Saints vs Stoke: Preview

By SFC Media time Fri 17 May Club

Saints bring the 2013-14 season to a close on Sunday with the visit of Stoke City in a 4pm kick-off on the south coast.

Although there is a gap of three places between the two teams, only one point separates the visitors in 11th and Saints in 14th as all teams from tenth to 16th could theoretically swap places on the final day.

Southampton have the second best goal-difference of the teams jostling for a top half finish, and will be keen to finish the campaign above their opponents this weekend.

Back in December, Stoke pulled a last minute leveller out of the bag to deny Saints all three points in a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Britannia Stadium. The Potters, who had only conceded four goals at home all season prior to that fixture, were 3-1 down at the break before a spirited second half fightback which culminated in a stunning strike from Cameron Jerome.

The fixture will see a couple of reunions with St Mary’s as City strikers Kenwyne Jones and Peter Crouch return.

Another former Saint in the Stoke ranks, Rory Delap is unlikely to feature having ended the season on loan at npower Championship side, Barnsley.

There could also be a final hurrah for England frontman Michael Owen, who played for the Three Lions against Macedonia here in 2002. He is due to bring down the curtain on his playing career after the weekend.

Team News

Guly is sidelined with the ankle knock he sustained in the defeat at Tottenham a fortnight ago. 

Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw each suffered knocks in training this week and are considered doubtful, as are Steve De Ridder and Vegard Forren.

Danny Fox and Gaston Ramirez remain out as they serve the last match of their suspensions this weekend.

Previous Meetings

A 3-3 draw was played out at the Britannia Stadium in December. Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez were on target for the visitors. Cameron Jerome’s last minute strike earned Tony Pulis’s ten men a point.

In the Championship meetings between 2005 and 2008 Saints were winners in all three home fixtures. You have to go back to 1980 for Stoke’s last competitive win in Southampton.

The last home meeting came in the 2007-08 campaign where Saints were 3-2 winners at St Mary’s, though this was later avenged by a 3-2 defeat at the Britannia Stadium in the same season.

Saturday's game is the 63rd all-time meeting between the two teams. Saints have the upper hand with 27 victories to Stoke’s 25. A further 10 games have ended all square.

Match Information

Lee Probert will referee Sunday’s game, and he will be assisted by Mr G Beswick and Mr A Garratt Stuart Attwell is the fourth official.

Supporters are reminded to remain in their seats after the game has finished so that the squad can embark on a lap of appreciation to say thanks for your efforts all season.

Online Coverage

As with every First Team game, we'll be providing minute-by-minute coverage throughout the day on our official Twitter feed plus goal updates on our official Facebook page.

You can listen to live commentary courtesy of BBC Solent on Saints Player, where you can keep up to date with all the stats and scores from around the country.

Mauricio Pochettino and Morgan Schneiderlin spoke to Saints Player ahead of the game, and you can watch their interviews – as well as the gaffer's full press conference – now.

After the game there will be plenty more content on saintsfc.co.uk and Saints Player, so stay tuned!

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