The already punishing festive season could hit Watford even harder next season, as cup success would leave the Hornets playing nine games in 31 days around December.

With the Premier League fixture list to be published on Wednesday, the Watford Observer has learned Watford will provisionally face midweek games on November 29, December 13 and January 31 across the league season.

Last season, the Hornets were penciled in for four midweek games when their fixtures were announced, not accounting for re-arrangements or matches being moved for television.

More notable is an already guaranteed eight games between December 2 and New Year's Day for all Premier League sides - two more than across the same period last season - with teams who reach the EFL Cup fifth round also playing their ties on December 20.

On Wednesday, the Hornets will learn their opponents for the season, which gets underway on August 12 and concludes on May 13.