hughes and Stoke needed was to be up against a United side that have hit their stride.

            The Red Devils first-half performance against Leicester last time out was scintillating and if they come anywhere close to replicating that, the game will again be over before half time.

            As long as Robert Madley has his whistle, we’ll get a game on here and it’s one that the official should enjoy.

            Although still green in terms of top-flight experience, he continues to learn all the time and take on board new instruction and interpretation with ease.

            Makes the job look simple when on his game and Stoke will be relying on that here.

            Robert Madley – all you need to know
            Matches in 2016/17: 5 (2 on TV)
            Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 4
            Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

            andre-marriner

            Andre Marriner: Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
            Assistants: S. Beck and A. Garrett
            Fourth official: J. Moss

            Game of the season so far in prospect.

            The only two unbeaten sides in the Premier League face off and if things go the way of City and elsewhere, Pep Guardiola could be looking at a minimum five-point lead in the league at the conclusion of proceedings.

            From what we’ve seen already, City are rejuvenated under the Catalan and are playing their best football for years.

            Ditto Tottenham, which is why it makes this such an intoxicating fixture. The table-toppers have passed every test set them so far with aplomb, but they’ve not come up against a side that will match them in every department.

            Although the season is still young, there is enough in Mauricio Pochettino’s side to note that they’ll be there or thereabouts at the business end of the season again.

            Andre Marriner likes to talk to players and whilst not being friendly as such, will treat the 22 as adults, and that’s appreciated and goes a long way to allowing games like this to breathe.

            Both managers should be happy with the appointment and it gives Marriner a chance to prove once again that he can mix it at the top table.

            Andre Marriner – all you need to know
            Matches in 2016/17: 5 (3 on TV)
            Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 4
            Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

            Martin Atkinson

            Martin Atkinson: Leicester City v Southampton
            Assistants: S. Child and P. Kirkup
            Fourth official: R. East

            Hard to believe that Leicester have already lost as many games this season as they did in the whole of the last campaign.

            Even taking into account Claudio Ranieri’s stance that things would be very much different in 2016/17, the Italian surely couldn’t have expected that it would happen so quickly.

            The Foxes are a shadow of their former selves, confidence shattered. That said, they sit in a reasonably healthy mid-table berth and at least have the Champions League to take their minds off of Premier League drudgery.

            Southampton were looking ragged and disjointed but a stunning win at West Ham will have given them confidence.

            Martin Atkinson continues to enjoy the fruits of his exemplary labour, and although this game could be perceived as a slightly less higher profile game than some, the official will give it his fullest attention.

            A solid pro, if we don’t see or hear him much in this game, we’ll know he is continuing where he left off…

            Martin Atkinson – all you need to know
            Matches in 2016/17: 6 (2 on TV)
            Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
            Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

            craig-pawson

            Craig Pawson: Burnley v Arsenal
            Assistants: A. Holmes and S. Ledger
            Fourth official: L. Mason

            With less than half a dozen goals scored this season, it’s obvious where the problem lies for Sean Dyche and his Burnley team.

            The limitations of the Clarets can be overlooked if they would just put the ball in the onion bag.

            Contrast that with their visitors who’ve score five times as many in the same time frame.

            After a solid 3-0 victory over Chelsea, Arsene Wenger’s side are purring and maybe, just maybe if they can hold their nerve this time, they will be in with a genuine chance of silverware.

            Craig Pawson has fallen foul of both Arsene Wenger and Sean Dyche in the past and his arrival in the north won’t be universally welcomed by the locals.

            Very definitely a game to keep his head down, a low profile, get the big decisions correct and then move on. Could be an uncomfortable 90 minutes for Pawson and his group otherwise.

            Craig Pawson – all you need to know
            Matches in 2016/17: 6 (4 on TV)
            Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
            Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

              Author: Jason Pettigrove

              Runners and RidersA marginally more successful week for PGMOL but there was still enough discussion to be had as to the application of Mike Riley’s finest.

              Roger East for example is clearly suffering a crisis of confidence and could probably do with an extended spell out of the limelight.

              The last thing the Premier League need is for more risks to be taken with the Select Group, but that’s exactly what’s happened this week.

              Let’s take a look at the appointments for week six of the season….

              Martin Atkinson

              Martin Atkinson: Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion
              Assistants: S. Child and A. Nunn
              Fourth official: R. East

              Mark Hughes is most bookies’ choice to become the first managerial casualty of the new season and a loss here could see the Stoke hierarchy pull the trigger.

              When you’re down at the bottom nothing seems to go right, and it would be just typical luck that Tony Pulis and his West Brom side arrive in town after hitting West Ham for four.

              The Britannia Stadium has been a hospitable home for Hughes but the knives will be out. Martin Atkinson has often been the Potters’ nemesis and his appointment here could be another nail in the Welshman’s coffin.

              Hughes and his employers won’t want cause to file another official complaint but Atkinson is unlikely to provide them with the same after a sterling start to his 2016/17.

              Nothing to see here…

              Martin Atkinson – all you need to know
              Matches in 2016/17: 5 (2 on TV)
              Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
              Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

              Bobby Madley

              Robert Madley: Bournemouth v Everton
              Assistants: M. McDonough and H. Lennard
              Fourth official: J. Moss

              Two managers who enjoy playing football the right way could provide an early season classic at the Vitality Stadium.

              Eddie Howe’s side haven’t begun the season as well as might’ve been expected, whereas the Toffees have exceeded expectations under Ronald Koeman.

              This is a game that needs to be allowed to flow throughout and Bobby Madley is therefore a decent pick for this one. Although he’s still learning the trade, common sense is a watchword he lives by.

              No previous issues with either manager should see the official being given the benefit of the doubt if there are any borderline decisions.

              Strap yourselves in, this could be one of the games of the weekend.

              Robert Madley – all you need to know
              Matches in 2016/17: 4 (1 on TV)
              Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 4
              Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

              Andre Marriner

              Andre Marriner: Liverpool v Hull City
              Assistants: S. Beck and A. Garratt
              Fourth official: S. Attwell

              The upheaval at Hull City is in stark contrast to the continuity at Anfield.

              Jurgen Klopp has always maintained that it would take a few years for the Reds to get back to where they belong, but that they would eventually get there.

              After a superb performance at Chelsea last time out, the German’s prediction could well be coming true a year or two quicker than originally planned.

              Unable to win any of their away league fixtures this season, Mike Phelan’s side will do well to stop the Liverpool juggernaut at this juncture.

              Andre Marriner’s appointments have been sporadic this season – two on, one off – but he’ll handle this one with ease. Will he nick Sadio Mane’s ball if the former Southampton man should score another hat-trick?!

              A little bit of personality goes a long way – as Klopp himself will attest to.

