Chris Kavanagh has been appointed referee for Arsenal’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Kavanagh has worked his way up from lower league football to the Premier League and is yet to be put in charge if a single Arsenal game.

The Manchester-born official, who’s been refereeing since he was just 13, has been in charge of 18 games this season, eight of which have been in the Premiership.

Edit – Another referee from up north you say? How unusual…

During that time, he’s dished out 61 yellow cards on total and only one red in League One.

Therefore, while he won’t stand for repetitive fouling, he’s unlikely to make match-changing decisions.

SWANSEA, WALES – JANUARY 17: Referee Chris Kavanagh reacts during the Emirates FA Cup third round replay between Swansea City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Liberty Stadium on January 17, 2018 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

This is the ‘biggest’ game Kavanagh has refereed. He’s been in charge of two Burnley games but hasn’t officiated a match involving a team in the top six.

While it’s hard to judge a referee when you’ve yet to see them officiate your side, the fact that he’s working his way up the ladder might be a good sign.

The standard of refereeing in the Premier League is so poor at the moment, if that means relegating some officials and promoting others, then so be it.

What’s more, there haven’t been any controversial, newsworthy incidents linked with his name. Unlike Mike Dean, for example.

Assistants: Peter Kirkup, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Andre Marriner

Arsenal v Palace kicks off on Saturday, 20 January at 3pm (UK time).