Southampton - Stoke Preview: Pochettino looks to end season on a high against low-scoring Potters
The Saints are five matches without a win and finish the season against Tony Pulis' side, who ended a New Year slump in April with successive wins to secure Premier League safety
By Arthur Virgo
Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Shaw
Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez
Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson
Walters, N'Zonzi, Whitehead, Etherington
Southampton are without the suspended Danny Fox so Luke Shaw is set to continue at left-back, while Mauricio Pochettino has named Jose Fonte at centre-back alongside Jos Hooiveld of late, with Maya Yoshida on the bench.
Playmaker Gaston Ramirez is suspended, so Steven Davis, Adam Lallana, and Jay Rodriguez are set to start in attack behind target-man Rickie Lambert, although Jason Puncheon could feature at some point.
Stoke have named a settled back line in recent weeks and Ryan Shotton could again start at right-back with Geoff Cameron on the bench.
Charlie Adam is suspended while fellow midfielder Glenn Whelan (groin) is doubtful, so forward Jon Walters could feature on the right flank opposite Matthew Etherington on the left, with striker Cameron Jerome coming into the team alongside Peter Crouch.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Both teams are safe from relegation but either could finish anywhere between 10th and 17th.
- Southampton appeared to have secured their Premier League status with a run of three successive victories beginning in March, but after a run of five matches without a win, they were only mathematically safe after Wigan's relegation was confirmed.
- Mauricio Pochettino's side have scored 48 goals so far this season, more than every team below eighth placed West Brom, but have now scored just two from their last five matches in a run of three draws and two defeats.
- The south coast club have dropped the most points (29) from winning positions in the Premier League this season.
- The Saints' 23-year-old midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has made both more tackles (144) and more interceptions (138) in the Premier League this season than any other player.
- Rickie Lambert (pictured) has scored 14 league goals this season, more than any other English player except Frank Lampard (15) and Theo Walcott (14), but the striker has now gone six matches without finding the back of the net. He is 4/1 with bet365 to score the first goal of the game.
- Stoke secured their Premier League safety after back-to-back wins in April followed a run of six defeats in seven matches, but they have still collected the fewest Premier League points in 2013 so far (12).
- Stoke City have committed the most fouls (478) and been given the most yellow cards (76) in the Premier League this season, while only Arsenal (5) have been given more red cards than the Potters (4).
- The Potters have won just two of their last 27 away matches in the Premier League, scoring just 12 away goals this season and netting just 33 in total, fewer than all but bottom-placed QPR (30).
- When the clubs last met, however, Stoke came back from two goals down to draw 3-3 at the Britannia Stadium with an outstanding late goal from Cameron Jerome, and the last three league meetings between Southampton and Stoke have seen 16 goals scored.
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Top 3 Predictions
Southampton 2-1 Stoke City
- 17.8 %
Southampton 1-1 Stoke City
- 12.57 %
Southampton 2-2 Stoke City
- 6.81 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Feb 8, 2014||Southampton 2 - Stoke City 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 2, 2013||Stoke City 1 - Southampton 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||May 19, 2013||Southampton 1 - Stoke City 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 29, 2012||Stoke City 3 - Southampton 3|
|Mar 8, 2014||Crystal Palace 0 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|Mar 2, 2014||Southampton 0 - Liverpool 3||EPL|
|Feb 22, 2014||West Ham United 3 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|Feb 15, 2014||Sunderland 1 - Southampton 0||FA|
|Feb 12, 2014||Hull City 0 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|6||Jose Rocha Fonte||Defender|