              Andre Marriner – all you need to know
              Matches in 2016/17: 4 (2 on TV)
              Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
              Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

              Graham Scott

              Graham Scott: Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotpsur
              Assistants: R. West and D. Bryan
              Fourth official: M. Jones

              In fairness to Graham Scott, he is being hung out to dry once again by Mike Riley.

              Either he is Premier League class or he is not, it’s that simple. Waiting six weeks before handing him his first top flight appointment of the season does he, and they, no favours.

              At the first sign of conflict, if Scott’s unable to step up and deal with matters arising, he’ll be swiftly removed from duty again.

              There will be an expectation from both teams that the standard of officiating befits a fixture of this stature.

              Mike Jones will at least be the best of sounding boards, should Scott decide to lean on his experience. Why their roles aren’t reversed is anyone’s guess…

              Graham Scott – all you need to know
              Matches in 2016/17: 1 (0 on TV)
              Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
              Football League appointments in 2016/17: 5

              Jonathan Moss

              Jonathan Moss: West Ham United v Southampton
              Assistants: A. Halliday and E. Smart
              Fourth official: C. Pawson

              What is going on at West Ham? Things are going from bad to worse for a team that was expected to make a dent in the Europa League and perhaps even push on to the Champions League at the end of this season.

              Only Stoke and Sunderland sit below then in the table but Slaven Bilic will be accentuating the positives in that they’re only two wins off of seventh position at this point.

              The London Stadium still doesn’t really feel like home and that could be something that tips the scales in the balance of Claude Puel’s Saints, another team that are finding their feet this term.

              Jonathan Moss was blasted for his handling of West Ham’s game against Leicester last season, and to be frank, he’s not really recovered any kudos since then.

              His star is fading fast and Mike Riley must be careful in which fixtures he picks and chooses for the official. An official that is struggling on a weekly basis to keep up with play as a minimum requirement.

              God help him if he’s not on song here.

              Jonathan Moss – all you need to know
              Matches in 2016/17: 5 (2 on TV)
              Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
              Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

              Anthony Taylor

              Anthony Taylor: Sunderland v Crystal Palace
              Assistants: P. Kirkup and M. Perry
              Fourth official: D. Bond

              A big win for Crystal Palace against Stoke in their last Premier League fixture has seen them fly up the table – something the Eagles haven’t experienced for a year or so.

              As luck would have it, a very winnable game on Wearside is their next assignment, Alan Pardew looking to heap more misery on counterpart David Moyes.

              Just three goals scored for the Black Cats is less than Palace managed against the Potters and hints at the problems Moyes faces this season.

              It’s been some time since Anthony Taylor has been on the wrong side of the Scot and that’s as much to do with Taylor’s trajectory as an official as anything else.

              A studious referee who works hard to learn from his mistakes, he will – at least initially – have the full support of both managers and sets of players.

              A tortuous atmosphere might be of some concern and could influence the early exchanges, but there’s nothing to suggest that Taylor won’t be able to take it all in his stride.

              Anthony Taylor – all you need to know
              Matches in 2016/17: 6 (2 on TV)
              Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
              Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

              Neil Swarbrick

              Neil Swarbrick: Swansea City v Manchester City
              Assistants: S. Ledger and D. Eaton
              Fourth official: A. Woolmer

              Pep Guardiola is enjoying proving all the naysayers wrong as his City side continue to steamroller just about every opponent in their path.

              The Sky Blues have conceded only four in five games, the same amount that the Welshmen have scored.

              There’s nothing to suggest that this will be anything other than another routine victory for the table toppers giving City their very own super six from the start of the season.

              Neil Swarbrick has blown hot and cold already and that’s probably why he’s only taken charge of half of the Premier League games he could otherwise have been employed for.

              A decent showing here might see him retained.

              Neil Swarbrick – all you need to know
              Matches in 2016/17: 3 (0 on TV)
              Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
              Football League appointments in 2016/17: 5

              Mike Dean

              Mike Dean: Manchester United v Leicester City
              Assistants: S. Long and I. Hussin
              Fourth official: L. Mason

              Well, well, well... what do you know?

              The TV cameras are out at Old Trafford and everyone’s favourite entertainer, Mike Dean, is centre stage once more.

              PGMOL must be completely oblivious to the constant furore that almost always follows a Dean appointment that has been televised.

              If he can manage it, just for 90 short minutes, then Dean has to blend into the background here.

              Jose Mourinho is on the warpath with officials so it could be difficult, and Dean will do well not to rise to any bait from the Portuguese.

              Leicester will be keen to leapfrog their rivals with a win, so this one is bound to get a little tasty at times.

              Mike Dean – all you need to know
              Matches in 2016/17: 5 (3 on TV)
              Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
              Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

              Michael Oliver

              Michael Oliver: Arsenal v Chelsea
              Assistants: G. Beswick and S. Burt
              Fourth official: C. Pawson

              Michael Oliver has been handed the glamour game of the week, PGMOL standing behind one of their golden boys who, to be perfectly honest, has taken his eye off of the prize in recent weeks.

              He has all of the tools to do the job but a loss of focus has hindered his progress. Believing in his own publicity has come back to bite him on the backside.

              It’s a show of solidarity to give him a game that has so much history both in footballing and officiating terms and if he passes the test, it could go some way to restoring faith.

              A real Premier League classic awaits – and Oliver can play the fullest part in ensuring the same.

              Michael Oliver – all you need to know
              Matches in 2016/17: 5 (2 on TV)
              Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
              Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

              Mike Jones 3

              Mike Jones: Burnley v Watford
              Assistants: M. Scholes and D. Cann
              Fourth official: K. Friend

              It’s pretty clear now that Mike Jones has upset the powers that be at PGMOL towers. There’s no other reasonable explanation as to why he is being handed fixtures that are, by definition, not ‘A grade’ Premier League fare.

              That’s not to detract from the excellent work of both the Clarets and the Hornets this season. A 30-year wait for a victory was ended against Manchester United last time out and therefore Watford will prove formidable opponents for Sean Dyche’s side.

              The industrial approach from the hosts won’t go unnoticed by Jones, but he will allow proceedings to flow as much as possible before reaching for his pocket.

              An excellent referee who is being grossly undervalued and underused at present.

              Mike Jones – all you need to know
              Matches in 2016/17: 3 (2 on TV)
              Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
              Football League appointments in 2016/17: 4

                runnersriders-1000x500A horrendous week for PGMOL’s finest and for once a player – in this instance Gary Cahill – was fully justified in everything he said in his post-match interview.

                The Chelsea man will probably get hauled over the coals for his outburst on Andre Marriner but it’s time that situations such as that farcical one on Sunday are addressed.

                Mark Hughes, under pressure at the bottom of the pile, wasn’t too enamoured by Anthony Taylor either, even though the official was correct to show him a red card in Stoke’s loss to Tottenham.

                Making up an unwanted hat-trick, the usually reliable Robert Madley. A brave 94th-minute penalty call at Arsenal, but an incorrect one nevertheless.

