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Burnley’s game tomorrow against Watford at Vicarage Road will be refereed by Michael Oliver in what will be his first Burnley game this season although it will be the fourth time he’s refereed Watford having previously been in charge of their home games against Manchester United and Tottenham and their away fixture at Liverpool.

Oliver is the first referee I wrote about following the launch of Up the Clarets when he was referee for our 4-1 home win against Derby last season and my articles about this particular referee have changed significantly since he first refereed Burnley in January 2008.

He had a decent game on that occasion but there were some poor ones to follow, certainly the next three, but he is undoubtedly a referee who has improved considerably since he was first pushed under the Premier League spotlight at the age of 25, becoming the youngest ever Premier League referee.

I was often critical of him and saw him too often get the big decisions wrong, but now, at the age of 31, he’s become one of our top official and it’s certainly not bad news when he’s appointed to a Burnley game.

I’d say the home game against Swansea was probably his worst performance, but that’s now eight years ago. He’s since had some very good games and that definitely applies to his last Burnley game, that Derby win, when he spotted the two clear penalties.

You don’t see him refereeing below the Premier League very often now and we have featured in both of his last two Football League games. The first of them was the 1-0 win at Blackpool that left us on the brink of promotion in 2014 and then the Derby game. That Blackpool game is the only time he’s refereed us away from Turf Moor although that total will double tomorrow.

This season he’s refereed 21 games in English football in which he’s shown 64 yellow card and just the one red card. Of those yellows, 31 have gone to home team players and 33 to away team players. The only player he’s sent off is Bournemouth’s Simon Francis in their 3-3 home draw against Arsenal last month.

HIs last game was the FA Cup tie between Chelsea and Brentford. Chelsea won the game 4-0 but it was level on yellow cards with one for each team, Chelsea’s Nathaniel Chalobah and Maxime Colin of Brentford.

Michael Oliver is currently fifth in RATE THE REF with a rating of 72.81 out of 100. There are no guarantees, but he’s certainly a referee you are now confident has every chance of having a good game.

The assistant referees are Marc Perry (West Midlands) and Mick McDonough (Northumberland). The fourth official is Football League referee Andy Davies (Hampshire) who is still to referee a Burnley game.

Previous Burnley Games – Michael Oliver

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2008/09Plymouthh0-021Y: Eagles R: Eagles
2008/09Swanseah0-221Y: Elliott R: Duff
2012/13Blackpoolh1-040Y: Mee, Paterson
2013/14Blackpoola1-050Y: Marney, Jones, Duff
2014/15Chelseah1-320Y: Sordell
2014/15Stokeh0-030Y: Boyd
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