"Everyone thinks Southampton will be very strong, so the match will give us a useful yardstick."
Wednesday's draw, coming a day before the announcement of the 2010/11 Premier and Football League fixtures, was divided into two sections and then split between seeded and unseeded teams - meaning Championship clubs could not face each other.
Cardiff, who lost in the Championship play-off final, are drawn at home against Burton Albion while beaten play-off semi-finalists Nottingham Forest and Leicester face Bradford and Macclesfield respectively.
Oxford United, who beat York City in the Conference play-off final, entertain Bristol Rovers.
The Carling Cup final and two semi-final legs will be shown live on BBC television, with highlights of every game available on the BBC Sport website for UK users.
Carling Cup first round draw:
Hartlepool United v Sheffield United Leicester City v Macclesfield Town Walsall v Tranmere Rovers Carlisle United v Huddersfield Town Stockport County v Preston North End Barnsley v Rochdale Morecambe v Coventry City Doncaster Rovers v Accrington Stanley Chesterfield v Middlesbrough Peterborough United v Rotherham United Bradford City v Nottingham Forest Leeds United v Lincoln City Sheffield Wednesday v Bury Scunthorpe United v Oldham Athletic Crewe Alexandra v Derby County Exeter City v Ipswich Town Southend United v Bristol City Southampton v Bournemouth Brentford v Cheltenham Town Queens Park Rangers v Port Vale Torquay United v Reading Norwich City v Gillingham Stevenage v Portsmouth Shrewsbury Town v Charlton Athletic Cardiff City v Burton Albion Northampton Town v Brighton & Hove Albion Swansea City v Barnet Plymouth Argyle v Notts County Wycombe Wanderers v Millwall Oxford United v Bristol Rovers Milton Keynes Dons v Dagenham & Redbridge Hereford United v Colchester United Yeovil Town v Crystal Palace Aldershot Town v Watford Swindon Town v Leyton Orient
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