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Match officials confirmed for Leeds trip

Chris Kavanagh has been confirmed as the referee for Newcastle United's crucial Premier League clash against Leeds United on Saturday afternoon (3pm kick-off).

The Magpies head to Elland Road hoping for a first win of 2022 and Kavanagh – who took charge of just two Newcastle fixtures last season – has been tasked with keeping order in Yorkshire.

It will be the first time the 36-year-old has overseen a United match this term, with his last appointment involving the club coming in the 2-0 win at Fulham on the final day of 2020/21.

Kavanagh's rise through the refereeing ranks has been impressive and swift, given he only began officiating in the EFL in 2014. He has been a top flight official since 2017, though, and in 2019 he was named on FIFA's list of international referees.

He has been a Premier League regular again this term with Kavanagh – who refereed Brentford's win over Swansea City in last year's Championship play-off final – overseeing a total of 16 games to date across all competitions, which also include the Champions League, Europa Conference League, the Championship and Carabao Cup.

In those matches, the Ashton-under-Lyne-born official has dished out 61 yellow cards and just two reds – one to Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa in their 4-1 defeat to West Ham, and one to Everton's Mason Holgate in their goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

Kavanagh will be assisted by Dan Cook and Harry Lennard at Elland Road, with David Coote named as the fourth official.

Kevin Friend will be the VAR, while Eddie Smart will assist him.

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