PREVIEW: AFC Bournemouth vs Southampton

By SFC Media time Thu 24 Jul First team

Saints’ pre-season preparations take another step up on Friday evening with a short trip across to the Goldsands Stadium for a 7.45pm kick-off.

This game against the Cherries comes at the end of week four in the team’s preparations for the new Barclays Premier League campaign. 

It is the fourth warm-up match for Ronald Koeman’s men, and while results may not be the most important factor at this stage, Saints will want to maintain their current perfect record which stands at three wins from three competitive games.

Friday’s contest follows on from Monday’s 1-0 win at Swindon Town where most of the starting eleven completed 60 minutes or so, during which time the only goal of the game arrived through Jos Hooiveld shortly after half-time.

It was good news at the other end of the field too, as Saints kept their third consecutive clean sheet, with Kelvin Davis and Paulo Gazzaniga sharing the custodian duties at the County Ground.

Nathaniel Clyne returned from a groin strain to play 62 minutes, while Graziano Pellè also got his first taste of playing for Saints on English soil.

Goalkeeper Artur Boruc is expected to return for the fixture at Bournemouth, as are midfielders Dušan Tadić and Gastón Ramírez who were also both absent from the trip to Swindon.

Midfielder Jack Cork had two loan spells with the Cherries during the 2006/07 season for whom he played seven times in total before joining Saints on a temporary basis two seasons’ later.

You can watch Cork's thoughts on the game here:

The two clubs faced one-another three times in the 2010/11 campaign following Bournemouth’s promotion to League 1, where Southampton had been playing since being relegated from the second tier in 2009.

Our most recent trip into Dorset came on Saturday 12th March 2011, when Saints were pushing their way towards the automatic promotion places having lost only twice since the turn of the year.

On-loan Laurie Dalla Valle gave the play-off-chasing Cherries a sixth-minute lead, only for Lee Barnard to haul Saints level five minutes later.

Nigel Adkins’ side went ahead on 77 minutes through captain Dean Hammond, with Rickie Lambert rounding off the victory two minutes from the end before substitute Oscar Gobern was shown a red card in injury time.

That 3-1 victory was Saints’ third win over Bournemouth in a season that ended with the side being promoted to the Championship, while the Cherries remained in the third tier before following suit in 2013.

Of course, the two near-neighbours have met in a number of friendlies, most notably in July 2009 for what was the first game to be played following the takeover of Markus Liebherr that summer.

Saints supporters were quick to snap up tickets for this game five years on, with all places in the away end sold out, so fans are advised not to travel across to Bournemouth without a ticket.

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