The announcement that Martin Atkinson will take charge of the Manchester derby is unlikely to have gone down well with Jose Mourinho.

But, fans might have reason to be optimistic over the appointment.

The United boss was particularly aggrieved with Atkinson’s performance last season at Stamford Bridge.

Atkinson failed to send off David Luiz for a high boot on Marouane Fellaini during the 4-0 defeat and Mourinho wasn’t impressed.

“It was a major game for both clubs and you want a fair referee. You want a strong referee anyway and we didn’t get that,” Mourinho said.

“I don’t know why he’s got the game. I must say that when I saw who was refereeing it, I feared the worst.”

He also dismissed Fellaini for headbutting Sergio Aguero in last 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.

And it’s not just Mourinho who has been aggrieved with Atkinson over the years.

Sir Alex Ferguson laid in to him in 2008 after United were denied a penalty in the FA Cup quarter final against Portsmouth when Sylvain Distin barged Cristiano Ronaldo over.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous. I cannot explain it,” the former United boss said.

“Managers get sacked because of things like that and he’s going to referee a game next week.”

While Mourinho may not be Atkinson’s biggest fan, he hasn’t always given United problems in derby games.

The last four derbies he has officiated – in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2017 – ended in three wins for United and a goalless draw in the game last season.

With City poised to be crowned Premier League champions if they win, United will be hoping their run of good form when Atkinson is in charge continues.