Andre Marriner has been replaced by Craig Pawson as this afternoon’s official for Liverpool’s impending clash with Crystal Palace, as reported by the Echo.
The Reds need three points to put the pressure on fellow top four rivals Leicester City, with Jurgen Klopp’s men looking to end the season on a high by qualifying for the Champions League.
As the publication has noted, it’s an officiating switch that could bode very well in the club’s favour.
“Running the rule over four Reds matches this term, Klopp’s side lose the first on penalties to Arsenal in the Community Shield following a 1-1 draw before drawing 1-1 with relegated Fulham back in December,” Theo Squires wrote.
“He [Marriner] was also in charge for Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton back in January, with Jurgen Klopp critical of the official after the game.
“Next up was manning last month’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at Anfield as the Reds survived one late Magpies equaliser thanks to VAR only for Joe Willock to net deep into second half stoppage time to deny them the three points.
“In contrast, Liverpool have lost just one of the six games Pawson has taken charge of this season – their 3-2 FA Cup exit at the hands of Manchester United.
“In the Premier League, he oversaw the Reds’ 3-1 victory over Arsenal in September, 1-1 draw at Man City in November and their 4-0 home victory and 1-0 away win over Wolves.
“Meanwhile, he was also the man in the middle for their 4-1 FA Cup victory over Aston Villa in January.”
There’s certainly a temptation to scoff at the findings, however, in a season that has ultimately been defined by horrifically poor luck, we can use every positive omen that comes our way, particularly for a fixture of such magnitude as the meeting with Roy Hodgson’s men.
When it comes down to it, if we can’t overcome the London outfit at Anfield in front of 10,000 fans, we quite probably don’t deserve Champions League football next term.
It’s a nerve-wracking affair, leaving things to the last minute, though, if anyone’s up to the challenge, we’d imagine Jurgen Klopp and our lads in red will be.