Graeme Le Saux: One of the best left-sided players in the country in the last decade, Le Saux won 36 caps before Sven Goran Eriksson looked elsewhere. Now 34, joined the Saints in the summer despite a fine season for Chelsea last time around when he was occasionally captain. Kicked off his career at Stamford Bridge and went back after a title-winning spell at Blackburn. Made over 200 starts for Chelsea. Fiery character, look out for potentially-explosive encounter with Mauricio Taricco - no love lost there!
Claus Lundekvam: Stalwart of Southampton's famed defensive unit who enjoyed a great partnership with Dean Richards before the big man's move to the Lane. Tall, dominant in the air and a threat at set-pieces. Turned 30 this year, he joined Saints back in September 1996 from Norwegian outfit SK Brann for what now seems a bargain £400,000 by then boss Graeme Souness. Has racked up over 250 appearances in all competitions for the club. Capped 17 times by Norway, now forms tough partnership with fellow Scandinavian Michael Svensson.
Matt Oakley: Described as the club's 'best-kept secret' by their website, the midfielder won four England U21 caps and impressed as Saints reached the FA Cup Final last May. Usually found in a deep-lying role, he's the added protection for that defence but no slouch on the ball and rarely wastes a pass. Turned 26 this week, he's been at Southampton all his career after joining them as a trainee in 1994. Made over 200 appearances now and rated enough by Gordon Strachan to name him captain a few times last season.
James Beattie: Old-fashioned style centre-forward who looks the natural heir to Alan Shearer's throne. Showed his potential in 2000-01 with a run of 10 goals in 10 games and fulfilled it last term with 23 goals, just pipped to the Premiership's Golden Boot. Has battled his way into the England squad and already has four goals to his name this season. Signed from Blackburn for £1m in 1998, now worth 10 times that at least. Strong in the air, a real handful up front with the ability to score from anywhere. Approaching 200 appearances for Saints.
Kevin Phillips: Prolific marksman whose personal form seemed to run parallel with his former club Sunderland. Marked Sunderland's arrival in the top flight with 30 goals on his way to 132 in 236 appearances for the north-east outfit. Unlucky not to earn more than his eight England caps. Seems reborn at Southampton, his first club before moving to Baldock, Watford and then Sunderland. So quick to pounce on anything in the box, he marked his debut with a 30-yard screamer into the top corner at Leicester. Partnership with Beattie will be worth watching.
We take a look at five key players to keep an eye out for when Southampton arrive at the Lane on Saturday...