Referee Mike Dean has been selected to take charge of Everton vs Liverpool in the Premier League next Monday.
The Wirral-based official has not refereed either side in over a decade and was removed from FA Cup final duty in 2006 because the Football Association feared his local links to Liverpool, who faced West Ham United at Wembley, could pile undue pressure onto Dean’s shoulders.
Throughout his entire career, 48-year-old Dean has only refereed one Liverpool match – a 2-1 first-leg defeat to Sheffield United in a 2003 League Cup semi-final.
Meanwhile, Dean has refereed Everton twice – a defeat at Manchester United 13 years ago and a draw with Wigan in 2006 when the Toffees finished with 10 men because of a red card shown to Duncan Ferguson.
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Next week’s Merseyside Derby will likely be a feisty encounter, so Dean’s card list is expected to lengthen.
So far this season, Dean has shown 63 yellow cards and three reds in 14 matches.