Since the Virgil van Dijk and VAR issue, David Coote has been awarded his first Liverpool match.
On Wednesday night, referee David Coote will oversee Liverpool’s Carabao Cup fourth round match against Preston North End.
Coote will make his first appearance for Liverpool since the drama surrounding Virgil van Dijk’s injury against Everton last season.
That day, Coote was on VAR duty when the Dutchman was clattered by Jordan Pickford, resulting in anterior cruciate ligament damage.
Rather than focusing on the goalkeeper’s challenge, the decision to not send Pickford off was based on a questionable offside call.
The VAR verdicts that day left the Reds ‘shocked and perplexed,’ as Jordan Henderson’s late goal was ruled out for offside, and the match ended 2-2.
Coote has not been in a Liverpool game since the incident, and he was dropped from officiating the following week.
A month later, he was assigned to VAR duty for the Reds’ match against Leicester City, but the decision was overturned by the Premier League after widespread criticism.
In his career, the referee has only officiated one Liverpool match, which took place at Anfield in the 2019/2020 season when the Reds drew 1-1 with Burnley.
With assistants Nick Hopton and Wade Smith, as well as fourth official John Brooks, Coote will now officiate at Deepdale on Wednesday night.
VAR will not be utilized against Preston North End since the Carabao Cup does not employ it until the semi-final stage.
Due to the high importance of the game, there has been little to no pushback to Coote’s appointment on this occasion.
With a win over Frankie McAvoy’s team, the Reds will be assured of a place in the competition’s fifth round.