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Referee appointed for Hornets' clash with Preston

Ismael Kone and Edo Kayembe celebrate during Watford's 5-1 win at Deepdale in December <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Ismael Kone and Edo Kayembe celebrate during Watford's 5-1 win at Deepdale in December (Image: PA)

The referee has been named for Watford’s fixture against Preston North End when the Hornets will aim to continue their upturn in performances under Tom Cleverley and seek to finally end their fourth-month wait for a home league victory.

The EFL website has announced that James Bell has been appointed to officiate in the 3pm kick-off at Vicarage Road against Ryan Lowe’s side who sit five points outside the play-offs in eighth place in the Championship table.

This is due to be the second time Bell has been in the middle for a Watford match this season, having taken charge of the 1-0 defeat at Stoke City in August.

The referee has officiated in a total of 23 league and cup matches in the current campaign, issuing a total of 99 yellow cards and five reds.

Ian Cooper and Matthew Smith are due to be the assistant referees for Saturday’s game, with David Rock on fourth official duties.

The Hornets, who have not won a league game at home since beating Norwich City 3-2 at the end of November, will also be seeking to complete their fourth home-and-away league double of the season following their impressive 5-1 win at Deepdale in December.