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