MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 16, 2023: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott (L) is shown a yellow card by referee Michael Oliver after celebrating with supporters after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Referee confirmed for Liverpool vs. Man United as controversial Diaz VAR returns

Michael Oliver will referee Liverpool vs. Man United in the Premier League, but there is more intrigue on the touchline as a controversial figure returns.

Liverpool host Man United in a 4.30pm kickoff on Sunday, looking to maintain their place at the top of the table and make it nine games unbeaten against them at Anfield.

While Erik ten Hag’s side are enduring another difficult campaign, it still stands to be a tough test for the Reds – and one of the most-watched fixtures of the season.

It is no surprise, then, that Oliver has been appointed referee for the clash.

The Premier League have confirmed that Oliver will be supported by Anthony Taylor as fourth official, while John Brooks is VAR and Simon Long his assistant.

Assistant referees for the tie are Stuart Burt and Dan Cook, the latter involved in his first Liverpool game since his role in disallowing Luis Diaz‘s goal against Tottenham.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Assistant referee Dan Cook during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Cook – not to be confused with his namesake, who is also an assistant referee but typically operates in the Football League – was assistant to Darren England on VAR in the 2-1 loss back in September.

Both England and Cook failed to communicate their decision effectively, which saw a legitimate goal ruled out in an unprecedented error for VAR.

The pair were stood down from duty immediately afterwards, though have since been reintegrated and, as of Sunday, Cook will be part of a team officiating Liverpool again.

In fact, three of the six officials for Liverpool vs. Man United were on duty that day in north London.

Oliver was fourth official, and Long was the linesman who prompted the confusion over whether Diaz’s goal should have stood or was offside.

Liverpool have history with both Taylor and Brooks, too, not least the latter for his role in sending Virgil van Dijk off in the 2-1 win at Newcastle in August.

In 59 games refereeing Liverpool – the most he has refereed any club – Oliver has seen the Reds win 29, draw 17 and lose 13, awarding them 15 penalties.

The only Liverpool player he has sent off is Fabio Borini, who was dismissed for two bookable offences in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal in 2014.