Mark Clattenburg will be in the middle on Saturday as Arsenal return from international duty with a trip to the Hawthorns.
The Premier League have named Clattenburg as the referee for the game against West Brom, where he will take charge of an Arsenal game for the first time this season.
He has been to West Brom once since the season began, awarding the Baggies a penalty and reducing Chelsea to 10 men after John Terry committed a professional foul. Clattenburg’s last Arsenal game was the 2-1 defeat of Crystal Palace back in February.
One of the better referees in the Premier League, he doesn’t allow players to get on top of him and doesn’t generally appear to be cracking under pressure. Even more importantly, he tries to let the game flow and can always be seen explaining his decisions. Though he rarely makes big calls, the 40-year-old doesn’t usually shy away from giving penalties or red cards when they should be given. That may well serve Arsenal well in a game against a Tony Pulis team.
In past fixtures, Clattenburg has given Arsenal the majority of the big decisions, so there’s no conspiracy talk like we have with Mike Dean. Taking charge of 32 Arsenal games, Clattenburg has seen the Gunners win 32 times and lose on just three occasions.
In those 32 games, Clattenburg has shown just three red cards (one to Arsenal, two to the opposition) and awarded Arsène Wenger’s side with nine penalties. Arsenal are yet to have a penalty given against them with the man from County Durham in the middle.
A good omen? Hopefully.