Chelsea v PSG referee in line for European hat-trick of worst kind

Bjorn Kuipers is due to officiate the Blues’ Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain, and that may spell bad news for Jose Mourinho.

They say good things come in threes, but that may not necessarily be the case for Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League this week.

The big-spending Premier League and Ligue 1 sides are due to go toe-to-toe at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of their last-16 tie.

However, in referee Bjorn Kuipers, they face something of a problem, particularly when you look at the match official’s record in Europe going into this game.

Something of a strict disciplinarian, the Dutch referee is developing a reputation for card-happy displays on the continent.

And should the 41-year-old decide to brandish a red card in what is sure to be a tasty encounter in West London, then it would mark the third consecutive Champions League game in which Kuipers have given a player his marching orders.

More importantly still, the red cards dished out by the Dutchman have been decidedly dodgy and, crucially, game-defining.

Liverpool were the most recent side to fall foul of Kuipers, with the Eredivisie match official sending off Lazar Markovic for a controversial non-tackle that left Reds fans fuming.

Down to 10 men in a Champions League group clash with Basel that the Merseysiders had to win, Kuipers' rash decision proved costly with Liverpool duly dumped out by the Swiss side.

Prior to that encounter, Kuipers sent off Bayer Leverkusen’s Brazilian left-back Wendell, with the South American given two rather questionable yellow cards in a 2-0 victory over Zenit St Petersburg.

A seasoned UEFA official, Kuipers' biggest assignment to date was last season’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Even his performance there left something to be desired, with a total of 12 yellow cards racked up during a heated game in which Kuipers was in danger of losing control over proceedings.

With Jose Mourinho enduring his fair share of controversial dismissals in this competition as a manager over the years, it would not be a massive shock to see Kuipers complete a rather unpopular hat-trick of red card appearances in the Champions League.

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