Paul Tierney, who has clashed with Jurgen Klopp in the past, has been selected to referee Liverpool’s game against Manchester United on Sunday.
The game is one of the biggest encounters between the former rivals in several years and could have major implications for the Premier League title race. Liverpool are currently first, but United will start the game in front if they avoid defeat in their match against Burnley on Tuesday.
The Reds are in bad shape by their own high standards, failing to register a win in each of their last three league games. The absences of starting center-back Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez may be starting to take their toll, but only scoring twice in their last three games is worrying.
As if Liverpool need more bad omens they also have a history with Sunday referee Tierney. In July, the 40-year-old took charge of the Reds’ meeting with Aston Villa and clashed with Klopp.
The German objected to Tierney failing to spot a foul on Georginio Wijnaldum, leading to a verbal altercation midway through a game Liverpool would end up winning 2-0.
According to the Echo, the official responded to Klopp’s criticism by saying, “I missed it Jurgen. I am like players, I will make mistakes. I missed it. Get well. ”
Sunday won’t be the first time Tierney takes charge of a Liverpool game this season. He was also the man in the middle when they faced Chelsea – when he fired Andreas Christensen for an ill-chosen challenge over Sadio Mane – and Newcastle.
The Reds won’t have to wait long to reconnect with United after this weekend as the duo were drawn against each other in the FA Cup fourth round on Monday.