The man in the middle will be a key figure in Birmingham City's match at Arsenal on Saturday.
Referee Martin Atkinson takes charge of Blues for the first time since his controversial handling of the derby match at Aston Villa last season.
Atkinson awarded Villa a penalty for Roger Johnson’s tackle on Gabriel Agbonlahor, which was duly stuck away by James Milner for what was the deciding goal.
Blues were furious at the time and afterwards as well. Johnson said Atkinson was a ‘disgrace’ and that the Villa Park match was too big for him.
Even Alex McLeish marched on to the field at the final whistle to remonstrate with Atkinson.
Johnson was fined £7,500 for his outspoken comments and warned as to his future conduct.
Blues were also hit with a £10,000 sting by the FA for their players’ behaviour.
Since then, Johnson has spoken of his determination to bite his lip and not get involved with referees in such a manner.
But there is sure to be some festering resentment from the Blues contingent.
Atkinson, who was the fourth official at Blues’ game against Blackburn Rovers this season, is also likely to get a less than welcoming reception from the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger was hit with an £8,000 fine and one-match touchline ban for shoving Atkinson at Sunderland.
Atkinson was the fourth official at the Stadium of Light as Wenger lost his cool.
As far as McLeish’s team goes, he will be without the suspended Craig Gardner and injured James McFadden.
Jean Beausejour is also set to be absent because of a knee problem that has required rest and rehabilitation.
Garry O’Connor’s loan to Barnsley has ended and he could be back in the squad for the Emirates trip.
Arsenal, by contrast, are expected to have Cesc Fabregas, Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott available again.