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Sheffield referee Craig Pawson will blow the whistle that kicks off Burnley’s 2017/18 Premier League season against Chelsea tomorrow at Stamford Bridge.

Given his two performances at Turf Moor last season, the very mention of his name causes concerns with Burnley supporters. After a poor game, it was Pawson who allowed Arsenal’s stoppage time winner from Laurent Koschelny when it should have been ruled out for both handball and offside but he surpassed that on Boxing Day with an eleven yellow card performance when we beat Middlesbrough 1-0.

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At Liverpool, his last Burnley game, he was decent enough, but those two earlier in the season were reminiscent of some of his earlier Burnley games and his performances in the first three of them, against Burton, Brighton and Millwall were all questionable.

He is an established Premier League referee now since getting his first top flight game top flight game in March 2013, a fixture between Swansea and Newcastle at the Liberty Stadium and only occasionally did he drop into the Football League last season.

It was a season in which he refereed 33 domestic games which saw 130 yellow and just five red cards. Of those yellows, 50 went to home team players and 69 to away team players with a further four in the Community Shield game between Leicester and Manchester United and seven in Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final win against Manchester City. The last of his red cards, the only one since he last refereed us, was Seb Larsson in Sunderland’s 3-0 home defeat against Manchester United in April this year.

Craig Pawson ended last season in 14th place in RATE THE REF with a rating of 61.77 out of 100. Hopefully tomorrow he will not give us one of his controversial performances.

The assistant referees are Richard West (East Riding) and Constantine Hatzidakis (Kent). The fourth official is Lee Mason (Bolton) who last refereed us at Manchester City in our first game of 2017.

Previous Burnley Games – Craig Pawson

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2011/12Burtonh6-340Y: Grant, Elliott
2011/12Brightona1-032Y: Edgar, Paterson
2012/13Millwallh2-280Y: Marney, Mee, Wallace, Vokes
2013/14Blackburnh1-141Y: Marney, Duff, Mee
2014/15Swanseaa0-130Y: Duff
2014/15Arsenala0-310Y: Boyd
2014/15Tottenhama2-430Y: Keane, Arfield
2015/16Brightona2-210
2016/17Arsenalh0-100
2016/17Middlesbroughh1-0110Y: Boyd, Mee, Flanagan, Ward, Gray, Hendrick
2016/17Liverpoola1-240Y: Mee, Barton
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