WORLD Cup final referee Howard Webb will take charge of Saints’ first post-Clattengate league game against West Brom this Saturday.
Webb will be the first man to officiate a Saints league match since the Mark Clattenburg controversy broke prior to last weekend’s FA Cup win over Burnley.
And, unlike with Clattenburg, Saints have no ‘previous’ with regards to Webb, who didn’t make a single caution in his only Saints game this season - at Norwich in August.
He is an unlucky omen, though, Saints having never won when he has taken charge of a Premier League game involving the club.
Daily Echo research shows Saints have had more players booked by Clattenburg than any other Premier League referee since the club returned to the top flight.
In seven league games, he has dished out 18 bookings - including one to Adam Lallana during the now infamous meeting at Goodison Park on December 29.
That statistic possibly goes some way to explaining why Saints contacted referees chief Mike Riley in the aftermath of the loss at Everton to complain about Clattenburg’s comments to Lallana.
The Saints skipper’s booking at Goodison was only his fourth in 54 league and cup games since the start of 2012/13 - and Clattenburg is responsible for two of those.
The next highest in the list of referees that have booked most Saints players is Martin Atkinson, who has cautioned eight Saints in four games.
In contrast, Webb has only cautioned two Saints players in three league games in the same period.
Webb has only handed out 50 bookings and no red cards in his 18 domestic games this season.
In contrast, he has booked 24 players and sent off one in just six World Cup and Champions League matches.
Webb has one of the best records in terms of keeping his cards in his pocket this season among Premier League refs.
Only two officials can better his record of 2.8 yellows per domestic match in 2013/14.
Clattenburg, meanwhile, is only the eighth highest.