The referee for the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates on 6 January has been announced and it is the official Arsenal have had more than any other this season.
Michael Oliver will be the referee for Arsenal’s semi-final on Thursday night against Liverpool.
He will be assisted on VAR by Darren England.
While we haven’t been paying much attention to the officials appointed in the Carabao Cup this season, in the Premier League, Michael Oliver has been involved in seven Arsenal matches already this season (referee four times, VAR three).
The games he refereed were: Arsenal’s defeat at Brentford, Arsenal’s win at Norwich in September, their win at Leicester and their 4-0 defeat at Anfield – the only Liverpool game he’s taken charge of this season.
Darren England has been on VAR for Arsenal twice already.
In total, there are 24 Premier League refs in play this season and Arsenal have seen 12 of them take charge of their league games, although Michael Oliver has been handed four matches, twice as many as the next refs on the list with two: Stuart Attwell, Mike Dean, Martin Atkinson, Anthony Taylor, and Craig Pawson.
In charge of VAR, Michael Oliver is second on Arsenal’s list, with three appearances, but Chris Kavanagh leads the way with four.
Jarred Gillett, the VAR official most Arsenal fans know and loathe, has been in charge of messing up watching the TV three times.
Stuart Attwell, Darren England, and Peter Bankes have done it twice.
Mike Dean, Andre Marriner, Lee Mason, and Dean Whitestone have been on VAR once.
John Brooks, David Coote, Tony Harrington, Simon Hooper, Robert Jones, Andy Madley, and Michael Salisbury have played no role as either referee or VAR for an Arsenal game in the Premier League so far this season.
Arsenal vs Liverpool officials
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett
Fourth Official: Simon Hooper
VAR: Darren England
AVAR: Tim Wood