The Premier League have dealt Steve Bruce a worrying piece of news, after they announced that Andre Marriner will officiate Newcastle United’s trip to Liverpool on Saturday for their televised encounter with the current league leaders.
Liverpool go into the weekend encounter as the only side to have won each of their opening four Premier League games, in which they have also scored the second-most goals of any side, while Newcastle have taken four of a possible twelve points.
Marriner has so far officiated three top-flight encounters this season, after the Birmingham-born referee oversaw Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 0-0 draw in the opening weekend, before holding the whistle as Liverpool beat Southampton and during Manchester City’s win at Bournemouth.
From those encounters, the 48-year-old has called the third-least fouls per game and the 12th-most fouls per tackle of the 17 officials called on by the Premier League thus far, according to data collected by WhoScored.
Marriner has been keener than some to brandish a yellow card, however, as the West Midlands resident has issued three per game on average – treble that of Chris Kavanagh, the official to have issued the least cautions after refereeing three top-flight fixtures.
Marriner, who first officiated in the Premier League during the 2004/05 season, has also shown a tendency to caution the away side more than the home team this term by a ratio of 2:1.
Assistants Scott Ledger, Simon Long and fourth official Andy Madley will join Marriner at Anfield, while Mike Dean will be in charge of the VAR with Dan Robathan his assistant.
Marriner’s appointment as the referee for Newcastle’s trip to Anfield will spell bad news to Bruce, as Newcastle have lost their last four games with the 48-year-old in the middle (TransferMarkt).
Liverpool, on the other hand, head into the Magpies encounter having last lost a game with Marriner in charge back in October 2017 when Tottenham Hotspur beat them 4-1. Since then, the Reds have played eight, and won five while scoring 17.
One of the Merseyside outfit’s triumphs with Marriner in possession of the whistle also came against Newcastle last season, when Divock Origi struck an 86th-minute winner for Jurgen Klopp’s men at St. James’ Park in May.
Newcastle held Liverpool to a two-all draw the last time the two sides met at Anfield with Marriner in charge, however, although that fixture came in April 2016.
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