LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - South coast rivals Bournemouth and Southampton meet on Sunday locked together in the middle of the Premier League, both on 21 points from 16 games. We look at five memorable clashes between them.
SOUTHAMPTON 1 BOURNEMOUTH 1 (FA Cup first round)
Although both clubs were founded in the 19th century, they did not meet in a major competition until 1953. It then became one of four matches between them in the next five weeks.
After a 1-1 FA Cup draw at The Dell, Bournemouth made the most of home advantage to win the replay 3-1 before going out in the next round.
It was the first season they had been in the same league - Division Three South - following Saints’ relegation, and the sides then met twice in succession on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with each winning their home match.
Southampton finished the season sixth with their rivals 19th.
SOUTHAMPTON 7 BOURNEMOUTH 0 (Third Division South)
The biggest win in all 23 meetings came in a season when Southampton were top scorers in the whole of English football with 112 goals - but still failed to win promotion.
Despite humiliating their rivals at The Dell, they finished only sixth, just three points ahead of Bournemouth who beat them 5-2 in the return game.
Saints’ problem was in defence - conceding 72 goals in the 46 games. But two seasons later they finally went back to the Second Division after scoring 106 goals (and letting in 75).
BOURNEMOUTH 1 SOUTHAMPTON 3 (League One)
A third win of the season over the Cherries pushed Saints above their rivals in the table and closer to promotion from the third tier, which they achieved as runners-up to Brighton.
Nigel Atkins had replaced Alan Pardew as manager only three games into the new season and they followed a 2-0 League Cup win over the Cherries with a home victory in the league by the same score.
They completed the hat-trick after coming from behind, with Rickie Lambert among the scorers.
Bournemouth had also changed managers during the season, Eddie Howe having left in January to spend just under two years with Burnley.
SOUTHAMPTON 2 BOURNEMOUTH 0 (Premier League)
The eagerly awaited first meeting between the clubs in the top division went Southampton’s way thanks to first-half goals by Steve Davis and Graziano Pelle.
The visitors had the better of the second half but could not find a way through, even after Saints midfielder Victor Wanyama was sent off 12 minutes from time.
Defeat left them only one point off the relegation places while Southampton moved up to seventh.
March 2016 BOURNEMOUTH 2 SOUTHAMPTON 0
Eddie Howe’s team took revenge for their earlier defeat and deserved a first league victory over their neighbours since 1958.
Steve Cook scored with a volley when Fraser Forster could not hold Matt Ritchie’s free kick and Benik Afobe headed the second goal in the second half.
Continuing an improved run since the previous meeting in November had left them clear of relegation concerns. Saints went on to finish sixth and earn a Europa League place.
Editing by Ed Osmond