Without benefit of prior experience with a specific referee, what else can be done? One rough method is to see how physically large the referee is. One might imagine a larger ref growing up as a larger player who does not see tough play as much of a problem. Conversely, a smaller-sized official might be more sensitive to a physical style and call more fouls.
|Definitely not Howard Webb|
Obviously, there will be exceptions. I imagine Napoleon would have swallowed the whistle. But it beats flipping a coin.