| After John Gregory hit out at the lack
of protection Stan Collymore gets from referees, top official David Elleray
denied the claims.
Gregory insisted that Stan the man: "never gets a free-kick or much protection" and that "referees are judging him before he steps onto the pitch."
David Elleray replied to this with by saying: "We are all trained to be totally objective when it comes to dealing with players.
"Given the fact we are under so much scrutiny, if there was evidence of someone being marked out for treatment by a referee, I am sure it would be spotted and exposed.
"The difficulty that referees have in dealing with high profile players is that some people will feel, whatever a referee does, that he is being too strict or letting the player get away with murder.
"We get criticism both ways and we are aware when dealing with high profile players that we have to be spot on."
Villa will be without the recent revelation; Collymore, for the big match in 10 days behind closest rivals Manchester United. Villa are 3 points clear of Manchester United after both teams lost at the weekend. Villa in the infamous Liverpool game, and Man Utd sunken 3:1 by Sheffield Wednesday.