The Saints have currently enjoying a seven-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, but their manager has warned his squad of the talents of Mark Hughes' side
The south-coast club have made a fine start to the Premier League season and find themselves flying high in fifth place, with a 2-0 win over Fulham last Sunday making it seven games without defeat.
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He told the club's official website: "It’s clear that when you win you get a good atmosphere within the team and the club which is a very good thing, but we need to stay grounded and keep on training hard and looking ahead to the next game.
"We expect a very tough and physical game (at Stoke). It’s going to be very difficult and tough.
"On average they have the tallest team in the league, so I think they still have some aspects from when Tony Pulis was manager, but there some new aspects that Mark Hughes has introduced to the team and I think that it’s a team which over 90 minutes is able to do two different styles.
"They can go for the long ball but also the short one so, overall, we expect a very tough encounter."
Southampton will monitor the fitness of midfielder Steven Davis (knee) and strikers Dani Osvaldo (knock) and Guly do Prado (knee) ahead of the game.