                Let’s take a look at the appointments for week five of the season….

                Martin Atkinson

                Martin Atkinson: Chelsea v Liverpool
                Assistants: S. Child and S. Burt
                Fourth official: R. Madley

                What a cracker of a Friday night game to open the weekend!

                Martin Atkinson has had his problems with Chelsea in the past and Antonio Conte is demonstrable on the sidelines to say the least, but the official has the respect of the players and should let this flow accordingly.

                A high octane Premier League classic can be expected and it won’t be too dissimilar to the passionate London derby that Chelsea played out with Spurs at the back end of the last campaign.

                This game will be won and lost by the defence, or lack of, on either side. Liverpool have conceded the most out of the top nine so Jurgen Klopp will need no educating as to where the Reds need to provide their best work.

                Against a rampaging Diego Costa, this one could get tasty!

                Martin Atkinson – all you need to know
                Matches in 2016/17: 4 (2 on TV)
                Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                Roger East

                Roger East: Hull City v Arsenal
                Assistants: D. Cann and M. Wilkes
                Fourth official: P. Tierney

                A repeat of the 2014 FA Cup Final, since when both teams trajectories have gone in polar opposite directions.

                Hull have got knocked down but they’ve got up again (you're never gonna keep them down!), while Arsenal retained the trophy even if they’ve started to lose respect amongst their loyal fan base.

                Much of the ire is directed towards Arsene Wenger, and depending which camp you sit in, that’s either fair comment or the Frenchman is a scapegoat for wide issues within the club.

                In any event, this could be quite entertaining given that both clubs have an identical record thus far (including goal difference), the Gunners sitting one place above the Tigers by virtue of scoring more goals.

                Roger East had a relatively quiet start to his own campaign until last weekend. Keith Hackett explains why he should be taking a sabbatical this week in his latest blog below.

                Hackett's Blog: Roger East lucky to have weekend appointment

                If he expects another steady game in this one he could come unstuck and it will be interesting to see how the new foreign contingent and their different appreciation of the laws of the game, react to his officiating.

                Roger East – all you need to know
                Matches in 2016/17: 3 (0 on TV)
                Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 4
                Football League appointments in 2016/17: 4

                Mark Clattenburg

                Mark Clattenburg: West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United
                Assistants: J. Collin and S. Bennett
                Fourth official: K. Friend

                Mark Clattenburg, as YATR’s Mark Halsey had predicted at the time, was furious with the FA for overturning Cheikhou Kouyate’s red card in the Hammers’ 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last season.

                There’ll be plenty of industrial challenges here and it’s unlikely that he will keep his cards in his pocket.

                Two years ago, Clattenburg left this ground early to get to an Ed Sheeran concert and was promptly reprimanded. No concerts on this weekend, are there?!

                Slaven Bilic’s side wiped the floor with the Baggies the last time they were at this venue but six losses from eight games to include their short excursion to the fringes of European competition, has left those at the London Stadium feeling that this could be a long, hard season.

                Back to Clatts, who received some criticism for his handling of last week's Manchester derby. He did however, receive the backing of You Are The Ref and our Twitter followers - topping our weekly poll!

                Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know
                Matches in 2016/17: 4 (2 on TV)
                Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                Lee Mason

                Lee Mason: Everton v Middlesbrough
                Assistants: S. Beck and A. Holmes
                Fourth official: R. Madley

                On their return to the top flight, Boro are making a reasonable fist of things.

                Aitor Karanka is learning on the job and patchy results would indicate that it will take him a few more games to bed in and really find his feet managerially at this level.

                He does at least oversee a side that play football the right way and on their day are a joy to watch.

                Ditto Everton, who are now schooled by Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman has the tools at his disposal  to really trouble their visitors.

                Lee Mason gets his first TV game of the season and there’s some certainty to there being a penalty decision or two for the official to decide upon during play.

                He’s been castigated in the past by TV pundits and managers alike for giving spot kicks that were no such thing, or vice-versa.

                Mike Riley won’t want one of his charges becoming the weekend entertainment again.

                Lee Mason – all you need to know
                Matches in 2016/17: 3 (1 on TV)
                Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
                Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                Jonathan Moss

                Jonathan Moss: Manchester City v Bournemouth
                Assistants: A. Halliday and M. Perry
                Fourth official: J. Simpson

                He couldn’t do it in England, they said.

                After four games, Pep Guardiola has already put a few arguments to bed as to whether his particular brand of intelligent, ground-breaking football would be suited to the Premier League.

                Four games, four wins, 11 goals. Although Manchester United might’ve got back into the derby, the truth is had City put away their chances, they’d have won that game at a canter. As they have most others.

                The Catalan expects the very best in everything, so he might be hugely disappointed to find out that Jonathan Moss is the man in the middle here.

                Moss’ high point was an undeserved FA Cup final appearance, and his appreciation of his role has been on a downward trajectory ever since.

                At least in Eddie Howe, Pep welcomes a kindred spirit to the Eithad Stadium. A forward thinking young man who’ll use every tool at this disposal to give his team a few extra percent.

                If the Cherries come away with anything from here, Howe’s star will be shining brightest for some time.

                Jonathan Moss – all you need to know
                Matches in 2016/17: 4 (1 on TV)
                Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                Anthony Taylor

                Anthony Taylor: Leicester City v Burnley
                Assistants: G. Beswick and P. Kirkup
                Fourth official: C. Pawson

                The Foxes, as Claudio Ranieri expected, have found this season a struggle already, and the 4-1 thumping they received at Anfield was as comprehensive a defeat as they’ve had for some time.

                Sean Dyche’s Burnley have shown they can mix it with the big boys and their 2-0 win over Liverpool was fully deserved. But they also need to dig in and show the same pride in every game if they want to have another season in the division.

                The hard work starts now – for both teams.

                Anthony Taylor is well known to both having been regularly employed in the Championship as well as the top flight.

                That there’s not been even a murmur of discontent at this particular appointment speaks volumes for Taylor, who is impressing once again this season, and is the most used official so far.

                Anthony Taylor – all you need to know
                Matches in 2016/17: 5 (2on TV)
                Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                Craig Pawson 1000x500

                Craig Pawson: Crystal Palace v Stoke City
                Assistants: S. Ledger and A. Garratt
                Fourth official: K. Friend

                Poor old Stoke.

                Who would’ve thought that after four games, not only would they have scored just two and conceded 10, but would be propping up the division and with just a single point to show for their endeavours.

                They look like a team that are devoid of ideas and any creative output. A description that probably sums up Crystal Palace throughout 2016 too - the win against Middlesbrough only their fourth of the entire year in all competitions.

                Luckily for Craig Pawson he retains the respect of both managers which, given the pressure that Hughes is under especially, means the official can breathe a sigh of relief.

