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Atkinson to referee United's Tottenham trip

The match officials for Newcastle United’s return to Premier League action at Tottenham Hotspur have been confirmed, with Martin Atkinson set to referee Sunday's game (4:30pm kick-off).

United face Antonio Conte's men at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hoping for a return to form after back-to-back defeats just before the international break, and Atkinson has been tasked with keeping order in North London.

The 50-year-old is one of the English game's most experienced officials, having received his first appointment in the professional game in 1998. He was promoted to the Football League that year before becoming a Premier League assistant referee two years later, and a top flight referee by the end of the 2004/05 campaign.

Since then, Atkinson – who was on FIFA’s list of international referees between 2006 and 2018 – has been a Premier League regular, and so far this season the Drighlington-born whistler has overseen 21 fixtures in the top division, FA Cup and Carabao Cup. He has issued a total of 54 yellow cards and three reds in those games.

Sunday will be the fourth Newcastle match Atkinson has refereed in 2021/22. He was in charge for the opening-day defeat to West Ham and December's loss to Manchester City, while United beat Brighton on his third visit to St. James' Park earlier this month.

Lee Betts and Simon Long have been confirmed as Atkinson's assistants against Spurs, with Graham Scott named as fourth official.

Paul Tierney will fill the role of VAR this weekend, and will be assisted by Sian Massey-Ellis.

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