Premier League Preview: Stoke - Southampton
Tony Pulis' in-form side tasted victory on Boxing Day with a 3-1 win over Liverpool and puts its nine-match unbeaten streak on the line against the Saints.
By Tim Poole
Shotton, Huth, Upson, Wilkinson
Kightly, Walters, Etherington
Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw
Puncheon, Ramirez, Rodriguez
Stoke boss Tony Pulis is unlikely to make wholesale changes after his side's 3-1 Boxing Day triumph although he does have problems in defense with Ryan Shawcross and U.S. national team defender Geoff Cameron both suspended.
Only Rory Delap and Marc Wilson are on the long-term injury list, while striker Michael Owen may be fit in time for Saturday's match after recovering from a hamstring injury but faces stiff competition for a place up front.
Pulis is likely to opt for the in-form pairing of Kenwyne Jones and Jonathan Walters once more, but Peter Crouch and Cameron Jerome are also waiting in the wings.
The visitors, meanwhile, will again be without talismanic skipper Adam Lallana, who has not featured since Dec. 8 with a knee injury. Saints manager Nigel Adkins has no other injury concerns, though, and can choose from a wealth of attacking options, with Jay Rodriguez and Emmanuel Mayuka also pushing for a starting place up front.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Stoke is unbeaten in nine Premier League matches and 16 consecutive games at the Britannia Stadium.
- The Potters have conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League (14) and has the most clean sheets in the league (9).
- Stoke's top scorer this season, Jonathan Walters, has scored all five of his league goals from inside the box, including one penalty.
- Tony Pulis' side has not conceded more than one goal in a match since shipping four against Manchester United in October, which was also the last time the Potters lost a league match.
- Southampton has won just once away from home this season. Six defeats and one draw in their other seven attempts mean the Saints have taken only four points from a possible 32 on their travels.
- Southampton's top scorer, Rickie Lambert (pictured right), has never missed a penalty for the Saints. The 30-year-old striker most recently scored from the spot against Fulham on Wednesday.
- No Saints player has been sent off in the Premier League this season, although Morgan Schneiderlin has commited the most fouls of any Southampton squad member (37) and racked up four yellow cards in the process.
- The last time these two sides met in a league encounter was during a Championship clash in February 2008, when Stoke edged a five-goal thriller 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium.
Top 3 Predictions
Stoke 2-0 Southampton
- 20.4 %
Stoke 2-1 Southampton
- 13.43 %
Stoke 3-1 Southampton
- 10.95 %
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Nov 2, 2013||Stoke 1 - Southampton 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||May 19, 2013||Southampton 1 - Stoke 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Dec 29, 2012||Stoke 3 - Southampton 3|
|Dec 4, 2013||Stoke 0 - Cardiff City 0||EPL|
|Nov 30, 2013||Everton 4 - Stoke 0||EPL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Stoke 2 - Sunderland 0||EPL|
|Nov 10, 2013||Swansea City 3 - Stoke 3||EPL|
|Nov 2, 2013||Stoke 1 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|6||Jose Rocha Fonte||Defender|
|21||Guilherme Do Prado||Midfielder|
|33||Steve de Ridder||Striker|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed