Portsmouth, home of the Royal Navy, is bracing itself this morning in anticipation of a visit by neighbours from Southampton at lunch time and the fear that a game of football might take place.
"We're prepared for the visit of the Scummers," said a spokesman for Hampshire Police. "But if these guys get together with some Pompey lads and start playing football, there's very little we can do.
"Personally, I find it difficult understand - especially at this time of year, the season of good will, and all that. Why spoil a lovely day of mutual taunting, name-calling and running street fights by starting a game of professional association football?"
Apparently, football 'authorities' have been alerted, but the police are prepared to take complete control.
"We don't discuss our preparations for such events," the spokesman continued. "We just hope that common sense reigns."