Ref in focus: Liverpool have every reason to be confident after Atkinson appointment

Liverpool take on Tottenham Hotspur today as the Premier League gets back underway after the international break.

Martin Atkinson will be the man in the middle as the two sides collide at Anfield in what promises to be an end-to-end encounter.

Last season, Spurs snatched a 2-2 draw at the death after Virgil van Dijk fouled Erik Lamela in the box, allowing Harry Kane to score from the penalty spot deep into injury time.

Liverpool, though, will be boosted by the appointment of Atkinson given his record in charge of their previous fixtures.

Indeed, per Transfermarkt, Atkinson has refereed more Liverpool games than any other club (58 in total) and the Reds have won 25 of those, drawing 18 and losing just 15.

In 2018-19, Jurgen Klopp’s side have drawn three of the games in which Atkinson has been referee – against Everton, Leicester City and Manchester City – but they did beat Manchester United 3-1.

Amazingly, the last time Atkinson oversaw a Liverpool defeat in the Premier League was more than four years ago, when they beaten 2-1 by Manchester United on 22nd March 2015. He has refereed Liverpool 14 times in the league since then.

He was also in the middle when they lost the EFL Cup semi-final second leg to Southampton in 2017 – the last time he refereed a Liverpool loss.

Atkinson has been in charge of a game between the Reds and Spurs before; Tottenham won 2-1 in 2010, thanks to a Martin Skrtel own goal and an injury-time Aaron Lennon strike.

This season, Atkinson has employed a rather cautious way of refereeing.

Per WhoScored, he has whistled for 22 fouls per game and has shown 0.22 yellow cards, on average, across 90 minutes.

Klopp and his men defeated Spurs 2-1 at Wembley earlier this season and they will be confident of repeating that feat this time around, particularly with Atkinson in the middle.

Article title: Ref in focus: Liverpool have every reason to be confident after Atkinson appointment

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