                He’s been superb so far this season and along with Taylor has been employed each and every week in 2016/17.

                Eagle-eyed and diligent, Pawson shouldn’t have any issue with getting a grip of this one from the start, and imposing his will.

                Craig Pawson – all you need to know
                Matches in 2016/17: 5 (3 on TV)
                Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
                Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                Mike Dean

                Mike Dean: Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland
                Assistants: S. Long and I. Hussin
                Fourth official: A. Marriner

                After being stood down last week, Mike Dean returns to one of the venues of his greatest, some might say most embarrassing, gaffes.

                It was in the white half of north London where Dean appeared to celebrate a Spurs goal against Aston Villa.

                David Moyes certainly won’t appreciate any of that and White Hart Lane is a place that he and his Sunderland side won’t really want to visit right now.

                Tottenham were devastating in their destruction of Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, just as they were last season.

                For some unknown reason, perhaps because they didn’t spend big in the transfer market, they’ve not been talked up as title contenders this year, but anyone who has half a footballing brain can see that Spurs are going to be there or thereabouts again if their current form is a guide.

                With Harry Kane finally off the mark, the Black Cats are unlikely to be purring at the end of this one.

                Mike Dean – all you need to know
                Matches in 2016/17: 4 (2 on TV)
                Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                Michael Oliver

                Michael Oliver: Watford v Manchester United
                Assistants: A. Nunn and M. McDonough
                Fourth official: S. Attwell

                Jose Mourinho will still be smarting from defeat in the Manchester derby and to follow that up with a loss at Vicarage Road would be unthinkable.

                However, a win here isn’t a given, just look at the way Watford stormed back from 2-0 at West Ham last time out.

                The Hornets have spent big this summer and will be a force to be reckoned with. The performance and result here might give us more of an idea as to whether their European aspirations are pie in the sky or not.

                Michael Oliver was blasted by Mourinho for an unfair yellow card handed out to Diego Costa when the Portuguese managed Chelsea and he was also the referee in the eye of the storm at Stamford Bridge when Eva Carneiro turned the Special One incandescent with rage.

                His star still shines brightly although perhaps not as it once did, and the youngster will need to up his own game to impress.

                Michael Oliver – all you need to know
                Matches in 2016/17: 4 (1 on TV)
                Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
                Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                Mike Jones 3

                Mike Jones: Southampton v Swansea City
                Assistants: R. West and M. Scholes
                Fourth official: G. Scott

                Why oh why oh why has Mike Jones only been handed this fixture – with the greatest of respect.

                Only his second appointment of the campaign, one has to assume that there are underlying issues because Jones deserves one of the more ‘glamorous’ fixtures week in and week out.

                Give him a blindfold, handcuffs and a straight-jacket and he’ll still be able to oversee this game with ease.

                The Saints are evidently still trying to get used to the new regime at St. Mary’s, Claude Puel taking time to get his ideas across successfully.

                The ghost of Ronald Koeman still looms large down on the south coast and their cause hasn’t been helped by the sale of Pelle and Mane during the summer.

                Swansea were lucky to hang on for a point against Chelsea but the likelihood is that this will be nowhere near as brutal as the match against the west Londoners, something that will suit the Welshmen.

                Mike Jones – all you need to know
                Matches in 2016/17: 2 (1 on TV)
                Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
                Football League appointments in 2016/17: 3

                APPOINTMENTS: Match officials across English football this weekend

                  Author: Jason Pettigrove

                  Mike Jones

                  No sooner had the season begun, as usual, the international break gets in the way.

                  Clubs across Europe will be hoping that their staff return minus any serious injury and once Harry Kane has been given the once over, Mauricio Pochettino might want to have a word with Martin Skrtel.

                  The Tottenham man terrorised Stoke City last season and he’ll want to be fit to do so again this weekend.

                  Mike Jones finally gets his first appointment of the season as does serial Sky Bet Championship official Paul Tierney.

                  Let’s take a look at who’s joining them in week four of the campaign...

                  Mark Clattenburg

                  Mark Clattenburg: Manchester United v Manchester City
                  Assistants: J. Collin and S. Bennett
                  Fourth official: M. Dean

                  The biggest game of the weekend gets exactly the right appointment.

                  Read more: Hackett's blog - The global Manchester derby and the right appointment 

                  Fireworks are almost guaranteed at Old Trafford, and Mike Dean will have just as busy a time on the touchline as Mark Clattenburg will on the pitch.

                  There’s a real sense of unfinished business between Messrs. Guardiola and Mourinho and although whoever wins this won’t get much more than just the three points on offer at this stage, top spot could be available outright if Chelsea don’t do the business at Swansea.

                  It’s the fifth time that Clattenburg has been handed this fixture and in the previous four he’s handed out 19 yellow cards and one red.

                  City supporters won’t be happy to note that in the five times he took charge of a United game last season, they remained unbeaten. Not that superstition in football means anything, of course!

                  We should fully expect the same levels of professionalism and application from Clattenburg that saw him as arguably Europe’s best in 2015/16.

                  Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know
                  Matches in 2016/17: 3 (2 on TV)
                  Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                  Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                  Bobby Madley
                  Robert Madley: Arsenal v Southampton

                  Assistants: M. Perry and E. Smart
                  Fourth official: S. Hooper

                  This could be a decent little test for Robert Madley.

                  Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi are likely to make their home debuts so the atmosphere will be a few decibels higher than normal at the Emirates, as fans come to check out their new heroes.

                  Madley should have done his homework on these two players too, just to learn what they bring to the party.

                  The former Valencia defender might find the pace a little different from when he played for Everton and Madley should take the odd mistimed challenge into account.

                  After another relatively gruelling transfer window, Arsene Wenger will be happy in the knowledge that he has an official with whom he has no history and who has a reputation for common sense.

                  All the Gunners need to do now is the business on the pitch.

                  Robert Madley – all you need to know
                  Matches in 2016/17: 3 (1 on TV)
                  Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
                  Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                  Kevin Friend

                  Kevin Friend: Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion
                  Assistants: S. Long and D. Eaton
                  Fourth official: C. Kavanagh

                  The Vitality Stadium doesn’t hold happy memories for Kevin Friend.

                  The last time he visited he hit his head on the dugout and collapsed, meaning a hospital visit was a must.

                  No chance of lightning striking twice of course but Friend will want to ensure that his performance is of sufficient enough quality that this is what the supporters are talking about rather than dwelling on the entertainment from that Southampton game.

                  Tony Pulis is one of this official’s oldest adversaries and it won’t surprise the West Brom manager if a decision or two goes against his side.

                  The Welshman is still smarting from a decision to send Charlie Adam off three years ago when manager of Stoke – he claimed that Friend ruined the Potters' 150th anniversary celebrations!

                  Eddie Howe’s side are not at the bottom of the table by virtue of a single goal only. He’ll hope that any 50/50 calls will fall the way of the south coast side to allow them to kick-start their season.

