Mark Clattenburg to oversee Anfield title decider

The Premier League’s potential title decider at Anfield will be officiated by referee Mark Clattenburg, with the high-profile Howard Webb snubbed.

In the firing line: Clattenburg will be the man in black on Sunday as Liverpool and Manchester City go head to head
In the firing line: Clattenburg will be the man in black on Sunday as Liverpool and Manchester City go head to head. (Image via goolfm.net)

REFEREE Mark Clattenburg has been assigned the potential Premier League title decider between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.

The 39-year-old is tasked with taking charge of the most important fixture of the campaign so far as the league leaders take on third-placed City, who are four points behind and have two games in hand.

Gary Beswick and Darren Cann will be the assistant referees while Lee Mason – who handled the reverse fixture between the sides at the Etihad Stadium – is the fourth official.

Fellow Fifa official Howard Webb, who will be England’s representative at this summer’s World Cup, has been overlooked.

Clattenburg last officiated Liverpool on 16 March, awarding them three penalties in their comfortable 3-0 win over Manchester United and dubiously sent off United skipper Nemanja Vidic at Old Trafford.

The County Durham whistler oversaw Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League quarter-final first leg last week and Chris Hughton’s final game as Norwich manager, a 1-0 reverse to West Bromwich Albion last Saturday.

Despite being alleged to have sworn at Southampton’s Adam Lallana in December, Clattenburg has been a standout performer in the top-flight this term and is regarded as one of the best officials in English football.

It is the latest in a number of high-profile appointments for Clattenburg, who was in charge of this season’s Community Shield as well as Arsenal’s goalless draw with United in February and quarter-finals in both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup.

He brandishes an average of just over three yellow cards per game and has dished out only two red cards in 36 games in all competitions.

The former electrician, who regularly officiates in the Premier League and in Europe, officiated the 2012 Carling Cup final between Liverpool and Cardiff at Wembley.

Manchester City have drew away at Stoke and beat Swansea with Clattenburg as the man in the middle this term while Liverpool have both won both league fixtures – the first coming at Aston Villa in August.

Webb – who beat off competition from Clattenburg to be one of 25 referees in Brazil – has been handed a string of low-key fixtures since his controversial decision making in Arsenal’s 2-1 FA Cup win over Liverpool in February.

Brendan Rodgers’s side are chasing a tenth straight league victory and could move five points clear at the top with victory before Chelsea travel to Swansea later in the day.

City, who beat Liverpool 2-1 on Boxing Day, could temporarily overtake Jose Mourinho’s Blues into second by completing a league double over the Merseyside outfit.

The blockbuster can be seen live on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday, 13 April, with coverage starting at 12:30 BST.

 

(Table correct as of 11 April 2014)

Premier League 2013-14: Referee Profiles
Referee Matches Yellow Cards Red Cards
Martin Atkinson 22 71 5
Mark Clattenburg 23 79 2
Mike Dean 22 88 5
Phil Dowd 22 99 2
Roger East 5 20 1
Chris Foy 20 54 6
Kevin Friend 16 51 2
Michael Jones 16 49 2
Robert Madley 5 17 1
Andre Marriner 23 66 7
Lee Mason 22 71 5
Jonathan Moss 20 69 3
Michael Oliver 24 88 3
Craig Pawson 9 26 0
Lee Probert 16 21 2
Neil Swarbrick 17 57 0
Anthony Taylor 18 64 3
Howard Webb 26 78 2

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