Chris Kavanagh: The Man in the Middle

Stephen Killen
Read Time:2 Minute, 12 Second

Chris Kavanagh has been named the match official for the 238th Merseyside Derby on Saturday.

The reverse fixture in October was steeped in controversy with Richarlison receiving a red card, a season ending injury for Virgil van Dijk, an extended period on the sideline for Thiago Alcantara and a contentious offside Sadio Mane goal chalked off.

He will be hoping that the football on the pitch takes all the headlines and not the officiating on and/or off the pitch that steal the show.

So far this season, the Lancashire-born official has brandished 89 yellow cards, one red card and awarded 11 penalty kicks.

Record vs Everton

The 35-year-old has taken charge of 10 Everton matches in his refereeing career.

He was the man in the middle for the first time during their EFL win over Yeovil Town in 2016.

However, across all competitions, Kavanagh has yet to point to the spot when he has been the whistleblower.

Their 2-1 defeat at Turf Moor is the only fixture in which he has gave a player their marching orders. Then captain Ashley Williams was sent for an early shower during the defeat.

Record vs Liverpool

The Reds will hope they will pick up where they left off with Kavanagh in charge.

Their 3-0 win at Anfield over Leicester City was the last fixture he officiated.

His first Liverpool match came in 2018 as Jurgen Klopp’s side eased past Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth with three unanswered goals from the famous front three Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

Unlike their city rivals, a penalty has been awarded in a Reds fixture. In this instance, it went in their favour as James Milner thundered home from 12 yards in the 95th minute over the Foxes, an important win in Liverpool’s title winning season.

Embed from Getty Images

Possibly a good omen, Jurgen Klopp’s side have yet to be beaten in the Premier League when he has been the referee.

Season So Far: Chris Kavanagh

It will be his 22nd game of the season, his 15th Premier League game of the season.

His last game as a Premier League official will be two weeks ago tomorrow, that came in the Aston Villa’s 1-0 win over Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.

As the ‘Friendly Derby’ often see’s a selection of cards, can we expect a booking-filled clash?

Or could we see Chris Kavanagh show his first red card of the Premier League season?

We may see the first penalty awarded since the two awarded in Manchester United’s 2-3 win at the AMEX back in September.

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