                  Kevin Friend – all you need to know
                  Matches in 2016/17: 3 (0 on TV)
                  Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                  Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                  Paul Tierney 3

                  Paul Tierney: Burnley v Hull City
                  Assistants: S. Beck and I. Hussin
                  Fourth official: M. Oliver

                  Not as dangerous an appointment as it may first appear.

                  Paul Tierney’s debut this season comes at Turf Moor but both teams know him well from his time in the Championship, the division where he is most frequently employed.

                  Although that may also give the official some comfort, he’ll need to be right on top of any flashpoints and dealing with them ably and quickly.

                  This match could be the turning point and a decent showing here puts the ball right back in PGMOL’s court as to whether they’ll hand the referee more opportunities in the top flight this season.

                  Michael Oliver is a first-class fourth official to have in the background, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to find that there is constant dialogue between the two throughout this one.

                  Paul Tierney – all you need to know
                  Matches in 2016/17: 1 (2 on TV)
                  Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                  Football League appointments in 2016/17: 4

                  Neil Swarbrick

                  Neil Swarbrick: Middlesbrough v Crystal Palace
                  Assistants: S. Ledger and A. Halliday
                  Fourth official: M. Jones

                  It’s hard to believe but Crystal Palace have only won two league games in 2016.

                  The slide that Alan Pardew’s side have been on would’ve seen most managers out of the door long before now, but he retains the confidence of his paymasters.

                  A tough assignment awaits against Premier League newcomers Boro, and if that wasn’t enough to stoke Pardew’s ire, once he sees that Neil Swarbrick is in charge, he’ll probably concede this one before it starts.

                  There’s no love lost between the pair after Swarbrick booked Yohan Cabaye in a clash just before Christmas ruling him out of games that the Eagles needed to win, and didn’t.

                  Christian Benteke will start for the visitors and the officials should keep a close eye on the physicality that the Belgian giant has to his game.

                  How Boro cope with him will author the outcome of this one.

                  Neil Swarbrick – all you need to know
                  Matches in 2016/17: 2 (0 on TV)
                  Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
                  Football League appointments in 2016/17: 3

                  Anthony Taylor

                  Anthony Taylor: Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur
                  Assistants: P. Kirkup and G. Beswick
                  Fourth official: J. Moss

                  Last season, when Spurs were still in with a genuine chance of chasing Leicester down for the title, they visited the Britannia Stadium and produced one of the best attacking performances seen by any team for many a year.

                  It was so good that even the home faithful were clapping by the end of it.

                  That’s guaranteed to wind up Stoke manager Mark Hughes who won’t want his side to afford the north Londoners the same courtesy again.

                  Anthony Taylor has his detractors but he remains calm under pressure and one of the few officials that in general terms gets things right week in and week out.

                  If he can just ‘loosen the collar’ figuratively speaking, and allow games to flow a little more, he’d be up there as one of the best in the business.

                  And if there was ever a game that would be enhanced as a spectacle by allowing the same, then this is it.

                  Anthony Taylor – all you need to know
                  Matches in 2016/17: 4 (2 on TV)
                  Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                  Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                  Martin Atkinson 5

                  Martin Atkinson: West Ham v Watford
                  Assistants: S. Child and S. Burt
                  Fourth official: S. Martin

                  Oddly enough, Slaven Bilic isn’t a manager who appreciates Martin Atkinson’s calm, methodical style during games. Why?

                  The Croatian still hasn’t forgiven the official for “denying us a place in the semi-final” – a statement Bilic made to the press when West Ham had just drawn 1-1 at Old Trafford in last seasons FA Cup.

                  This is a game the Hammers really do need to win but it’s not going to be easy against a side that have outspent them in the transfer window and who have all of their major stars fit and firing – unlike the east Londoners.

                  There’s not too much in the way of intimidating atmosphere as yet at the London Stadium. Until the locals find their voices, both the opposition and officials will have a slightly easier ride than perhaps they will later in the campaign.

                  Martin Atkinson – all you need to know
                  Matches in 2016/17: 3 (1 on TV)
                  Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                  Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                  Craig Pawson 1000x500

                  Craig Pawson: Liverpool v Leicester City
                  Assistants: H. Lennard and A. Holmes
                  Fourth official: L. Mason
                  Both sides haven’t started off as well as they might’ve hoped.

                  Liverpool’s ‘heavy metal’ football was brought crashing down to earth with a bump as Burnley showed that grit and determination will win out every time.

                  Claudio Ranieri knows he has his work cut out in keeping Leicester successful this season and with the Champions League group stage first game coming only a few days after this match, the Italian needs to somehow ensure competitiveness in both.

                  Craig Pawson continues to impress and it’s little wonder he’s been handed his third TV game in just four appointments this season.

                  He might not be box office in terms of being a household name – like Clattenburg for example – but his style is winning plaudits across the board.

                  Craig Pawson – all you need to know
                  Matches in 2016/17: 4 (3 on TV)
                  Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
                  Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                  Andre Marriner

                  Andre Marriner: Swansea City v Chelsea
                  Assistants: A. Nunn and A. Garratt
                  Fourth official: R. East

                  Alongside the two Manchester sides, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are the only team to have a 100% record in the EPL this season.

                  Known for his almost maniacal style of management on the touchlines, Roger East as fourth official could be in for a busy 90 minutes trying to keep the Italian in check.

                  Andre Marriner has gone about his business quietly this season. He’s been neither outstanding nor below par, and a steady performance here will also be just the ticket.

                  The official should’ve been here in January to oversee the game against Sunderland but withdrew late on leaving Graham Scott, in just his fourth top flight game, to take charge.

                  A decision that was heavily criticised after the 47-year-old made some glaring errors.

                  Whether Marriner leaves Wales with his head held high, we will find out in due course. With the TV cameras in situ, the football world will be watching…

                  Andre Marriner – all you need to know
                  Matches in 2016/17: 3 (2 on TV)
                  Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
                  Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                  Mike Jones 3

                  Mike Jones: Sunderland v Everton
                  Assistants: M. Scholes and D. Cann
                  Fourth official: N. Swarbrick
                  Welcome back Mike Jones! About bloody time too!

                  The disappearance of the official was unexplained and given that he was one of the top performers last season, questions of an agenda at PGMOL had begun circulating.

                  A Monday night appointment is a fine way to start his campaign but the atmosphere could be tense given David Moyes’ assertion that Sunderland supporters should prepare themselves for another relegation battle.

                  If a few early decisions go against the Black Cats, Jones will feel that the whole of Wearside is against him.

                  No matter, his shoulders are broad enough, and despite the delay he’ll be hoping that this is the first of many games in 2016/17.

