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Referee revealed for Southampton clash

Written by Tom Easterby

Kevin Friend has been confirmed as the referee for Newcastle United’s Premier League fixture at Southampton on Sunday.

It will be the first Magpies game 46-year-old Friend has officiated since the 2015/16 campaign, when he oversaw both of United’s games against Manchester City – the 6-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium in October 2015 and the 1-1 draw at St. James’ Park in April the following year.

So far this term, Bristol official Friend has taken charge of seven games in the Premier League, Championship and EFL Cup. In those games, he has shown a total of 19 yellow cards and one red, to Leeds' Liam Cooper in their 3-1 defeat at Cardiff City.

Last term, Friend refereed a total of 32 games across the top four divisions of English football and in the domestic cup competitions, dishing out just two red cards all season.

He will be assisted at St. Mary’s Stadium by Constantine Hatzidiakis and Matthew Wilkes, while Roger East will be the fourth official.

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