B Team Preview: Saints vs Stoke

By SFC Media time Thu 30 Sep Saints vs Stoke
Photo by Isabelle Field | Lewis Payne

Southampton’s B team play their second Premier League 2 game of the week on Friday, with Stoke City visiting Staplewood Campus.

THE MATCH

Saints vs Stoke City
Premier League 2, Division 2
Staplewood Campus
Friday 1st October, 4pm BST
Behind closed doors

It was a game of mixed emotions for Saints on Monday afternoon, where Dave Horseman’s side travelled to Birmingham City in Premier League 2.

Saints stormed into a two-goal lead inside twelve minutes; youngster Dominic Ballard capping his second successive start with the first goal, before Caleb Watts doubled the lead soon after.

But Birmingham bounced back in the first half, levelling the scores before taking a lead they would hold onto until full-time before the interval.

For Friday’s visitors it was an even worse afternoon, the potters suffering an 8-0 defeat to league leaders Aston Villa at home.

A much-needed win for Saints on Friday would put them within touching distance of the rest of the pack at the foot of the table, whilst the Potters can rise as high as second with three points.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Southampton players during the Premier League 2 match between Birmingham City and Southampton B Team at Wast Hills Training Ground on September 27, 2021 in Birmingham , England. (Photo by Isabelle Field/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Saints huddle before the Birmingham game on Monday.

LAST MEETING

The 2019/20 season saw Saints face Stoke twice due to being in the same Premier League Cup group.

A rearranged fixture at a snow-covered Clayton Wood training ground was the latest of the two meetings in February 2020.

Stoke went 2-0 up within the first 20 minutes; Gabriel Kyeremateng with a double before adding his hat-trick three minutes into the second half.

Saints grabbed a lifeline through Jacob Maddox in the 57th minute, before Andre Godfrinne sealed a heavy defeat for Horseman’s side.

It wasn't the only meeting during the 2019/20 season; the two sides playing out a 1-1 draw at Staplewood in October 2019 with Dan Nlundulu getting Saints' goal.

MANAGER’S NOTES

“Stoke are a good team,” said Horseman. “I think Tyrese Campbell has been playing for them in recent weeks.

“If we want our boys to learn they need to play against good players, ideally players with first team experience because when we pass them over they’ll be more than ready.

“We’ve got nobody else coming back from injury, I don’t think Ryan [Finnigan] is too far off, so we’ll have the same group.

“I think this will be a real test, when we played against them two years ago they were a good team.

“It’s one we’re looking forward to. If we can really focus on what we did for that first 20 minutes [at Birmingham] then I’m sure we’ll be absolutely fine.”

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