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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Officials Appointed For Home Double-Header

STOKE CITY have discovered who will officiate the two upcoming Barclays Premier League home games with Aston Villa and Newcastle United.

Kevin Friend has been put in charge for Saturday's visit of the Villains whilst Neil Swarbrick is due to oversee the Magpies' trip to the Britannia Stadium in ten days' time.

Friend was the referee for the Potters' 2-0 victory over Manchester United on Boxing Day whilst he was also the man in the middle during the Capital One Cup victory over Chelsea in October, a game which was won on penalties after Phil Bardsley's dismissal for two bookable offences.

He's overseen 22 matches this term, issuing 69 yellow cards and four red.

His assistants this weekend are Simon Beck and Peter Kirkup with Eddie Ilderton the fourth official.

Swarbrick, meanwhile, has taken charge of 23 games and one each for Stoke and Newcastle.

He witnessed the Potters' last victory on home soil against Norwich City where he was forced to dismiss Gary O'Neil for a reckless challenge on Ibrahim Afellay at the halfway line.

Three days later he was at St. James' Park for Newcastle's 2-1 win over West Ham United.

He's had 23 games this season - the last of which was Villa's 6-0 home defeat to Liverpool last time out - issuing 70 yellow cards and four red in total.

Swarbrick's assistants a week on Wednesday will be Lee Betts and Eddie Smart with Graham Scott the fourth official.

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