MATCH officials from Cyprus will take charge of England’s Euro 2016 qualifier with minnows San Marino in Sellavelle on Saturday.
The Three Lions are bidding to maintain their 100% record in Group E and seal their place at the finals in France next summer – which could be achieved with victories in their seventh and eighth qualifiers with Switzerland to come at Wembley on Tuesday night.
Leontios Trattou will be the referee – and he will be assisted by Michael Soteriou and Athinodoros Ioannou, with Charalambos Charalambous the fourth official and additional assistants Christos Nicolaides and Vasilis Dimitriou.
42-year-old Trattou – a Fifa official since 2006 – has experienced officiating a home nation against less-fancied opposition in the past after handling the Republic of Ireland’s 7-0 Group D thrashing of Gibraltar last October in Euro 2016 qualifying.
He did not issue any cards on the night at the AVIVA Stadium in Dublin but awarded the Irish a spotkick which Robbie Keane converted to complete his hat-trick inside the first 18 minutes.
And this will be another examination of the credentials of the rookie eastern Mediterranean whistler, who has mainly refereed Europa League and Euro Under-21 games since 2011.
Trattou has been in the middle for three Cypriot Cup finals and is now the only official from the country to hold Uefa and Fifa status.
The Nicosia-based official hit the headlines earlier this year when, for the second time in 12 months, his car was set alight outside his flat in the capital amid a string of attacks on officials.
Trattaou can often be card-happy and once gave 10 red cards in a single Cyprus top-flight campaign while he has also sent off four players in his last seven games.
Elsewhere in Group E on Saturday, Estonia’s clash with Lithuania will be officiated by Austrian referee Oliver Drachta while Czech Republic official Pavel Kralovec will head the team to take charge of Switzerland against Slovenia.
Meanwhile, Romanian whistler Ovidiu Hategan is set to be in the middle for Scotland’s Group D encounter against Georgia on Friday evening (KO 17:00 BST).
ENGLAND’S EURO 2016 QUALIFYING CAMPAIGN SO FAR…
8 September 2014 Switzerland 0-2 England (St Jakob-Park, Basel)
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)
9 October 2014 England 5-0 San Marino (Wembley Stadium, north London)
Referee: Marcin Borski (Poland)
12 October 2014 Estonia 0-1 England (A.Le Coq Arena, Tallinn)
Referee: Marijo Strahonja (Croatia)
15 November 2014 England 3-1 Slovenia (Wembley Stadium, north London)
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal)
27 March 2015 England 4-0 Lithuania (Wembley Stadium, north London)
Referee: Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic)
14 June 2015 Slovenia 2-3 England (Stozice Stadium, Ljubljana)
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)
ELSEWHERE ON SATURDAY….
England’s Mark Clattenburg will be in the middle for Russia against Sweden at the Otkrytie Arena in Moscow on Saturday (KO 17:00 BST) as second takes on third in Group G.
The 40-year-old from County Durham has overseen three other qualifiers during the campaign and, last term, officiated six Champions League matches and the Uefa Super Cup.
The Uefa Elite Category official – who has been on the Fifa list since 2006 – was an additional assistant referee in Howard Webb’s team at Euro 2012.
Clattenburg – an electrician by trade – will be assisted by Simon Beck and Stuart Burt, fourth official Gary Beswick and additional assistant referees Craig Pawson and Anthony Taylor.
Sweden – still unbeaten in Euro 2016 qualifying after six games – could clinch their place at the tournament by beating both Russia and leaders Austria – whom they trail by four points – on Tuesday night in Solna.
While 2018 World Cup hosts Russia – under former CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutski who succeeded Fabio Capello last month – only lead Montenegro and Liechtenstein by three points.
Welsh whistler Simon Lee Evans will take charge of the Group C encounter between Luxembourg and Macedonia on Saturday (KO 19:45 BST).
The 39-year-old from Llanllechid – who has been a Fifa referee since 2007 – oversaw one World Cup 2010 qualifier and two Euro 2012 qualifiers.
This will be his third Euro 2016 qualifier after handling Finland’s 3-1 win over Faroe Islands in Group F a year ago and the goalless draw between Liechtenstein and Montenegro last October in Group G.
The Bangor-born official has been predominantly based in the Welsh Premier League since 2004 but has also built up European experience as a regular in the Uefa Europa League qualifying and group stages since becoming a Uefa Category One referee in 2010.
Evans – a keen hockey player and marathon runner – officiated the Welsh Cup final in 2008 and also speaks fluent English.