Another Merseyside derby for referee Atkinson

REFEREE Martin Atkinson will take charge of a fourth Merseyside derby when Liverpool and Everton meet in Saturday’s early kick-off at Anfield.

Whistler: Martin Atkinson will be the man in black for the latest Merseyside derby showdown (Picture from Zimbio.com)
Whistler: Martin Atkinson will be the man in black for the latest Merseyside derby showdown (Picture from Zimbio.com)

REFEREE Martin Atkinson will take charge of a fourth Merseyside derby in Saturday’s early kick-off at Anfield.

The 43-year-old West Yorkshire official will be the man in the middle when Liverpool host neighbours Everton in an eagerly-anticipated showdown.

He will be assisted by Fifa linesmen Stephen Child (Kent) and Mike Mullarkey (Devon) as well as fourth official Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

Atkinson oversaw the corresponding fixture last season when the Reds ran out 4-0 winners back in January.

The Bradford-based whistler also took control of Liverpool’s 2-0 incident-packed win at Goodison Park in October 2011, which is widely remembered for the controversial sending-off of then-Toffees midfielder Jack Rodwell.

Atkinson sent off a player from both teams in his first experience of the famous fixture – Liverpool’s 1-0 home win in February 2010.

All of his four Premier League games so far this term have been televised – Manchester City’s opening weekend win at Newcastle, Sunderland’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United, a four-goal thriller between Hull and West Ham and QPR’s 2-2 draw against Stoke last weekend.

He has brandished 18 yellow cards but is yet to send a player off or point to the penalty spot.

The Fifa Category One official is regularly in contention for high-profile domestic matches, handling several key clashes last season including Chelsea’s decisive 2-0 victory at Liverpool in April and Manchester City’s title-clinching win over West Ham on the final day.

Leeds United fan Atkinson, who has been a Select Group referee since 2004, completed the set of prestigious domestic appointments when in the middle for last season’s Capital One Cup final at Wembley.

Both sides will be hoping to bounce back from demoralising defeats last weekend with Liverpool succumbing to West Ham on Saturday before Everton lost at home to Crystal Palace the following day.

The 12:45 BST kick-off on 27 September will be shown exclusively live on BT Sport.

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