Emmanuel Pogatetz believes that match officials favour the Premier League's biggest clubs.
The Austrian defender feels that the added pressure placed on referees and their assistants at places such as the Emirates Stadium, Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and Anfield helps to sway their decisions towards the home side.
With Middlesbrough heading to Chelsea on Sunday, Pogatetz accepts that Gareth Southgate's side should expect no favours in West London.
"You know if you go to a big club like Chelsea you won't get any presents there and you can't expect any help off the referee," he said.
"There's more pressure on the referees from the top clubs because if they make a decision against the top-four clubs it will be in the media a long time. If they make a decision against us it will maybe be in the regional papers.
"I think they think twice before giving a decision against a top-four club and once before they make a decision against us. But that is just human nature because of the spotlight."
Despite his concerns over the officials, Pogatetz is looking forward to the game against the Blues and is hoping for a fitting ending to a week which saw him earn another cap for his country.
He was involved in Austria's thrilling 4-3 defeat to Holland on Wednesday, the second time he has represented the Euro 2008 co-hosts in as many months following an 18-month spell in the international wilderness.
"It was fantastic to be back and it is great at the moment being a leader for both my club and my country," he said.
"It was very important we beat Derby (1-0 last Saturday) and it was not a nice game to play as we had to hold on and grind the result out.
"The great thing about going into the Chelsea game and Manchester United game (seven days later) now is that no-one expects us to get anything out of them. But if we do that I think we are very close to safety.
"It took a bit of time for our confidence to come back after the Cardiff game (in the FA Cup) but we are feeling good now. We know we're a good team and we know we can go to Chelsea and cause an upset."