Michael Oliver – Derby Ref (Advantage to Manchester….?)

Michael Oliver is once again the allocated referee during a season defining match for Man Utd. He’s had some big calls before that have affected games: Herrera’s bizarre red card against Chelsea, Everton’s last minute penalty and a red card for Chris Smalling, against (you guessed it) Man City!

Man Utd seem to have dropped a lot of points whilst Mr Oliver has been officiating, but then so have City; remember the famous 4-2 loss away to Leicester? Having said all that, who actually has the ‘advantage’ with Oliver in charge? I’ll be looking at overall results, goals for and against, penalties and cards.

Let’s start with the overall results with total goals for and against both teams in the last 10 matches when Oliver has taken charge (in all competitions):
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Man Utd and Man City have both lost three games and conceded 11 goals each from the last 10 matches Oliver was the referee. The matches lost for Man Utd were against Chelsea in the FA cup, Watford and Norwich in the league. For Man City, they recorded losses against Leicester, Crystal Palace and Manchester United.

Man City have won more matches and scored significantly more. However, there’s not a huge amount of difference between the two. Based solely on results you’d have to edge advantage towards Man City; but Man Utd have beaten fierce rivals Man City in the same period.

Next we’ll look at penalties for and against and disciplinary points for and against the two teams:
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Before we start, the disciplinary points are calculated from:
4pts for a yellow card.
10pts for a red card (two yellows).
12pts for a straight red.

From the same period of matches, Man Utd have suffered more disciplinary action and had less disciplinary action given against their opponents. Man City have benefited more from Michael Oliver’s card distribution; receiving less and their opponents being punished more than those against Man Utd.

In terms of penalties, Man Utd have been awarded half the number of penalties and conceded three times as many. Therefore, you’d have to say Man City are more likely to have decisions in their favour in terms of the big decisions like penalties and red cards, based on recent history.

Lastly the Manchester Derby results that Michael Oliver has officiated:
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Michael Oliver has refereed three Manchester Derbies during his career, and at the moment it’s 2-1 to Man City in terms of results. Man Utd also received a red card in the 2014/15 season in the derby but no penalties given to either team in any of the matches.

All things considered; results, head to heads, goals, penalties and bookings, you’d have to say that Man City has had more rub of the green with Michael Oliver in charge and should be the happier of the two teams with this appointment. However, with Man City having so much luck already this season, surely their luck is to run out soon. Could it be during this weekend’s match of the Goliath’s?

One thing’s for sure. Whenever Man Utd fan’s see Oliver’s name as the official in charge they shiver inside, especially a match as important as this weekend.

Is there an advantage/ disadvantage to having certain referee’s? Have your say below!

Jason Bowditch

Supported United since the days of the yellow and green Sharp Jersey! Looking forward to Jose taking us back to the glory days of old. We’re stepping in the right direction. Exciting times!
Come on the lads!

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