                  Mike Jones – all you need to know Matches in 2016/17: 1 (1 on TV)
                  Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
                  Football League appointments in 2016/17: 2

                  Appointments: Click here to see a full list of Premier League and EFL appointments for this week

                    Author: Jason Pettigrove

                    Mike Dean

                    For the second game in succession, Mike Dean’s judgment has been called into question.

                    Although the new directives are playing a part in the perception of certain officials’ performances, Dean missed a clear penalty decision and was rightly brought to account.

                    Another Mike – Jones – is conspicuous by his absence yet again.

                    Just a fourth official appointment and one from the English Football League is all Jones has to show for himself in 2016/17.

                    He wasn’t that bad last season but looks to have been made a scapegoat by PGMOL.

                    Let’s take a look at who is actually working on week three of the season….

                    Robert Madley

                    Robert Madley: Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool
                    Assistants: P. Kirkup and M. Perry
                    Fourth official: C. Pawson

                    A Premier League classic for Robert Madley to oversee.

                    There really isn’t anything quite like Spurs versus Liverpool at White Hart Lane, although this year sees a slight difference with both sides needing to get used to playing in a ground where an entire corner is missing.

                    Redevelopment works continue apace but when the wind blows in…..brrrrr!

                    Madley should be able to boss this with the same authority that both of these sides show when on their mettle.

                    Rarely is there a boring game between the two and if Madley uses the common sense that usually authors his performances, he could be as much the cause of a decent spectacle as the 22 others on the pitch.

                    Robert Madley – all you need to know
                    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (1 on TV)
                    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
                    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                    Mark Clattenburg

                    Mark Clattenburg: Chelsea v Burnley
                    Assistants: J. Collin and S. Bennett
                    Fourth official: S. Attwell

                    The last time that Mark Clattenburg officiated a Chelsea game, he brandished a total of 12 cards, including a record nine for Tottenham in the game that ended their title charge last season.

                    It was one of his toughest assignments and as Martin Atkinson might attest to, Burnley’s arrival at Stamford Bridge won’t be any easier.

                    Sean Dyche’s warriors are cock-a-hoop after beating Liverpool last week, and they’ll take that confidence onto the pitch in west London.

                    Antonio Conte might not appreciate the northern grit that the Clarets will bring to the party, but as we know well, Diego Costa et al are more than capable of taking care of themselves.

                    Clattenburg needs to clamp down quicker than he did in the Tottenham game, thereby letting everyone know who the real boss in this one is.

                    Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know
                    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (1 on TV)
                    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                    Mike Dean

                    Mike Dean: Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
                    Assistants: S. Long and D. Cook
                    Fourth official: J. Adcock

                    Alan Pardew’s side are still hungover from their incredible slide down the table last season but at least have Christian Benteke making his home debut.

                    Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth were unlucky to be dealt a late blow against West Ham last time out, and despite another energy sapping journey to the capital, the Cherries will be hoping for better.

                    Dean does have his critics but when he’s on his game, he’s a class act.

                    He’ll need to be here because both managers have a bit of ‘history’ with the official. Howe blamed Dean for not awarding a penalty during a game in early 2015, and then slated him again in December last year for a lack of quality in the game against West Brom.

                    Pardew’s arrogance mirrors that of Dean, so there’s no real surprise the two would clash!

                    After two under-par appointments already this season, Dean needs to work overtime to ensure he doesn’t get an unwanted hat-trick.

                    Mike Dean – all you need to know
                    Matches in 2016/17: 3 (2 on TV)
                    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                    Michael Oliver

                    Michael Oliver: Everton v Stoke City
                    Assistants: G. Beswick and A. Nunn
                    Fourth official: N. Swarbrick

                    Seriously…

                    Whilst manager of Southampton, Ronald Koeman didn’t mince his words at one of Michael Oliver’s performances.

                    “He cost us the game,” were the Dutchman’s exact words after the south coast side were beaten 1-0 by eventual champions Leicester.

                    Mark Hughes wasn’t backwards in coming forwards either suggesting that “if it had stayed at 11 v 11, we’d have beaten them quite comfortably,” in the aftermath of a game against West Brom where the official had brandished two red cards in six minutes, leaving the Potters down to nine.

                    Beforehand Stoke were clearly the better side, so the Welshman’s ire was understandable.

                    No quarter is likely to be asked or given in this one either and Oliver has work to do in order to get both managers back onside.

                    Good luck!

                    Michael Oliver – all you need to know
                    Matches in 2016/17: 3 (1 on TV)
                    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                    Roger East

                    Roger East: Leicester City v Swansea City
                    Assistants: R. West and M. Wilkes
                    Fourth official: A. Davies

                    Leicester’s demise is already being spoken about in certain circles, just two games in.

                    They haven’t won either of those, but a goalless draw against Arsenal is always a creditable result.

                    Claudio Ranieri, to his immense credit, took the pressure right off of his players almost as soon as the trophy was presented last season, when he suggested there was no hope of the Foxes retaining their title.

                    In so doing, the expectation levels have been reigned in and the locals can just look forward to some decent football being played.

                    Swansea will play their part here, a side who aren’t given enough credit for the way in which they play the game.

                    Roger East has mainly had a watching brief this season as a fourth official, but time for him to shake off the cobwebs again for his second appointment of the campaign.

                    He’s in credit with both of these teams presently and he’ll hope to be so at the end of 90 minutes at a full-to-bursting King Power Stadium.

                    Roger East – all you need to know
                    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (0 on TV)
                    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
                    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                    Lee Mason

                    Lee Mason: Southampton v Sunderland
                    Assistants: A. Holmes and D. Bryan
                    Fourth official: P. Tierney

                    Did David Moyes really suggest that Sunderland fans should prepare themselves for another relegation battle?

                    Just two games into his tenure on Wearside, that’ll hardly be music to the ears of the locale. Or is he just being realistic?

                    A long journey down to Southampton won’t do them any favours either and Moyes will need all of his powers to ensure that his staff and on the ball and raring to go at St. Mary’s.

                    Stuck on no points after two is bad enough, another game without any reward isn’t the start that would’ve been envisaged at the Stadium of Light.

                    Claude Puel isn’t doing too much better with the other team in red and white stripes, sat as they are just one point and two places above their visitors.

                    Lee Mason is one of those officials who really divides opinion. Not only that, but his performances blow hot and cold too. Either he’s very good or abysmal, not really any middle ground with him.

                    Frankly, the latter will suit everyone here.

                    Lee Mason – all you need to know
                    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (0 on TV)
                    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                    Kevin Friend

                    Kevin Friend: Watford v Arsenal
                    Assistants: I. Hussin and M. McDonough
                    Fourth official: S. Hooper

                    Another big game so early in the season and one that might be too big for Kevin Friend to handle.

                    When was the last time that Arsenal were languishing in 13th position? Even taking into account that the season has barely begun, the Gunners’ poor start tells its own story.

