The referee for Watford's basement battle with Southampton this Saturday will be Michael Oliver, while Craig Pawson will be in charge of next week's trip to Leicester City.

The game at St Mary's will be Oliver's first involving the Hornets this season and his first since the FA Cup semi-final last season.

The official awarded a penalty to Watford in the dying stages of that match, from which Troy Deeney equalised before the Golden Boys went on to win the game and progress to the final.

Last season Oliver was also in charge for the goalless home draw with Burnley and the 1-0 away win at Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup fifth round.

During the 2017/18 campaign he gave Deeney a red card in a 4-1 home defeat against Huddersfield, in which he also sent off Jonathan Hogg for the Terriers.

This season he has awarded no red cards in the Premier League, but did send off AEK Athens' Helder Lopes in a Europa League match.

He will be assisted for this weekend's game by Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett, while Graham Scott will be fourth official and VAR duties will be in the hands of Jarred Gillett.

Meanwhile, Pawson will be making his second appearance in a game involving Watford after overseeing the 3-0 home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on the opening day of the new campaign.

Pawson has also sent off Deeney in recent years, when he issued him a red card in last season's 1-0 home defeat against Arsenal.

He was also referee for the 1-0 away defeat at Newcastle during the same campaign.

He will be assisted at the King Power stadium by Lee Betts and Ian Hussin, while Anthony Backhouse will be fourth official and Peter Bankes will be VAR again.

Bankes was VAR last weekend for the 3-0 home defeat to Burnley and overturned an on-field penalty decision which resulted in the Clarets scoring from the spot.