by Andrew Crawshaw
Here courtesy of premierleague.com are this weekend’s matches. Please note kickoff times are 15:00 unless stated otherwise:-
Saturday 19 January
12:30 Wolves v Leicester
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistants: Daniel Cook, Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Roger East
AFC Bournemouth v West Ham
Referee: Simon Hooper
Assistants: Adrian Holmes, Derek Eaton
Fourth official: Kevin Friend
Liverpool v Crystal Palace
Referee: Jonathan Moss (pictured)
Assistants: Marc Perry, Andy Halliday
Fourth official: Andre Marriner
Man Utd v Brighton
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Simon Beck, Mick McDonough
Fourth official: Lee Mason
Newcastle v Cardiff
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: Stephen Child, Neil Davies
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson
Southampton v Everton
Referee: Graham Scott
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Andy Garratt
Fourth official: Lee Probert
Watford v Burnley
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett
Fourth official: Tim Robinson
17:30 Arsenal v Chelsea
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Craig Pawson
Sunday 20 January
13:30 Huddersfield v Man City
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: Simon Long, Richard West
Fourth official: Paul Tierney
16:00 Fulham v Spurs
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Eddie Smart
Fourth official: Lee Probert
We have Anthony Taylor for the fourth time this season. Four times too many I hear you say. We haven’t had any other referee more than twice so why should we have him four times? Here is a table showing which teams have had whom on three or more occasions this season:-
|Team||No of different referees||Three times visits||Four times visits||% of matches by serial referees|
|Brighton||14||Anthony Taylor||Kevin Friend
|Crystal Palace||13||Anthony Taylor||Michael Oliver||30%|
|Liverpool||12||Paul Tierney||Michael Oliver||30%|
|Man City||11||Michael Oliver||Andre Marriner||30%|
|Man United||11||Andre Marriner
|Spurs||12||Martin Atkinson||Mike Dean
|West Ham||16||Chris Kavanagh||13%|
Clearly we can see that for four clubs roughly half of their matches (between 48 and 52%) have been refereed by officials who have visited the club on three or more occasions. This is a dangerously unhealthy situation and one that is clearly open to external manipulation of results.
Everton and West Ham have seen the most different referees with 16 and Everton are the only team so far not to have had a referee three times – this should be the normal situation not the exception.
The two Manchester clubs have had the fewest number of different referees with 11, again this is a very unhealthy situation.
Bournemouth have been visited by the two Lees on three occasions each. Between them Mssrs. Mason and Probert have only refereed in 21 games – why are nearly a third of them involving Bournemouth?
On to our match on Saturday afternoon against Chelsea. Surprisingly this is only the first time he has been in charge of a Chelsea Match this season.
So far this season we have been called for 126 fouls at home leading to 22 yellow cards (one every 5.7 fouls). When away from home, Chelsea have been called for 87 fouls leading to 15 cards(an average of 5.8 fouls per card). We have played a total of 989 minutes under caution, Chelsea at 453 just under half as long so we both get carded more frequently and earlier in the game.
Our previous matches with Mr Atkinson this season have been:-
- Cardiff v Arsenal 2 – 3 Matchweek 4 – we were called for 14 fouls and 4 yellow cards (160 minutes under caution); Cardiff 12 fouls and 3 cards (33 minutes under caution)
- Arsenal v Watford 2 – 0 Matchweek 7 – we were called for 11 fouls and 2 yellow cards (73 minutes under caution), Watford for 17 fouls and 2 yellow cards (70 minutes under caution)
- Brighton v Arsenal 1 – 1 Matchweek 19 – we were called for just 4 fouls and 1 yellow card (9 minutes under caution), Brighton for 10 fouls and 2 yellow cards (77 minutes under caution)
Last season we had him four times, winning at home against Bournemouth and drawing 2 – 2 at home to Chelsea in the equivalent fixture. We lost away at Spurs 1 – 0 and Newcastle 2 – 1.
Well experienced in the ‘dark arts’ of refereeing, we should not expect a level playing field. We are likely to have players cautioned early in the match and for less than Chelsea. We should also look out for ‘phantom fouls’, inappropriate advantages and Chelsea being granted every 40/60 decision let alone those that are 50/50.
Our best hope is to start in the same lively fashion as the U23s did on Monday, two goals in the first 10 minutes should ensure Mr Taylor has no room for any manipulation of the necessary decisions.
Further reviews of matches this weekend will appear on the Predictions website.
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