Watford’s postponed FA Cup third round replay at Tranmere Rovers has been rearranged for Thursday, January 23, kicking off at 7.45pm.

The tie had been due to take place tonight but was called off at lunchtime after a pitch inspection following heavy rain at Prenton Park.

The rearranged date is only 48 hours after the Hornets’ Premier League trip to Aston Villa next Tuesday, but it will enable the winners to play their fourth round tie as scheduled.

A statement from the FA reads: “After consultation with all the relevant parties, in order to keep the competition on track and reduce the risk of causing fixture disruption elsewhere, the match has been rescheduled for Thursday January 23, 7.45pm kick-off.

“The winner of this tie will host Wolverhampton Wanderers or Manchester United in the Fourth Round Proper on Sunday 26 January, 3.00pm kick-off, live on BT Sport.”

The Hornets stated that both clubs had been in regular contact with each other, the referee and the FA over the past two days, “discussing the options available after it became clear that heavy rain from Storm Brendan could put the fixture at risk”.

The replay is needed after Watford let a 3-0 half-time lead slip in the original tie at Vicarage Road, with the League One side battling back to draw 3-3.