Ref in Focus: Graham Scott record indicates it will be happy Saturday for Southampton

Southampton will be looking to reach the magic 40-point mark and secure their spot in the Premier League next season when they host Bournemouth at St Mary’s on Saturday, and the appointment of Graham Scott as referee for the clash is brilliant news for the hosts given his record this season.

Saints’ home form certainly hasn’t been as strong as it could have been – especially against the sides around them as shown by the 2-1 defeat to Cardiff earlier in 2019 – this term, but they have also recorded wins over the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur on the south coast since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge in December.

They lie six points above the 18th-placed Bluebirds with three matches of the campaign remaining, although the Welsh club would need seven points to overtake them given their significantly inferior goal difference.

The fact that Scott is officiating in the south coast shootout is the best news that Southampton and their Austrian manager could have hoped for, given his remarkable statistics in the Premier League during the current campaign.

The 51-year-old has been the man in the middle for 16 matches this season, with 81.3% of those ending in three points for the hosts, as per WhoScored.

Graham Scott 2018-19 - 16 Premier League games

When you consider that he is only beaten by Andy Madley, who has refereed just the two fixtures, with the next best after him being Anthony Taylor on 69%, it is quite an eye-catching number.

Saints will certainly be hoping to put things to bed this weekend with a trip to West Ham United and the visit of already-relegated Huddersfield Town to come, so they can go into those two fixtures with the pressure off.

What better way to celebrate survival than in front of your own fans at a packed out stadium – the omens certainly look to be on their side for that to be the case against the Cherries given Scott’s impressive record.