The referee has been named for Norwich City v Sheffield United in the Premier League this Sunday.

Simon Hooper will take charge of the match at Carrow Road – which could well be a good omen for the Blades.

Hooper has only officiated three top flight games so far this season, but two of them have involved United.

On both of those occasions Chris Wilder’s men were triumphant, first winning 2-0 at Everton and then beating Burnley 3-0 at home.

The only other Premier League fixture Hooper has overseen in 2019/20 is the 2-1 win for Wolverhampton Wanderers at Bournemouth.

In fact the 37-year-old is quite new to refereeing top tier fixtures. This upcoming clash will only be his 14th occasion, having made his debut during the 2016/17 campaign.

Other Hooper games ahead of Norwich v Sheffield United

(Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

It has been some time since Hooper has been in charge for a Blades match. Although a regular on the Championship circuit, he did not officiate during a United game last term.

The last time was during the 2017/18 campaign – the South Yorkshire side’s first in the division in six years. That season Hooper was the referee for three fixtures.

That included the 4-2 triumph at Hillsborough in the Steel City Derby. Chris Wilder’s men took a 2-0 lead against rivals Sheffield Wednesday, only to be pegged back to 2-2 by the 65th minute.

Yet they regrouped, with Mark Duffy coming off the bench to bag a third before Leon Clarke completed his brace and sealed the result.

Hooper was in the middle for two more Blades outings that term, with contrasting fortunes. First they drew 2-2 at Aston Villa and then lost 1-0 to Hull City.

In general, though, the presence of Hooper has been a good one for United. Let’s hope that run continues when they travel to fellow newly promoted side Norwich this weekend.

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