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Up the Clarets was four days old when Burnley beat Derby County 4-1 at Turf Moor on what proved to be a miserable night for our former captain Jason Shackell. That game, in which we were awarded two penalties, was the last time Michael Oliver refereed a game at the Turf but he’s back tomorrow for our game against Crystal Palace.

He refereed just one of our games last season. That was the 2-1 defeat at Watford and he made life very difficult for us when he sent off Jeff Hendrick just six minutes into the game. He got that big decision spot on in my view but the one decision I felt he did get wrong, certainly in light of what happened at Bournemouth two weeks ago, was one that should have evened it up at 10 v 10 just before half time.

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He opted to take no action against M’Baye Niang when he gave the home side a 2-0 lead and promptly made his way into the crowd and this after he’d already been yellow carded. But that is nit picking. Rules are rules, I know, but they are decision we don’t actually want to see officials making.

He’s rated as one of our best referees now and with some justification. I always felt in his early days that he got too many of the big decisions wrong, and I include the red card he gave Michael Duff in a 2009 home defeat against Swansea in that category, but he’s just got better and better as he’s become more experienced and yet he’s still just aged just 32.

Tomorrow will be his eleventh Burnley game. I always remember him having an outstanding game on the first occasion he refereed us but then having some difficult games, particularly Swansea and the home win against Blackpool in 2011. But the good is certainly outweighing the bad now and he’s certainly one referee you have no real concerns over when he’s refereeing your club.

It will be just his third game of the season with the other two having come in the Premier League. Those two games have brought a total of five yellow cards. Manchester City had both Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling carded in their 2-0 win at Brighton and in his second game there were three yellow cards as Manchester United beat Leicester 2-0 at Old Trafford; they were United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Leicester pair Kasper Schmeichel and Matty James.

Michael Oliver is currently 6th of the select group in RATE THE REF with a rating of 73.42 out of 100.

The assistant referees are Simon Bennett (Staffordshire) and Stuart Burt (Northamptonshire). The fourth official is Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire) who refereed our opening day of the season game at Chelsea.

Previous Burnley Games – Michael Oliver

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2007/08Scunthorpeh2-020
2008/09Plymouthh0-021Y: Eagles R: Eagles
2008/09Swanseah0-221Y: Elliott R: Duff
2011/12Blackpoolh3-120
2012/13Blackpoolh1-040Y: Mee, Paterson
2013/14Blackpoola1-050Y: Marney, Jones, Duff
2014/15Chelseah1-320Y: Sordell
2014/15Stokeh0-030Y: Boyd
2015/16Derbyh4-120
2016/17Watforda1-251R: Hendrick
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