Newcastle United and Manchester City fans won’t be happy with key appointment for Liverpool game

Newcastle have won their last six games at St James’s Park and currently sit ninth in the table having managed to emerge from relegation problems.

The Magpies can afford to relax a bit, but this is a must game for title-chasing Liverpool as they are just one point behind leaders Manchester City with five games remaining.

A Reds win over Tyneside would see them top the table, but potentially only for a few hours with Man City facing Leeds later today.

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Referee Mike Dean looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion at Etihad Stadium on April 20, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Andre Marriner was appointed referee for the match along with assistants Simon Long, Scott Ledger and fourth official Andy Madley. But it is the appointment of the video assistant referee that could cause a stir among Newcastle and Manchester City fans in particular.

Merseyside-based official Mike Dean will be the VAR and check every decision on the pitch with the power to step in at key moments from Stockley Park.

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Dean’s decisions were criticized by Newcastle fans and Eddie Howe for his display when the teams last met at Anfield in December. Dean refrained from stopping play in preparation for a Liverpool goal despite Isaac Hayden being down with a head injury.

The referee also denied a penalty shout after Ryan Fraser was knocked down in the penalty area by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

And now that he’s on the other side of the monitor this weekend, it will be interesting to see if VAR has any major influence on this weekend’s game.

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