Referee confirmed for Villa game

So far this season the Wiltshire-based official has refereed 40 games, where he has produced a total of 143 yellow cards and three reds.

The last Blues fixture he took charge of was our Championship home game against Newcastle United in March.

That match ended in a 0-0 draw and Blues defender Paul Robinson was the only player from either side cautioned.

The last time he officiated a match involving Villa was their 2-0 home win against Bristol City in February. Seven players were yellow-carded in that fixture; including Alan Hutton and Andre Green for the hosts.

Mr Hooper will be assisted by linesmen Adam Crysell and Neil Davies, with James Linington named as the fourth official.