Stoke boss Pulis: Southampton clash the toughest of festive period

Despite having a 16-game unbeaten run at the Britannia and a superb victory over Liverpool on Boxing Day, the Potters boss sees Southampton as "the toughest game of the week"

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis believes Southampton will pose his team their toughest test of the busy festive schedule.

The Potters are currently enjoying a nine-game unbeaten run, culminating with an impressive 3-1 victory over Liverpool on Boxing Day.

But Pulis is now wary of the squad resting on their laurels after beating such illustrious opponents ahead of the visit of the promoted side Southampton.

13/1 Stoke are 13/1 with Paddy power to beat Southampton 3-1 on Saturday

“Southampton will be our toughest game of the week because of the expectation levels following this result,” he told reporters.

“We’ll need everyone to be up for it, players and supporters alike, which is not always easy after a big game like this.

“We’ll be drumming that into the players over the next couple of days and we need the fans right behind us once again.

“I’m sure that Southampton won’t half fancy their chances in those circumstances and they’ll come here off the back of a good point at Fulham where they were perhaps unlucky not to have won the match in the end.”

Southampton currently sit a point above the Premier League drop zone, but Pulis has been impressed with Saints’ recent showings.

Although among the favourites to go down, the Welshman has seen many positives which could cause Stoke problems on Saturday.

“I watched them earlier in the season and they played really, really well,” he continued. “They move the ball forward quickly and they’ve got goalscorers.

“Southampton have already caused one or two surprises and they have the spirit and commitment which gives them every chance of surviving.”