The referee who was in charge of Watford’s 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester City in December will also be in the middle for Saturday’s return fixture at the Etihad Stadium.

Paul Tierney handed out only the one yellow card to City goalkeeper Ederson in that match as goals from Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez were enough for the champions to take the points after Abdoulaye Doucoure’s effort had threatened to launch a late Hornets comeback.

Tierney has also officiated two more Watford Premier League games this season and both resulted in away wins for Javi Gracia’s men, the 2-1 triumph at Crystal Palace in January and the 3-1 success at Burnley at the start of the campaign.

The Wigan-born referee has taken charge of a total of 24 games so far this season, showing 79 yellow cards and just the one red card to Pierre Hojbjerg in Southampton’s 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City in December.