Arsenal: Michael Oliver errors may be fresh in the mind

Image for Arsenal: Michael Oliver errors may be fresh in the mind

Referee Michael Oliver will take charge of Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium this weekend, it has been announced.

The Gunners will be coming back into Premier League action off the back of a stunning home 3-1 north London derby victory over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, and will be hoping to keep that momentum going ahead of Sunday’s clash.

Mikel Arteta’s side have enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, winning seven out of their eight fixtures, placing them at the top of the Premier League table at the time of writing.

Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett will run the line with Andy Madley acting as fourth official, with Darren England and Eddie Smart acting as VAR and assistant VAR respectively.

What do the stats say?

Oliver has taken charge of 11 matches this season, across the Premier League, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League, and UEFA Nations League according to Transfermarkt, brandishing 39 yellow cards but issuing no dismissals at all so far this campaign.

The last time the Ashington-born referee took charge of a game involving Arsenal was in the side’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester United this season, when he controversially disallowed a Gabriel Martinelli goal after a VAR had adjudged there to be a foul in the initial phase of play, something which will concern Arteta’s side.

He also allegedly failed to send off Jonny Evans for his foul on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which was slammed by Keith Hackett.

And Arsenal will be extremely concerned by Oliver’s record, with the 37-year-old overseeing 27 wins for Liverpool in the 54 times he has refereed a game involving the Reds according to Transfermarkt, which is more than any other side he has whistled. 

Meanwhile, he has overseen 20 Gunners victories as well as 16 defeats, with the referee brandishing the north London side with five dismissals for various reasons over the years, according to the same stats provider.

Notably, the last two games officiated by Michael Oliver between Liverpool and Arsenal have seen the Gunners fail to win, with a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup and a 4-0 defeat in the Premier League.

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TIF Verdict…

If you are one to believe in previous incidents and results then the omens aren’t too positive, but of course it’s down to the players to grind out a result regardless of how the referee conducts himself. 

Arteta will be hoping that his side can stay disciplined to prevent any dismissals, whilst sparking a rare Liverpool defeat under the whistle of Oliver this time around.

The Gunners will be desperate to secure a better result than they did in the same fixture last season, after goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino secured a 2-0 victory for the Reds at the Emirates last season.

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