The officials for Sunday’s massive game between Liverpool and Manchester United have been named.
Michael Oliver is the on-field referee for Sunday’s clash at Anfield.
The 38-year-old will take charge of his 60th match involving Liverpool. The Reds have won 29 of those., losing 13 and drawing 17.
Oliver has officiated more for Liverpool than any other Premier League club in his career, with Arsenal, Everton (both 55), Manchester City (53) and Chelsea (51) trailing behind.
The Northumbrian official has been in charge of 44 United fixtures. The Red Devils have won 18 of those, suffering defeat on 15 occasions with 11 draws.
Sunday won’t be the first time that Oliver has been in the middle of a match involving the two North West clubs.
He held the whistle for Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford last season, as Erik ten Hag’s side stopped the rot following a poor start to the campaign.
Oliver was also in charge for draws between the teams in 2017 and 2019, plus a 3-1 defeat for the Reds in 2015, all of which came at United’s home ground.
He will be assisted on Sunday by Stuart Burt and Dan Cook. For Cook, it will be the first time he has been involved in a Liverpool game, as an assistant referee, since the controversy surrounding Luis Diaz’s disallowed goal against Tottenham Hotspur.
Darren England was on VAR that night with Cook assisting him as AVAR. As a result of their error, the pair were stood down from Premier League duties following the incident on September 30 before returning on October 17.
John Brooks will be at Stockley Park as the VAR official on Sunday, with Simon Long assisting him in the crucial decisions. Anthony Taylor is the fourth official.
Liverpool open talks with Ibrahima Konate over a new contract
According to reports emerging from France, Liverpool have initiated talks over a new contract for defender Ibrahima Konate.
The Frenchman, who is currently tied down until June 2026, joined Liverpool from German side RB Leipzig in the summer of 2021 for a reported fee of £36 million.
According to Le 10 Sport, talks are currently under way with the club’s management to explore the possibility of further extending his stay at Anfield.
The French outlet reports that because there is still plenty of time to run on his current deal, there is no “urgency” to renew, but the Reds would nonetheless like to address his situation in the coming weeks.
According to the report, it is hoped that an agreement over a new deal can be reached before the end of the current season.
The move to tie down the 24-year-old to a long-term deal serves as both recognition for the level shown by the French international since he joined and a measure to ward off potential suitors.
Konate was fervently sought after by Jurgen Klopp and gradually established himself as a first-choice starter at the heart of the Reds’ defence, alongside Virgil van Dijk.
Since joining the club, he has made 68 appearances, scoring three goals, and established himself as one of Europe’s most promising talents in his position. His form also earned him a call-up for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
This season, his involvement has been limited by a series of muscle injuries, and a combination of Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Jarell Quansah have deputised for him.
However, with Matip now expected to miss the remainder of the season – and continuing uncertainty over his contract situation – now is the time for Konate to step up and make the centre-back position his own again.
Thanks to his standout performances at Liverpool and his noteworthy displays for Didier Deschamps’ French national team, Konate has been linked to several top European clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain.
Konate, who is from Paris, recently addressed these rumours in an interview with Canal+:
“If I see myself at PSG? Well, saying no would be lying to you. But to say that I’m considering it as an objective at the moment, not at all.”
Reds fans will be hoping that this means an extension to his stay at Anfield is a mere formality.