Having failed to beat Portsmouth in their last four attempts, Southampton have a perfect opportunity to conquer their bitter rivals when they go toe to toe in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

The two sides last locked horns back in the 2011/12 season when competing in the Championship. But with both fiery encounters ending in stalemates, the pair will be itching to be victorious this time around. 

However, much has changed since the last meeting, with Southampton now an established Premier League outfit and boasting a squad of distinguishable players. Portsmouth, on the other hand, have slipped down the football pyramid and now ply their trade in League One; a league Saints know well.

Kenny Jackett’s side have made a lacklustre start to the new campaign, picking up six points from seven games and managing just one win thus far. They currently occupy 20th position in England’s third tier, despite providing stern competition last season as they reached the play-off semi-final. 

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However, this term, Pompey have seemingly struggled. In attack, they’ve failed to display any kind of cutting edge, and defensively, they have been better, but have only achieved a single clean sheet.

Southampton go into battle at Fratton Park next Tuesday in decent form. After picking up three wins and a draw from their last five games in all competitions, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will be keen to continue with their strong away showings.

The top-flight outfit have been finding the net more regularly in recent games, as well as strengthening up in defence as well. They’ve recorded three clean sheets from their last five games and look creative going forward as well.

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Confidence in the Saints squad will be high going into the much-anticipated clash, with Portsmouth also having suffered a 1-0 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers at the weekend.

Despite all of this, Southampton will know they cannot underestimate their opponents, who have already beaten a higher-ranked side in the Carabao Cup when they defeated Birmingham City at Fratton Park in the opening round.

The first meeting between the two sides since 2012 is being highly-awaited by everyone associated with the respected clubs, and regardless of the result, it will undoubtedly be a spectacular occasion.

But Southampton will go into the tie as favourites, as they search for their first win over Portsmouth since 2005. 

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