Southampton hope to continue their six game unbeaten run by winning in the first South Coast derby for a decade against newly-promoted and injury-cursed Bournemouth.
After defeating Aston Villa 2-1 in the Capital One Cup during the week, attention turns to the visit of Eddie Howe's wounded squad whose numbers are rather depleted.
If their bid for survival was tough to begin with, having the likes of star striker Callum Wilson and big summer signings, Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel, all out for the majority of the campaign makes their fight much more difficult.
Add in captain Tommy Elphick being out until December and Artur Boruc's own poor form, and it's no wonder that the Cherries have been struggling recently.
Yet that shouldn't mean this should be a walk in the park for Saints. Bournemouth still have quality in the likes of winger Matt Ritchie, who supported Southampton's main rivals Portsmouth as a boy, and Harry Arter returned from injury during the week.
Boruc could be one of two players to make their first return to St Mary's, with Andrew Surman coming back to the club he supported and played for, admitting he had only left in 2009 to help balance the books during administration.
But Bournemouth will be concerned about their opponent's recent form. Graziano Pellè kept up his good start to the season by netting the winner against Villa, whilst Sadio Mané will be fresh after his red card in the 1-1 draw at Liverpool meant he missed the cup clash.
Mané in particular has been superb this season; having scored three goals in his last four league games, the Senegalese international has arguably been Saints best player this year, and has showed just why the hierarchy at St Mary's have put a rumoured valuation of £40m on the 23 year old.
Whilst Mané will return from suspension to face the Cherries, Ronald Koeman has a few problems with attacking options. Both Shane Long and Jay Rodriguez are both out of the derby clash with ankle and foot injuries respectively.
The battle of the dugout sees Koeman, a man with an impressive CV both as a player and as a manager, up against the highly rated Howe, who has led Bournemouth from the Football League basement to the top flight.
Southampton were certainly keen on Howe, having offered him an interview after Alan Pardew was sacked in 2010, but rejected the chance to step into the St Mary's hotseat, with Nigel Adkins taking the job instead.
Adkins grabbed his first win as Saints boss ironically over Howe, who was in charge of the Cherries as Rickie Lambert's two penalties gave Saints a 2-0 win over the away side at St Mary's back in October 2010.
Captain Dean Hammond scores the winner against Bournemouth in the last league meeting. (Southampton FC Official Website)
Saints were building up momentum to win promotion from League One by the time they met in the return game at Dean Court in March 2011, but Lauri Dalla Valle gave the hosts a shock lead after just six minutes.
But Lee Barnard, Dean Hammond and another Lambert goal gave Saints a 3-1 win to take home through the New Forest, despite substitute Oscar Gobern's crazy lunge earning him a red card.
The result meant that Bournemouth haven't beaten Saints since 1958 in the league, when they were called Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic, and still haven't ever won away against Southampton in their history.