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Change of referee for Watford v Stoke

Robert Madley has been brought in to referee Watford’s televised Premier League game with Stoke City tomorrow. 

He replaces Martin Atkinson who was originally scheduled to oversee the game at Vicarage Road. It is not known why Atkinson has stepped down.

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Madley prepares to send off Pape Soure last season

Madley steps up from fourth official to take charge of what will be his first Watford game of the campaign. His last Watford match was the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace in February, a game in which he awarded the Hornets an early penalty. He also gave the Hornets a spot-kick in the agonising 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United last season while Madley was also the man in black who sent off Valon Behrami against Swansea City.

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However, in general, he tends to keep his cards in his pocket in Watford games, handing out only six yellow cards to players in yellow in the seven Watford matches he has officiated. He is, however, averaging five yellows a game this season.

He might need them tomorrow lunchtime as Stoke and Watford (along with West Ham) have been given seven yellow cards for dissent this season – a Premier League high. However, Watford’s Premier League record is in improving as they no longer top the disciplinary table, although Behrami and Miguel Britos are just one yellow card away from a suspension.

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Watford’s yellow card table:
Holebas 5
Behrami 4
Britos 4
Deeney 3
Prodl 2
Pereyra 2
Amrabat 2
Cathcart 1
Capoue 1
Success 1
Ighalo 1
Guedioura 1
Zuniga 1
Okaka 1
Gomes 1