Controversial referee Mike Dean will oversee West Ham United’s match against Leeds United on Monday night.

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West Ham take on Leeds knowing they have to win to keep pace with their rivals in the race for Europe.

The Hammers are sitting fourth in the Premier League table right now.

West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
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West Ham face huge clash against Leeds in bid for Euro spot

But all their rivals play twice before West Ham kick off against Leeds.

West Ham will be hoping to have number one goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski back for the game.

But someone Hammers fans will probably be less enthusiastic to see is Mike Dean.

The official will take charge of a West Ham match for the first time since the controversial incident against Fulham last month.

West Ham had an attacking free-kick in the dying moments of the 0-0 draw when Dean sent off Hammers star Tomas Soucek for an elbow on Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Fulham v West Ham United - Premier League
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Mike Dean back officiating a West Ham game after controversial incident

That was despite VAR replays clearly showing there was no intention from Soucek and Mitrovic himself pleading Soucek’s innocence to the ref.

The West Ham incident saw Dean roundly criticised by football fans and pundits.

Soucek’s red card was swiftly rescinded.

 

And it came in the wake of other controversial decisions from the official, namely sending off Southampton’s Jan Bednarek against Manchester United the week before.

Dean’s family allegedly received a death threat after the West Ham incident.

The referee then asked to be stood down for the weekend.

He returned to officiate the Burnley vs West Brom game last weekend and is now back involved in a West Ham match for the first time since the incident.

Fulham v West Ham United - Premier League
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A penny for Moyes’s thoughts

Some supporters have suggested Dean will be out to prove there is no agenda.

Others are worried the ordeal he went through could impact his decision making.

It certainly adds an element of intrigue to an already tantalising match with plenty at stake.

A penny for the thoughts of David Moyes.

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