                    As ever, Arsene Wenger is having to bear the brunt of supporter ire, which will go through the roof if they’re unable to secure three vital points here. Depending how results go, Arsenal could be eight points behind the leaders by close of play.

                    Vicarage Road isn’t the easiest ground to go and play your natural game and Watford are becoming a Premier League force to be reckoned with.

                    Vociferous home support will give this one a big-game atmosphere and Friend has often wilted under the pressure of the same.

                    Time for this official to stand up to be counted.

                    Kevin Friend – all you need to know
                    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (0 on TV)
                    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                    Jonathan Moss

                    Jonathan Moss: Hull City v Manchester United
                    Assistants: A. Halliday and E. Smart
                    Fourth official: M. Atkinson

                    This has to be third time lucky for Jonathan Moss.

                    His application in the two appointments he has been handed this season have been disappointing, quite frankly.

                    Try and get away with another of such sub-par quality and there’s a very real possibility that he could be dropped from the list for the next round of fixtures.

                    He was never a popular choice for the 2015 FA Cup Final, but since that high point in his career, Moss hasn’t really had too much to shout about.

                    In a game where Jose Mourinho will be intent on heading to the summit currently occupied by nemesis Pep Guardiola and cross town rivals City, there are bound to be flashpoints.

                    The Special One’s own particular brand of pressure will surely then be applied liberally.

                    Hull have surprised everyone with their start and are just one of four teams with a 100% record in the division.

                    Jonathan Moss – all you need to know
                    Matches in 2016/17: 3 (1 on TV)
                    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                    Anthony Taylor
                    Anthony Taylor: West Bromwich Albion v Middlesbrough
                    Assistants: S. Burt and H. Lennard
                    Fourth official: S. Attwell

                    Employment every week shows the esteem in which Anthony Taylor is held by PGMOL.

                    He was also one of the most regularly used officials in the last campaign which, given the nature of the error he committed in the Sheffield Wednesday versus Leeds game, shows that he’s made of strong stuff.

                    Plenty of referees would’ve taken a sabbatical after such a howler but that neither he, nor PGMOL, thought it necessary, is to their great credit.

                    Middlesbrough are still finding their feet in the top flight and will enjoy playing against a West Brom side who play very much like a Championship team – but what they lack in top-level quality, they more than make up for with grit, determination and a genuine will to win.

                    If the man in the middle is at the races as usual, there’ll be no fallout from this one.

                    Anthony Taylor – all you need to know
                    Matches in 2016/17: 3 (2 on TV)
                    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                    Andre Marriner

                    Andre Marriner: Manchester City v West Ham United
                    Assistants: S. Beck and S. Ledger
                    Fourth official: M. Jones

                    A tale of two excellent young managers here and the respect between the pair will be mutual and total.

                    West Ham’s comprehensive victory here last season really made the rest of the league sit up and take notice but the Hammers will have their work cut out to get three points again.

                    Before Pep Guardiola arrived the question was whether his methods would translate into the Premier League, a much more competitive league, with respect, than perhaps he had been used to.

                    The Catalan has already emphatically answered his detractors and another win will be expected in front of an capacity crowd at the Etihad.

                    Andre Marriner can play the fullest part in keeping this one ticking along nicely – just as long as he can keep his cards in his pocket long enough.

                    Andre Marriner – all you need to know
                    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (1 on TV)
                    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
                    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                      Author: Jason Pettigrove

                      runnersriders-1000x500

                      The opening weekend of the Premier League went by with more of a whimper than a bang, unless you happened to be at the Emirates Stadium. What a game!

                      Mike Dean garnered most column inches amongst our refereeing brethren – both for what appeared to be poor decision making and for his over the top gestures.

                      The latter is starting to grate, and until he learns to master the art of officiating sufficiently, he should, arguably, cut out the song and dance routine.

                      PGMOL handing him the TV limelight for the second week in a row could spell disaster.

                      Let’s take a look at who’s joining him in being given the nod for week two of 2016/17…

                      Anthony Taylor

                      Anthony Taylor: Manchester United v Southampton
                      Assistants: R. West and A. Holmes
                      Fourth official: A. Marriner

                      Jose Mourinho’s first Old Trafford outing as manager of Manchester United, and he gets to lead his team out on a Friday night in front of the TV cameras. Pure football theatre.

                      His opposite number, Claude Puel, might have something to say about Anthony Taylor taking charge of this one, particularly as the official was only born a few miles up the road.

                      Although his impartiality shouldn’t really be questioned, it’s yet another own goal from PGMOL who’ve started this campaign as they ended the last – by not helping themselves.

                      Taylor can rest assured that he will have the Portuguese on his case all night long and could be swayed by previous meetings, when this man in the middle has had cause to grovel and apologise to the Special One for making mistakes in previous encounters.

                      As was noted on Ref Cam by YATR’s Mark Halsey, Taylor needs to improve on his body language and be a bit more relaxed and pro-active.

                      Some Friday night fun is almost guaranteed here.

                      Anthony Taylor – all you need to know
                      Matches in 2016/17: 2 (1 on TV)
                      Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                      Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                      Lee Mason

                      Lee Mason: Burnley v Liverpool
                      Assistants: S. Beck and S. Ledger
                      Fourth official: K. Friend

                      Lee Mason opens his 2016/17 account at Turf Moor and, like the hosts, will be hoping to get off to a flyer.

                      It should be a match of two very contrasting styles; the determination, grit and work ethic of Sean Dyche’s side against a swashbuckling but wide open Liverpool.

                      When Jurgen Klopp’s Reds went into a 4-1 lead at Arsenal, you could see just how pleased the German was with how his charges had followed the blueprint. Come full time it was a different story.

                      With respect, Burnley don’t have the class of the north Londoners but they do have a fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude. Something that’s won them their fair share of points in the past.

                      Mason could be a little rusty and probably needs to work on his dynamic sprinting to keep him up with the lightning quick breaks that are becoming a hallmark of this Liverpool side.

                      Lee Mason – all you need to know
                      Matches in 2016/17: 1 (0 on TV)
                      Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                      Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                      Mark Clattenburg

                      Mark Clattenburg: Leicester City v Arsenal
                      Assistants: J. Collin and S. Bennett
                      Fourth official: A. Marriner

                      Both teams meet having lost on the opening day. The first time a reigning champion has failed to pick up all three points on the first game of the following season for 27 years, and the third time in a row that the Gunners have lost their opening home fixture.

                      Whilst the pair will have worked hard on the training pitch to ensure it all clicks come Saturday afternoon, Mark Clattenburg arrives back onto the scene after an extended sabbatical.

                      The Euro 2016 final followed the Champions League final which itself followed the FA Cup final. What an incredible summer for the official, and fully deserved it must be said.

                      These are the type of games that Clatts enjoys and if there is to be controversy in the game, it’s highly unlikely to come from the official.

