Under-23s coach Radhi Jaïdi has called upon his youngsters to end 2017 on a positive note, following disappointment against Wolves in Premier League 2 last time out.
Saints have slipped to ninth in the PL2 table, while today's opponents lie in third, but a win for Jaïdi's troops would see them climb up to a mid-table position entering the Christmas break.
A 4-0 win over Reading at St Mary's in the league opener back in August should serve as an adequate confidence boost, while Southampton are likely to field an experienced XI in their final competitive tie of the calandar year.
"It is really important for the boys confidence to finish the year on a good note," Jaïdi commented. "From our perspective as coaches, a good result will help everyone go back home to see their families feeling positive and allow us to reflect on the last period properly."
He added: "I haven't been particularly happy recently, in terms of performances, so we've been working on that all week in training. Especially focussing on reactions when we lose the ball.
"We've been slow in our transitions, and hunting down the ball, so we've worked on possession this week. The boys have responded well to that and hopefully that is transferred in to the game today.
"The table is still very tight, so a win either way will have an impact. We still think that we can compete at the highest level.
"We need to apply what is required, as always. During the game, we need to deal with the challenge. We always tend to start well and fade out, that's where we need to improve our game management."