Check out our in-depth match preview as Southampton prepare to return to St Mary’s for an important Premier League clash with Stoke City.
Southampton vs Stoke City
Saturday 3rd March, 3pm GMT
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Plenty. With the two sides separated by just a single point in the Premier League table, there is much to play for in the survival race.
Stoke sit second-bottom and need a win to climb out of the drop zone and leapfrog Southampton in the process.
The Potters have lost just one of their five games under Paul Lambert, but the new boss has not tasted victory since his first match at the helm back in January.
Saints have suffered only one defeat in their last nine in all competitions, but three of their four wins in that period have come in the FA Cup.
Southampton: Shane Long and skipper Steven Davis have both missed Saints’ last two matches and are doubts for Saturday’s game. Maya Yoshida and Charlie Austin remain sidelined.
Stoke: Captain Ryan Shawcross and former Saint Peter Crouch are both in contention having been absent in recent weeks. Jakob Haugaard will be the substitute goalkeeper after Lee Grant broke a bone in his wrist in training.
Southampton’s previous five:
Burnley (a) D 1-1
West Brom (a) W 2-1 (FA Cup)
Liverpool (h) L 0-2
West Brom (a) W 3-2
Brighton (h) D 1-1
Stoke’s previous five:
Leicester (a) D 1-1
Brighton (h) D 1-1
Bournemouth (a) L 1-2
Watford (h) D 0-0
Huddersfield (h) W 2-0
James Ward-Prowse’s set-pieces have been causing havoc in recent weeks, scoring once and assisting three times from dead balls in his last five appearances. Substitute Josh Sims made a big impact off the bench at Burnley last time out, while Guido Carrillo’s second assist in two games set up Manolo Gabbiadini, who moved on to four goals for the season with a late equaliser at Turf Moor.
Top scorers: Charlie Austin (6), Manolo Gabbiadini (4), Dušan Tadić (4), James Ward-Prowse (4)
Most assists: Ryan Bertrand (3), Nathan Redmond (3), Dušan Tadić (3), James Ward-Prowse (3)
Xherdan Shaqiri has been on a virtual one-man mission to save Stoke from relegation. The Swiss international has scored in his last three matches – the first time in his career he has accomplished the feat. The last Stoke player other than Shaqiri to score a goal was Mame Biram Diouf against Huddersfield six weeks ago.
Top scorers: Xherdan Shaqiri (7), Mame Biram Diouf (5), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (4)
Most assists: Xherdan Shaqiri (6), Joe Allen (5), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (5)
Previous four meetings:
September 2017: Stoke 2-1 Southampton (Yoshida)
May 2017: Southampton 0-1 Stoke
December 2016: Stoke 0-0 Southampton
March 2016: Stoke 1-2 Southampton (Pellè 2)
DID YOU KNOW?
- Stoke won the reverse fixture back in September 2-1 – they haven’t won both league meetings in a season against Southampton for 50 years, since the 1967/68 top-flight campaign.
- The Potters have shipped a league-high 54 Premier League goals this season. Indeed, Paul Lambert's men have been on the receiving end on three of the 13 occasions a team has scored five or more goals in a Premier League match this season, more than any other side.
NOT AT THE GAME?
Don’t worry if you can’t make it to St Mary’s! We’ll be with you every step of the way on our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com, where we will have all the build-up, as well as in-game updates and free live audio commentary.
Be sure to follow us on our various social channels for behind-the-scenes access and further updates from the big game: