July’s friendly visit to the Goldsands Stadium – or Dean Court, to give the ground its traditional name – is Southampton’s first since 2011.
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 time 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.
Before the 2010/11 season, Southampton had not played Bournemouth competitively since meeting in the League Cup in 1987/88. The two sides had not been in the same league since they were in the old Third Division in 1959/60, when the Cherries were known as Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic.
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.
In terms of playing connections between the two sides, Saints pair Adam Lallana and Jack Cork both spent loan spells at Dean Court.
Lallana, who had actually played for the Cherries as a schoolboy before switching to Southampton aged 12, enjoyed a month-long spell there in the autumn of 2007, making four appearances before returning to continue his career at St Mary’s.
Cork made his professional debut for Bournemouth having joined them on loan from Chelsea as a 17 year-old in November 2006. He made nine appearances across two separate loan spells that season.
The Cherries finished the 2013/14 season tenth in the Championship standings having enjoyed a successful year following what was only their second-ever promotion to the second tier.