Liverpool kick off their Premier League season with a trip to Stamford Bridge this weekend looking for a fast start having fallen out of the Champions League places last season for the first time since 2016.
Anthony Taylor is the man in charge of proceedings on Sunday afternoon, a choice which is unlikely to be warmly received by Chelsea fans.
Taylor was the referee for the explosive encounter between Chelsea and Tottenham at the beginning of last season, where Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte were both awarded red cards for their heated argument in the dugout.
Both managers have since moved on to new clubs but the controversy from that day sits in the memory of Chelsea supporters, who were incensed by Taylor’s decision to award Harry Kane’s last-gasp equaliser despite what looked to be a foul on Marc Cucurella.
Spurs’ also drew level earlier in the 2-2 draw, when Taylor failed to award Chelsea a free-kick in the build-up much to the disbelief of the players and Tuchel.
The Liverpool boss has had his own run-ins with Sunday’s man in the middle, having been sent off by Taylor during the 1-0 win over Man City back in October.
Klopp revealed he had a “completely calm discussion” with Taylor after the manager’s remonstration with linesman Gary Beswick saw him dismissed to the stands during one of Liverpool’s better performances of 2022/23.
Beswick himself will also be involved this weekend as he takes his place on the touchline once again for the Stamford Bridge showdown.
Chelsea vs. Liverpool officials
- Referee: Anthony Taylor
- Assistants: Gary Beswick & Adam Nunn
- Fourth official: David Coote
- VAR: Darren England
- Assistant VAR: Simon Bennett
Liverpool will be hoping for a big opening-day performance having dropped points in their first three fixtures of the 2022/23 campaign.
Chelsea represent one of the tougher first-weekend tests the Reds have faced in recent years, but the Blues themselves will be hoping to bounce back after falling into the bottom half for the first time since 1996.
Let’s hope it is the players on the pitch, rather than the referees, who are grabbing all the headlines on Sunday afternoon!