SAINTS have issued a safety warning to fans ahead of their match against rivals Portsmouth next week.

The club have urged fans to ensure everyone can watch the match in a “safe environment” when Saints play against Portsmouth next week on Tuesday at Fratton Park in the Carabao Cup.

This will be the first time the two rival teams have played against each other in seven years.

Fans have been advised to not wear replica shirts and club colours as it makes the easily identifiable and to not drink in pubs in Portsmouth.

The club have asked fans to be “mindful and respectful” when travelling to and from the match, and for fans to report or flag any “inappropriate” behaviour.

It comes after police decided against using the controversial ‘bubble’ scheme used when the two clubs last met at Fratton Park in 2012.

It saw Saints fans taken to Portsmouth in designated coaches, dropped into a ‘sterile area’ and then escorted to Fratton Park prior to kick-off - and on the way home.

Hampshire Constabulary would like to assure supporters that the police will be helping to ensure both the safe arrival of the coaches at Fratton Park as well as supporters’ entry and exit from the ground, and will be present during the journey.

The club issues a statement which said: “Southampton Football Club has worked closely with Hampshire Constabulary in the run-up to the game regarding the safety and security of away fans.

“As always, the club’s main priority is to ensure that all fans are able to watch the game in a safe environment and enjoy the match.

“Fans are encouraged to be aware of their own behaviour and vigilant of those around them before, during and after the game.

“The club takes the safety and security of all fans extremely seriously, and, in liaison with Hampshire Constabulary, will investigate thoroughly and deal appropriately with any instance where the fans’ charter is brought into disrepute.”

They added: “There is no designated away pub in Portsmouth for this game.

“Supporters wishing to visit a pub in advance of the game are strongly advised to do so outside of Portsmouth.”

South Western Railway has confirmed that there will be three additional trains scheduled for September 24 to help get fans to and from the match safely.

British Transport Police will be carrying out patrols on trains between the two cities.