The north London derby is on the horizon, and Michael Oliver has been appointed the referee.

Despite some fond memories with him in the middle, Arsenal have a poor recent record when Oliver is the man in charge of events. Premier League fixtures have not gone our way, though he did referee our 2014 FA Cup semi-final defeat of Wigan and the 2015 quarter-final win at Old Trafford, where he sent off Angel Di Maria.

Oliver also refereed Arsenal’s 2014 Community Shield win against Manchester City, so maybe he’s good for us in the very biggest games. In Premier League games, however, we have struggled.

There’s actually little doubt that he’s one of the best referees around now and our 0-0 draw against Liverpool in the only game with him this season was our own fault, a poor performance picked up the point it deserved. This weekend we need more.

Perhaps, then, this is a good omen:

Last season the Gunners didn’t lose with the now 31-year-old, drawing against Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea. Clearly against such strong opposition these are pretty good results.

We’ve never had any controversy go against us with the man from Northumberland in charge of affairs, and we can only hope the same can be said after Saturday’s match.