Date: 4th September 2019 at 8:00pm
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When the draw was made for the third round of the League Cup, there was only one fixture Southampton fans had their mindset on, and as the footballing gods listened above, they got it.

The Saints will travel to Fratton Park on the 24th September to face off against long-hated rivals Portsmouth in the first South Coast Derby in nearly seven years, and midfielder James Ward-Prowse has already been talking up how important the fixture is for both the fans and club as Angus Gunn admitted to The Daily Echo.

Indeed, the rivalry between Southampton and Portsmouth is one of the longest in English football, dating back to the start of the 1900s, and although the two teams have in recent memory largely been separated by playing in different divisions, the hatred between the two clubs remains as fierce as ever.

With their last meeting coming in 2012 when the two teams were both in the Championship, a new chapter of the derby is set to be written when Southampton make the 20 mile trip down the M27 to Portsmouth, and as Ward-Prowse has told his teammates, it is a game the Saints simply have to win.

And the 24-year-old midfielder knows this better than anyone in the squad.

Having been born in Portsmouth and being part of the Southampton family since the age of eight, Ward-Prowse knows just how important this fixture is to the Saints faithful, who will be hopeful of sweeping aside Pompey given Kenny Jackett’s poor start to League One this season as the south coast side currently sit in 17th in the third-tier of English football.

Ward-Prowse’s words to his teammate should be served as a mechanism to encourage the Southampton squad to turn up when the Saints travel to Portsmouth in just under three weeks time.

 

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