The main talking point in the build-up to Newcastle United’s Premier League match against Liverpool is Rafael Benitez’s association with this weekend’s opponents.
The Spaniard spent six years as the manager at Anfield, winning the Champions League and FA Cup in that time.
Benitez remains highly regarded by Liverpool fans, particularly as his family still live in the Merseyside area.
The 57-year-old will have to wait for a return to Anfield as Newcastle do not travel to the North-West city in the Premier League until March 3.
The Magpies will host the Reds at St James’ Park on Sunday and it has now been confirmed that Craig Pawson will referee the contest.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 27, 2017
The reaction to this news from the Newcastle following has not been positive, with many fearing that the game has been made even tougher.
Pawson has already officiated a match involving the Magpies this season, and it did not end well for Benitez and his men as they lost 1-0 to Huddersfield Town on away turf.
During the game, the referee issued seven yellow cards – three to Huddersfield and four to Newcastle.
— GallowgateShots (@GallowgateShots) September 27, 2017
@PLSpokesman please don’t give us this football murderer. He is by far the WORST ref this season
— AJS 🇬🇧 (@AlanStewart_NE) September 27, 2017
Wonder what fouls he won't see committed against us. pic.twitter.com/kVcXLFuQt0
— Toon Army Houston (@football79) September 27, 2017
— Carol Lawson. (@carolannelawso1) September 27, 2017
No!! Just No! pic.twitter.com/obzwA5Xw4v
— Jay Scott (@f1Jay10) September 27, 2017
— NUFC_Unoffical (@NUFCUNE14ST) September 27, 2017
— Kerri Slade Williams (@KerriSlade) September 27, 2017
There goes the penalty to lfc, and the mystery yellow cards to merino and lascelles
— Roberto Tapia (@rtapiagallery) September 27, 2017