WILLIE Collum will be the man in the middle for Celtic’s televised trip to Dundee United in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday lunchtime.
The 36-year-old Lanarkshire whistler will take charge at Tannadice as the champions visit the struggling Tangerines in the fifth match of the league season (KO 12pm, live on BT Sport 2).
Last season’s Scottish Cup Final referee will be ably assisted on Tayside by Gavin Harris and Graeme Leslie while Kevin Clancy will be on fourth official duties.
Before that, Collum will lead a Scottish team of officials for the Champions League play-off first leg between Basel and Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Switzerland on Wednesday night.
The appointment came after the Glasgow-born referee was condemned for his handling of the prestigious Super Cup contest between Barcelona and Sevilla in Tbilisi last week.
After the incident, Pique was caught on camera shouting towards the fourth official Graham Chambers: “Six refs, six refs and not one of you could see it. F*** sake.”
Father-of-three Collum – who is notoriously card-happy – was also the subject of criticism by fans on Twitter throughout the match, which was the biggest of his 15-year officiating career to date.
Accusing Collum of failing to spot two Sevilla handball’s in the box and wrongly disallowing a Luis Suarez goal, one journalist described his performance as “a full-blown heist”.
He was under the spotlight in the corresponding fixture at Tannadice in April when awarding Celtic a penalty for a foul which occurred outside the box in their 3-0 victory over United.
Last season, the Uefa Elite Category official issued a massive 144 yellow cards, sent off 17 players and awarded 22 penalties across 49 games in all competitions.
Collum oversaw Celtic’s opening top-flight match of the campaign against Ross County at the start of the month and was scrutinised for failing to send off Hoops goalkeeper Craig Gordon in the first half.
It has been a busy start to the 2015-16 campaign for the Religious Education teacher from Belshill, who has officiated a top-flight game in every round of fixtures so far and stood in as a replacement for Craig Thomson in the Petrofac Training Cup first round tie between Hibs and Rangers last month.
The two Scottish Championship sides – and title favourites – meet for the first time in the league this season at Ibrox on Sunday and Steven McLean has been confirmed as the man in black.
He was in the middle for the corresponding fixture in Glasgow in February when Hibs ran out 2-0 winners in a largely incident-free match.
Prior to that, McLean will be an additional assistant as part of Craig Thomson’s team for the Champions League play-off tie between BATE Borisov and Partisan Belgrade on Tuesday night.
The 34-year-old Glasgow-based whistler will be assisted for the lunchtime clash (KO 12:30pm, live on Sky Sports 5) by linesmen Willie Conquer and Stuart MacMillan while the fourth official is Greg Aitken, who is in charge of St Mirren’s Friday night game at Greenock Morton.
McLean has already issued 12 yellow cards and awarded two penalties in three Premiership games so far this term – Hearts’ 4-3 win over St Johnstone on the opening weekend, Aberdeen’s 2-0 victory over Kilmarnock and Hamilton’s 4-0 thrashing of Dundee United last Saturday.
The qualified fitness instructor – who handled 23 top-flight games and five in the Championship in 2014-15 – oversaw the 2014 League Cup Final and last season’s semi-final between Aberdeen and Dundee United.
But the brother of former Ross County defender Brian caused controversy for failing to send off Inverness defender Josh Meekings for a deliberate handball on the goalline against Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park in April.
ELSEWHERE THIS WEEKEND….
Euan Anderson and Don Robertson will be in charge of their first Ladbrokes Premiership matches of the season on Saturday afternoon.
Anderson – a school teacher from Dumbarton – was permanently promoted to the top-flight over the summer as a replacement for Calum Murray, 48, who retired after 15 years in the SPL.
He has officiated three other Premiership games since his first back in February between St Johnstone and Kilmarnock at McDiarmid Park – issuing 17 yellows, no reds and giving no pens.
This weekend, the 32-year-old will oversee Hamilton’s trip to Inverness with the assistance of Dougie Potter, Kylie McMullan and fourth official John McKendrick.
So far this term, Anderson has been in the middle for two cup ties and Queen of the South’s 3-1 win over Alloa on the opening weekend of the Scottish Championship.
Robertson, meanwhile, will make his third trip to Rugby Park in 2015 for Kilmarnock’s match with Ross County.
The 28-year-old will be assisted by linesmen Stephen Mitchell and Sean Carr with Stephen Finnie on electronic board duties.
The Glasgow-based whistler became a Category One official in 2012 and was promoted along with Andrew Dallas to the Premiership at the start of last season with his first game coming on the opening weekend when newly-promoted Hamilton took on Inverness at New Douglas Park.
Nine of his 36 matches in all competitions last season were in the top-flight and he oversaw both sides on two occasions.
Robertson – an accountant by trade – is a regular in the Championship and took charge of Hibs’ 2-1 opening day defeat at Dumbarton as well as Stranraer’s 2-0 League Cup win over Stenhousemuir and St Mirren’s 2-1 win over Annan in the Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.