The first of Saints’ three confirmed away trips of pre-season is a short journey into Wiltshire to play Swindon Town.
The Robins finished eighth in League 1 last season just behind Sheffield United, but ultimately eight points shy of the play-offs.
Saints defender Jack Stephens ended the season on loan there, playing ten times for Mark Cooper’s side, earning five clean sheets in the process. Stephens returned to Saints with a record of playing in six wins, three draws and one defeat.
Swindon manager Mark Cooper was appointed at the start of last season. The 45-year-old son of former Leeds full-back Terry Cooper has previously managed Peterborough and a clutch of non-league clubs.
In their current squad, the Robins have one player travelling to the World Cup, with former Tottenham midfielder Massimo Luongo representing Australia at this summer’s finals.
There are no current playing connections in the Swindon side, though both Dany N’Guessan and Nile Ranger were each on the books at the County Ground last term before they were each released at the end of the season.
One player who will recall fond memories of playing against Saints is striker Andy Williams, who scored a last minute winner for Bristol Rovers at St Mary’s in 2009 in a 3-2 win for The Gas.
The last competitive meeting between the two teams was in the League Cup at the start of Southampton’s 2011/12 Championship season.
Saints were 3-1 winners on the night – Guly and Jonathan Forte gave the visitors a 2-0 lead with Mehdi Kerrouche pulling one back for the Robins late on before Rickie Lambert sealed Southampton’s progress into round three.
The game also saw Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio and striker Leon Clarke have a public falling out at the end of the match as the two made their way back down the tunnel.
Saints and Swindon also met in consecutive seasons in League 1 with the Robins winning 1-0 both home and away during the 2009/10 campaign.
Swindon were 1-0 winners again at the County Ground the following season, before Saints finally got their revenge with a 4-1 demolition of the Robins at St Mary’s in February 2011 en route to promotion from the third tier.