AFC Bournemouth travel to Southampton with local pride at stake for both sets of supporters.
This fixture is not your typical local derby, up down the country teams enjoy multiple derbies and rivalries with a number of teams in close proximity. London and Midlands clubs especially, but that’s not the case on the south coast.
Due to its lack of history, many Southampton supporters claim this fixture is not a derby at all and some are strangely rather defensive about their own “south coast derby” with Portsmouth.
Southampton’s nearest neighbours are Portsmouth, 20 miles to the east. Southampton and Portsmouth have met 70 times over the past 119 years and have a rivalry built on more than just football, but have not met for 7 years following Portsmouth’s decline to League Two.
Meanwhile, at 31 miles Southampton are AFC Bournemouth’s closest football league neighbours.
But in contrast, the two sides have only met 28 times in 66 years and 10 of those have come over the past 9 years.
Southampton have come out on top of this “non-derby” derby, with AFC Bournemouth winning just once in March 2016 thanks to goals from Steve Cook and Benik Afobe.
At St Mary’s, AFC Bournemouth have failed to pick up a single point, with just one goal in five visits.
Last season for the first time in history, AFC Bournemouth finished the season as the highest ranked club on the south coast, finishing ahead of both Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League.
The Cherries can repeat that feat this season but will need a result from this fixture.
Head to Head
AFC Bournemouth – 7 wins
Draws – 8
Southampton – 13 wins
Six game form guide
AFC Bournemouth WDLLWL
Southampton home record – 5wins, 6 draws, 6 defeats, 23 goals, 26 conceded
AFC Bournemouth away record – 5 wins, 0 draws, 12 defeats, 20 goals, 37 conceded
AFC Bournemouth team news
For the home defeat to Fulham, Eddie Howe either set up plans of actually played four different back four’s due to injuries.
He watched on as Adam Smith and Junior Stanislas suffered injuries and were withdrawn, he attempted to field Steve Cook at right back, only for Cook to struggle with injury and revert back to centre back with Chris Mepham moving across to the full back role.
All of this happened with regular centre back lynchpin Nathan Ake filling in at left back.
With Simon Francis, Nathaniel Clyne, Charlie Daniels and Diego Rico all injured the defensive set up will be Eddie Howe’s biggest headache for this game.
AFC Bournemouth player to watch
If AFC Bournemouth are to get anything from the game they will need Callum Wilson to be on his best form to hopefully grab a goal that could settle the tie.