Premier League make official Nottingham Forest v Newcastle United decision after Liverpool controversy

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts towards Match Referee Chris Kavanagh during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts towards Match Referee Chris Kavanagh during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts towards Match Referee Chris Kavanagh during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The Premier League has confirmed the match officials for Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day.

Chris Kavanagh has been appointed as match referee for the Premier League clash between Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest.

The Magpies welcome Nottingham Forest to St James' Park on Boxing Day hoping to bounce back from Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Luton Town. Meanwhile, Nuno Espirito Santo is looking for his first win as Forest boss after his opening match in charge ended in a 3-2 loss to AFC Bournemouth.

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Kavanagh has taken charge of three Newcastle games this season. He was the man in the middle for the Carabao Cup win over Manchester City and defeats away to Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur.

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts towards Match Referee Chris Kavanagh during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts towards Match Referee Chris Kavanagh during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts towards Match Referee Chris Kavanagh during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

And Kavanagh's only fixture involving Forest this term was their 3-0 defeat to Liverpool in October.

The 38-year-old official oversaw Liverpool's 1-1 draw against Arsenal at the weekend, which involved some controversy.

Jurgen Klopp was adamant his side should have been awarded a penalty when the ball struck Martin Odegaard's arm. A VAR review took place but agreed with Kavanagh's on-field decision.

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“Yes I have seen it," said Klopp. "I am pretty sure someone will come to explain it to me why it was not a handball but I don’t know how?” said the Liverpool manager.

“I don’t say that the ref (Chris Kavanagh) can see it because I don’t know where he was in that moment. But how can a guy in an office (VAR referee David Coote) see that and not come to the conclusion that maybe, possibly it could be worth the referee having another look?”

Forest too were unhappy with referee Robert Jones on Saturday after Willy Boly was dismissed for a second yellow card in the 23rd minute for what appeared a clean challenge on Cherries defender Adam Smith.

"It's a frustration of knowing the approach of the referees is a bad one, and the law says because it's two yellows you can't reverse the decision," Nuno said. "That's something they have to look at, because it doesn't make sense.

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"First of all, it's the approach of the referee, that's bad. Boly's first yellow is fair, but it's then a follow-through with the boot under the foot of the Bournemouth player - the approach should be more cautious, wait a little bit with the help of VAR, hold the decision and they will tell you.

"I think we, as Forest and our fans, especially our fans, deserve better decisions. They come here to see football and suddenly they see something that really changes the game, and the frustration is huge. We are all upset with this."

Kavanagh will be assisted by Simon Bennett and Dan Robathan with Jarred Gillett and Darren Cann on VAR duty. Darren Bond is the fourth official.

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