Craig Pawson has been appointed referee for Cardiff City’s first Premier League home game which will be against Newcastle United on Saturday 18th August at 12:30. Let’s take a look at what we can expect from this week’s Nini-man in the middle…

The last time Craig Pawson oversaw a Cardiff City match was the memorable 3-2 win for the bluebirds at Ashton Gate on the 14th January 2017. The game featured Anthony Pilkington’s vicious 25 yard belter, that beat Frank Fielding to seal the win.

That game also saw three yellow cards issued, including a rare yellow card for Peter Whittingham (if only he knew how to tackle). The Bluebirds actually trailed twice to goals from Joe Bryan and an overhead kick from Tammy Abraham (remember him), but a penalty from Pilks, an unexpected header from Kadeem Harris and that stunning strike saw the Bluebirds leave Ashton Gate with all three points.

Moving onwards, Pawson took charge of three Europa League and 24 Premier League matches in the 2017/18 season. See below for an overview of last season’s Premier League stats:

  • 24 games refereed
  • 81 yellow cards issued (an average of 3.37 yellows per game)
  • 2 red cards issued
  • 7 penalties awarded (including two in one match)

Pawson is an experienced referee who is more than capable of managing what should be a well-natured game between two sides that aren’t seen as natural rivals.

Whilst he is not seen as one of the referees most-likely to issue cards, it is well worth noting that his first game of the 2018/19 season was last week’s eventful match between Wolves and Everton.

Pawson sent Jagielka off in the 40th minute for a last-ditch, studs up challenge that on initial viewing seemed extremely harsh indeed. Everton manager Marco Silva suggested the decision had made a huge bearing on the match and Danny Gabbidon claimed Jagielka was “really unlucky”.

As is often the case, the slow-motion replay shown on Match of the Day did in fact indicate that the tackle was a poor one, so the red card was possibly justified. That does not however negate the fact that Neves took his equalising free-kick from a completely different place to the initial foul, thereby doubling Wolves’ advantage.

All in all, the Bluebirds and Toon Army could be in for a rocky ride come Saturday afternoon. Given Warnock and Benitez’s lack of warmth, don’t bet against a red on or off the pitch this Saturday afternoon.