Saints head to face Stoke City aiming to maintain their unbeaten away record in the Premier League…
Stoke City vs Southampton
Saturday 30 September, 3pm BST
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Saints remain unbeaten on the road in the Premier League so far this season, while Stoke’s only win home or away came against Arsenal six weeks ago.
The Potters were hammered 4-0 by Chelsea at the bet365 Stadium last time out, following a surprise Carabao Cup exit to Bristol City.
The visit of Southampton will be the first time Stoke have hosted opponents from outside last season’s top five so far in the new campaign.
If Saints can keep a clean sheet, it will be the first time in the club’s history we have started a league season with three successive away shutouts.
Stoke City: Mark Hughes’ preparations have been hampered by a defensive injury crisis.
Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi are definitely out, while Kevin Wimmer is unlikely to be risked.
Hughes is more hopeful of welcoming back Geoff Cameron following a hamstring problem, and Kurt Zouma is available again after he was ineligible to face parent club Chelsea last week.
Southampton: Mauricio Pellegrino reported no new injury concerns at his pre-match press conference.
The Saints boss spoke of Virgil van Dijk’s progress, with the defender not having started a first-team game for eight months, but said it will take more time to see “the best version” of the Dutchman.
Stoke City’s previous five:
Chelsea (h) L 0-4
Bristol City (a) L 0-2 (Carabao Cup)
Newcastle United (a) L 1-2
Manchester United (h) D 2-2
West Brom (a) D 1-1
Southampton’s previous five:
Manchester United (h) L 0-1
Crystal Palace (a) W 1-0
Watford (h) L 0-2
Huddersfield Town (a) D 0-0
Wolves (h) L 0-2 (Carabao Cup)
Stoke City top scorers: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Peter Crouch, Joe Allen (2)
Most assists: Xherdan Shaqiri, Joe Allen, Mame Biram Diouf, Saido Berahino (1)
Southampton top scorers: Dušan Tadić, Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini, Steven Davis (1)
Most assists: Nathan Redmond (1)
ONE TO WATCH
A man of obvious ability, Xherdan Shaqiri can cause a headache to even the best Premier League defences when on top of his game.
The Swiss’ toughest opponent since moving to the Potteries in 2015 has arguably been his own inconsistency, but the former Inter Milan and Bayern Munich winger possesses a sweet left foot and is tough to dispossess with his stocky build.
Following the summer sale of Marko Arnautović to West Ham United, Stoke will look to Shaqiri to provide a creative spark in the final third of the pitch.
Stoke City: 28
PREVIOUS FOUR MEETINGS
May 2017: Saints 0-1 Stoke
December 2016: Stoke 0-0 Saints
March 2016: Stoke 1-2 Saints
November 2015: Saints 0-1 Stoke
DID YOU KNOW?
Stoke have only won three of their last 15 home games against Saints in all competitions (D5 L7).
Ten of Southampton’s 11 Premier League goals against Stoke have been scored in the first half – and none have come later than the 57th minute.
35.3% of Stoke’s passes have ended in the final third of the pitch this season in the Premier League; a higher proportion than any other side.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Can't make it to Stoke? Our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com will have all the build-up, as well as in-game updates and free live audio commentary for you to enjoy.
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