Stoke City v Southampton- Match Preview

Rickie Lambert (Southampton)

Nigel Adkins men have only managed to bag one win on the road all season, so it doesn’t fill Saints fans with bundles of confidence that they are set to double their away tally.

Their recent displays have been commendable though and three wins and two draws in their last season is significant improvement from their early season downward spiral.

They have leaked goals like a sieve though when they have not had the comfort of St. Mary’s and were smashed for six at the Emirates as well as conceding four at Upton Park.

Scoring has been a problem too and they will need to rectify this to have any chances of a result, as their last goal from open play was against came against Reading four games ago.

Tony Pulis’s side on the other hand are flying, scoring three goals last time out and are one of their strongest runs since returning to the top flight in 2008. They will have the Europa League firmly in their sights.

Their current front two of Jon Walters and Kenwyne Jones appear to be flourishing in the absence of Peter Crouch and Stoke will be hoping of more of the same from them two.

Pulis will be forced to reshuffle at the back with Cameron and Shawcross both suspended for one game for reaching their fifth booking.

For Southampton the only significant absentee remains Adam Lallana who has been out since 8th December and won’t be ready for this one. Adkins mentioned that some of his players received knocks but they should be available for this fixture.

Jon Walters is currently Stoke’s joint top all time Premier League top goalscorer and one more on Saturday will secure his place in the history books.

Prediction: Stoke 1-0 Southampton

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