By Coral Barry
A referee voted the ‘worst’ in the 2014 World Cup is to officiate the latest installment of the fierce Liverpool and Manchester United rivalry.
The historic enemies meet in the second leg of their last 16 Europa League tie a week after Liverpool cruised to a 2-0 victory against United at Anfield.
That encounter produced six yellow cards, one unpunished elbow by Marouane Fellaini on Emre Can and was refereed by the famously card-happy Carlos Velasco Carballo.
Carballo had previously produced 80 cards in his last 12 matches, including six reds, but Thursday’s referee Milorad Mazic could be even more strict on the pitch.
Liverpool defenders Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno are both just one yellow card away from a suspension.
The Serbian’s name might not ring a bell, but the games he oversaw at the last World Cup will.
Mazic took charge of Germany’s 4-0 demolition of Portugal and then Argentina’s narrow 1-0 victory over Iran in the tournament.
Mazic awarded a suspect penalty in Germany’s favour, before sending off Portugal’s Pepe for a headbutt.
His next game was just as controversial after dismissing strong claims for a penalty from Iran before Argentina went on to steal a late win.
Mazic’s performance led to Iran filing a formal complaint against him to FIFA after the game.
Redcardtheref.com then bestowed the worst of honours on Mazic when they voted him the ‘worst’ official at the tournament.
The website, which acts as a watchdog for referees, ran a poll that attracted 110,000 voters and 87, 361 of them picked Mazic as the winner.
In other Liverpool news, Charlie Nicholas has identified one United player that can rescue the tie.