The man in the middle: Kevin Friend, or foe?

Kevin Friend has been appointed to referee Cardiff’s City game against Bournemouth on Saturday 11th August  in what will be their first game back in the Premier League since the disastrous 2013/14 campaign. What can we expect from the man in the middle?

The last time Cardiff City supporters saw Kevin Friend referee one of their games was the 26th of September 2017 when he oversaw the Bluebirds’ comprehensive 3-1 win over then league leaders, Leeds United.

That game saw just three yellow cards issued, but two of them resulted in a red card for Leeds defender and captain Liam Cooper. The game was a feisty one, but Friend allowed the play to continue and was generally seen as having done a fair job. It’s interesting to note that the red card was uncontested by all parties.

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In general, Kevin Friend is unlikely to issue a red card on Saturday given he did not issue a single red card in the 21 Premier League games. He oversaw in the 2017/18 campaign, see below for an overview of his Premier League stats.

  • 21 games refereed
  • 46 yellow card issued (an average of 2.19 yellows per game)
  • Zero red cards
  • 8 penalties awarded

We can expect Friend to allow the game to proceed without too many interruptions and certainly not be quick to award cards, there is however one caveat.

On the 9th of December 2017 he oversaw a thrilling 2-2 draw between Crystal Palace and Bournemouth which saw SEVEN yellow cards and 2 penalty kicks in one match.

Here’s hoping for something similar on Saturday!