Man Utd Given Upper Hand Ahead of Liverpool Clash as Reds' Unlucky Charm Appointed Ref

Manchester United could have been guaranteed three points this weekend after Martin Atkinson, a FIFA qualified referee since 2006, was named as the head official for their trip to Anfield this weekend, according to the Sun.

The 46-year-old referee has a reputation, especially in games against the Red Devils, of being a bad omen for Liverpool. 

The Bradford-born official has taken charge of three meeting between the two clubs, his most recent of which involved sending off Steven Gerrard for a stamp on Ander Hererra, the Liverpool legend entering the field of play just 38 seconds earlier.

Two goals from Juan Mata piled misery onto Liverpool, and United ran out 2-1 victors. Atkinson also took charge of the reverse fixture that season, this time the Red Devils hitting three past Brendan Rodgers’ side without reply.

The ref’s first game in charge of a Liverpool and Manchester United clash came back in 2007.

Despite a late Paul Scholes red card at Anfield, John O’Shea, who was a second-half substitute for Wayne Rooney, scored in the dying seconds of the game to send United home with all three points.

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Liverpool have also been dealt a hefty blow in the build-up to the game, with star forward Sadio Mané out injured.

Despite only just returning from a domestic suspension, following his nasty collision with Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson, Mané has now been ruled out for six weeks after picking up an injury whilst on international duty.


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