                      The Foxes will want to exact some sort of revenge on Arsenal, having lost to them at the death last season at the Emirates.

                      Expect the ‘Wenger Out’ brigade to be in full voice if that happens.

                      Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know
                      Matches in 2016/17: 1 (0 on TV)
                      Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                      Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                      Mike Dean

                      Mike Dean: Stoke City v Manchester City
                      Assistants: S. Long and A. Garratt
                      Fourth official: R. East

                      Seriously…

                      The second TV game for Mike Dean and for a fixture involving a manager who has not been pleased with the referee's past performances.

                      Mark Hughes has had cause to complain about this particular official time and time again. Going back to the time in fact, when the Welshman was boss at Fulham some three years ago.

                      There’s no love lost between Hughes and a person who he sees as deliberately controversial and pig-headed.

                      Against Pep Guardiola’s side, there’s more than likely to be a flashpoint or two. The Catalan wizard showed everyone just what he was about tactically in the Sunderland opener, even though it took until late for City to take all three points.

                      Expect a similar pattern to emerge here and if there are one or two late tackles flying in from the hosts, don’t be surprised to see Dean on the spot theatrically brandishing a card or two.

                      Much to the chagrin of Hughes who’ll do well to keep his mouth shut for the duration.

                      Mike Dean – all you need to know
                      Matches in 2016/17: 2 (2 on TV)
                      Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                      Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                      Stuart Attwell

                      Stuart Attwell: Swansea City v Hull City
                      Assistants: S. Child and M. Perry
                      Fourth official: R. Madley

                      Long over his ‘ghost goal’ nightmare, Stuart Attwell makes his bow in Wales and could do with some more regular top flight employ from his paymasters.

                      You can count of the fingers of one hand the amount of Premier League appointments he was handed last season and for a man that is still considered as ‘up and coming,’ he needs to be given more chance to hone his skillset.

                      It’s an ideal game to begin the season, and with an experienced team behind him, Attwell can approach this one with confidence. Confidence that should show through a commanding and authoritative performance.

                      Hull are still in disarray after Steve Bruce’s summer walk out and though Swansea are a little more settled, it will still take time for their new signings to gel.

                      Cool, calm and collected required here, which is certainly not beyond Attwell.

                      Stuart Attwell – all you need to know
                      Matches in 2016/17: 1 (0 on TV)
                      Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                      Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                      Michael Oliver

                      Michael Oliver: Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace
                      Assistants: G. Beswick and S. Burt
                      Fourth official: D. Bond

                      A lively London derby at the Lane and Alan Pardew will want to prove a point after losing Yannick Bolasie to Everton in midweek.

                      Try as he might, the Eagles manager hasn’t yet brought in the big name or names that will hopefully propel Palace into the upper echelons of the table – and keep them there.

                      A horrific slide down the table last season would’ve ended in relegation if the season had been a fortnight longer.

                      Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t been too lively in the transfer market either, but he has the luxury of a fine group of players who give him exactly what’s required in terms of application and effort.

                      This could be feisty, especially in the opening exchanges, and Oliver will look to his extended eyes and ears to pick up anything naughty.

                      Another strong hand is preferred here, to get the best out of both teams in what promises to be a cracker.

                      Michael Oliver – all you need to know
                      Matches in 2016/17: 2 (0 on TV)
                      Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                      Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                      Jonathan Moss

                      Jonathan Moss: Watford v Chelsea
                      Assistants: A. Halliday and E. Smart
                      Fourth official: G. Scott

                      A tale of two Italians as Walter Mazzarri’s side host Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.

                      Two teams that have been renowned for playing good football could settle for 90 minutes of 'catenaccio'. Great for the students of the game, not so the paying public.

                      The intricacies might be lost on Jon Moss too, not that passages of play should overly concern him.

                      As at White Hart Lane, Moss should expect a thoroughly intense game with both sides going at it hammer and tongs from the first whistle.

                      Both managers are vociferous in support of their team and won’t hold back if they feel that the officials aren’t at the races.

                      Backbone required please Jon…

                      Jonathan Moss – all you need to know
                      Matches in 2016/17: 2 (0 on TV)
                      Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                      Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                      Neil Swarbrick

                      Neil Swarbrick: West Bromwich Albion v Everton
                      Assistants: D. Cann and D. Eaton
                      Fourth official: S. Duncan

                      Tony Pulis will have a field day if Neil Swarbrick puts a foot wrong here.

                      It was Swarbrick who sent off Gareth McAuley at Manchester City the season before last, for a foul that had been committed by Craig Dawson.

                      There’s no way that the Welshman will have forgotten such a misdemeanour which will leave the official on tenterhooks for this, his first appointment of the season.

                      Ronald Koeman has also had players sent off by the official, whilst in charge of Southampton, however the Dutchman has, thus far, had no complaints as to Swarbrick’s handling of a fixture involving his teams.

                      Let battle commence!

                      Neil Swarbrick – all you need to know
                      Matches in 2016/17: 1 (0 on TV)
                      Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                      Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                      Referee Martin Atkinson

                      Martin Atkinson: Sunderland v Middlesbrough
                      Assistants: P. Kirkup and A. Nunn
                      Fourth official: R. Madley

                      A great first north-east derby for Martin Atkinson to get his teeth into.

                      If not quite the rivalry of a Sunderland versus Newcastle game, it won’t be far off. Middlesbrough’s first big local derby in the top flight for years, and David Moyes’ home debut as manager of the Black Cats.

                      Many were expecting Sunderland to get battered at Manchester City but Moyes showed that dismal spells at Manchester United and Real Sociedad were just blips on the CV.

                      His team more than held their own for long periods and the same will be required again here.

                      Aitor Karanka is just feeling his way into the division but knows only one way to play so we can expect an expansive performance from the visitors.

                      Atkinson should be on guard for any flashpoints but isn’t likely to find this one too hard to deal with.

                      Martin Atkinson – all you need to know
                      Matches in 2016/17: 2 (1 on TV)
                      Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
                      Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

                      Craig Pawson 1000x500

                      Craig Pawson: West Ham United v Bournemouth
                      Assistants: H. Lennard and I. Hussin
                      Fourth official: R. East

                      In this fixture last season, Eddie Howe’s side stunned everyone with their maiden Premier League win, scoring four goals in the process.

                      It came just a week after they were cruelly denied a point at Anfield, when an errant offside flag meant that Liverpool finished as 1-0 winners. The referee that day – Craig Pawson. Howe will be hoping lightning won’t strike twice.

                      This is another for the purist as these opponents are two teams that like to get the ball down and play.

                      A first Premier League home game will be another sell out and hopefully Pawson and his colleagues aren’t overawed by the sense of occasion.

                      Craig Pawson – all you need to know
                      Matches in 2016/17: 3 (2 on TV)
                      Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
                      Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

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