Alan Muir to referee Hearts v Celtic

Experienced referee Alan Muir will take charge of Celtic’s televised Scottish Premiership match with Hearts at Tynecastle in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Alan Muir - Aberdeen v Celtic (Sun 9th Nov 2014)
In the middle: Muir will take charge of his 12th Premiership match of the season in Gorgie this weekend (Picture from Sky Sports)

ALAN Muir will take charge of Celtic’s Scottish Premiership encounter with Hearts on Saturday.

The 40-year-old will be in the middle when the leaders visit the third-placed Jambos for the lunchtime kick-off at Tynecastle (12:30 BST, live on Sky Sports).

He will be assisted by Stuart Stevenson and Stephen Mitchell, while the fourth official is Andrew Dallas.

Muir has handled 32 games in all competitions so far this season – issuing 95 yellow cards, sending off five players and awarding seven penalties.

Alan Muir stats 2015-16 so far
Statistics: How Alan Muir’s season has panned out so far (Picture from Transfermarkt.com)

The Edinburgh whistler – who is a stock controller by trade – will oversee his third Celtic match of the campaign after their 1-0 away wins at Motherwell, in October, and Kilmarnock, as recently as March 19.

His first ever game involving the Hoops was a 1-1 draw at home to Falkirk in January 2010, in which he gave three yellow cards.

Overall, Muir has handled 20 Celtic matches – brandishing 60 bookings in total, five penalties (all to Celtic) and four red cards (two for Celtic).

He most notably took control of their 9-0 demolition of Aberdeen at Celtic Park in November 2010 when he awarded Celtic three penalties and sent off a player from each side.

Muir was also in the middle for the Hoops’ 6-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in April 2012, which sealed a first title in four years for the Glasgow giants in manager Neil Lennon’s second full season in charge.

The former Fifa official will take charge of his fifth Hearts game of 2015-16, a fourth in the league and makes a fourth trip to Tynecastle.

He has handled 16 matches involving the Jambos to date – dishing out 25 yellows and four reds to Hearts players, including Blazej Augustyn in their 2-0 win over Ross County in October.

Muir – who has been a referee since April 1992 – was first admitted to the Scottish FA list in June 1999 before being promoted to Category One status five years later.

He has been on the SPL list since the start of the 2008-09 campaign and was a Uefa Category One official between 2009 and 2011.

Muir has previously overseen one other match between Celtic and Hearts on the final day of the 2011-12 season, awarding the Hoops a penalty in their 5-0 win at Parkhead.

Alan Muir stood behind the goal
Unseen: Muir did not spot that Inverness defender Meekings had stopped Leigh Griffiths’ header on the line with his arm (Picture from Sky Sports)

He will be remembered by Celtic fans as the man behind the goal who failed to spot a Josh Meekings handball in their controversial Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Inverness at Hampden Park last season.

Muir also fulfilled the same role for Celtic’s Scottish Cup exit to Old Firm rivals Rangers at the same stage on penalties earlier this month.

His most memorable moment of his 24-year officiating career was as an additional assistant for the 2011 Champions League quarter-final between Barcelona and Shakhtar Donetsk at the Nou Camp.

Ronny Deila’s champions-elect Celtic are four points away from securing a fifth successive title with four games remaining as they chase their third win over Hearts this season in league and cup.

The Jambos are eight points behind second-placed Aberdeen but have failed to score in their last two games, including last weekend’s 1-o defeat at Motherwell after which head coach Robbie Neilson apologised for his team’s display.

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