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When Michael Oliver blows his whistle to start tonight’s game we can only hope that his current Turf Moor run of six consecutive away wins, that kicked off with tonight’s opponents Tottenham Hotspur beating us 3-0 in December 2017, will be coming to an end.

He got things wrong in my view that day. Rather than winning a penalty that led to Harry Kane giving Spurs the lead, he should have been showing Dele Alli a second yellow card for simulation. I don’t think we can point too many fingers at him though for the subsequent five home defeats.

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Overall, our recent run with him as referee has not been good and we have to go back to the day that Nick Pope came on for Tom Heaton to make a Premier League debut for our most recent victory with Oliver refereeing, that a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace courtesy of a first home goal for Chris Wood.

Oliver has refereed nine games to date this season. Four of them have been in the Nations and Champions Leagues with the other five in the Premier League. In those five games he’s shown thirteen yellow cards and one red card.

Seven of those yellow cards have gone the way of the home teams with six to the away teams while the one red card was a home team player. That red card came in his most recent domestic game when he dismissed Everton’s Richarlison at the end of the Merseyside derby against Liverpool.

I don’t think anyone will question that red card although there has been much debate as to whether Jordan Pickford should have been red carded for the incident that saw Virgil van Dijk suffer a likely season ending injury. I think the error there really was David Coote who was on VAR duty and no matter what PGMOL would like to tell us, it is clear that Coote just didn’t check it.

On the subject of VAR officials, it’s Craig Pawson tonight while Kevin Friend is again the fourth official having carried out those duties a week ago at West Brom. Pawson’s last Burnley game was some time ago. It came at Wolves in August of last year when he awarded them a stoppage time penalty, a decision that I still find it very difficult to agree with. Friend’s last Burnley game in the middle was the 2-0 win at Norwich in the penultimate game of last season, indeed still our most recent Premier League victory.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt & Simon Bennett
Fourth Official: Kevin Friend
VAR: Craig Pawson
AVAR: Adam Nunn

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
2017/18Crystal Palaceh1-020Y: Brady
2017/18Tottenhamh0-330Y: Defour
2017/18Crystal Palacea0-130Y: Defour, Bardsley, Taylor
2018/19Evertonh1-560Y: Lowton, Gibson
2018/19Watforda0-030Y: Mee, Bardsley
2018/19Leicesterh1-221Y: Bardsley
2019/20Brightona1-120Y: Lennon, Westwood
2019/20Chelseah2-450Y: Hendrick, Pieters, Brady
2019/20Aston Villah1-220Y: Tarkowski
2019/20Norwichh1-240Y: Long
2019/20West Hama1-020Y: Tarkowski
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