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Mark Clattenburg the man in the middle for Watford-Palace clash

Walter Mazzarri should be mindful of remaining in his technical area when Mark Clattenburg takes charge of the Boxing Day clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Clattenburg was the fourth official for Watford’s game at Manchester City and had to remind Mazzarri several times to remain in the marked area outside of the dug out. In the end, Clattenburg enlisted the help of the English-speaking members of Watford’s bench, fitness coach Gianni Brignardello and technical consultant Peppe Santoro, to get his message across to Watford’s head coach who was particularly animated during the match at the Etihad stadium.

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Clattenburg is actually fairly liberal when it comes to officiating Watford matches from the middle. He’s handed out only 11 yellow cards in the nine Watford matches he’s taken charge off and sent one player off: Malky Mackay in the game with Sheffield United at Vicarage Road in 2005. He last took charge of a Watford game this time last year, booking Miguel Britos in the high-octane 3-0 win over Liverpool.

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Clattenburg has averaged nearly four yellows a game this season, sending off Ander Herrera, Sevilla’s Franco Vazquez and, more recently, Phil Jagielka. The referee will find a Watford side who have cleaned up their act of late. They’ve picked up only four bookings in the last two games and have been leapfrogged by Manchester United when it comes to cautions. However, the Hornets are still top of the disciplinary table by virtue of the three red cards they have picked up.

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Watford’s yellow card tally

Holebas 7
Behrami 6
Britos 4
Deeney 4
Amrabat 3
Prodl 3
Guedioura 2
Capoue 2
Pereyra 2
Cathcart 1
Success 1
Ighalo 1
Zuniga 1
Okaka 1
Gomes 1
Kaboul 1

Total: 40

Red cards:

Ben Watson
Miguel Britos
Roberto Pereyra