How Southampton must line up when they host Stoke City on Saturday
Southampton will look to stay out of the relegation zone and boost their survival chances when they host fellow strugglers Stoke City at St Mary’s on Saturday.
The Saints came out of the bottom three as Manolo Gabbiadini’s late equaliser saw them snatch a 1-1 draw against Burnley at Turf Moor last weekend, but they are only out of the drop zone on goal difference and just one point above their next opponents on the south coast, who lie 19th.
With three straight away matches to follow the clash against the Potters, Mauricio Pellegrino’s men are in desperate need of taking all three points against Paul Lambert’s visitors, but it won’t be an easy task seeing as they are without a win in the top flight on their own patch since November, and have already failed to beat fellow strugglers Swansea City, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town and Brighton and Hove Albion at home.
Pellegrino will know can’t afford a repeat of that this weekend if they are to secure their Premier League status for another year, and they can take some solace from the fact that Stoke have the worst away record in the top flight with just seven points from 14 fixtures.
The Argentine boss made one change from the FA Cup win against West Bromwich Albion for the trip to Lancashire last time out as Oriol Romeu came in for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, and he will perhaps be considering making more against the Potters after another below-par display from his team.
Here is how Southampton must line up against Stoke on Saturday, ahead of Alex McCarthy in goal…