Why Arsenal’s referee for Monaco clash is not to be messed with

Deniz Aytekin is a no-nonsense Bundesliga official who has already shown he is not afraid of making big calls early on in the Champions League.

There will be no leniency from match officials, in the event of a rash early challenge in the first leg of Arsenal’s Champions League tie with AS Monaco.

Seasoned Bundesliga referee Deniz Aytekin is due to take charge of the game and arrives with a fearsome reputation for making brave calls when the situation demands it.

This was most evident earlier in the season when the German took charge of Ludogorets’ Champions League group stage clash with Basel in Bulgaria.

The Swiss side had been expected to pick up points against the European minnows but found themselves in a spot of bother early on.

Midfielder Serey Die was the culprit with the Ivory Coast international wading into a tackle on Moti on the 18 minute mark that left his opponent sprawled on the floor.

A heavy challenge even at this early stage of the match, Aytekin nevertheless deserves credit for making an important call that went against the favourites.

It came as part of an eventful night for the German referee, who dished out a total of eight yellow cards on top of the red.

The 36-year-old has been in similar form domestically of late too, having sent off two players and handed out a further six yellow cards during a Bundesliga clash between Mainz and Hertha Berlin.

With Monaco in possession of a formidable defensive reputation that could potentially leave Arsenal frustrated in North London, Aytekin could be in for a busy night in the capital.

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